What is recovery from liposuction like?

Whilst liposuction is not a major operation, it is still to be taken seriously. Small areas can be treated under Local Anaesthesia. Most of our patients prefer the comfort of being asleep. We use TIVA (Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia) which allows you to be monitored to be just asleep and to wake up quickly without nausea.

Immediately afterwards, pinch up the skin and fat of the area treated. It will be numb and reassuringly thin. It won’t be long, however, before it becomes bruised and a little swollen. You will have to wait 3 weeks for the visible bruising to fade and a few months for the end result

. In the meantime, there is some swelling, firm almost lumpy areas, more to the touch than in appearance. Treated areas may be temporarily numb and dusky grey pigmentation, the remains of bruising, occurs, particularly in the thighs and ankles, (cankles) and fades over months. The ankle treatment can be life-changing, but it is the longest to settle. Ankle swelling needs support stockings for a few weeks, until swelling has subsided and, although you will feel really happy after a few weeks, the improvement continues for up to a year.

Lycra supportive garments may reduce bruising, but we use them less these days, as visible bruising settles anyway in three weeks and the end result is the same with or without expensive support.

I have not mentioned pain. It is not significant. Half our patients do not need painkillers and others usually take simple ones such as paracetamol (Panadol). There are no restrictions on exercise. You probably won’t feel like it for a few days, but if you do it will not affect the result.

If a lot of fat is to be removed, you could become anaemic. We would advise taking iron for a couple of weeks before and after surgery. Infection is exceptionally rare.

In summary, liposuction is remarkably free of problems, when performed properly. Unevenness should not occur. Nonsurgical fat removal is, however, a good option for limited areas where not too much fat needs to be reduced. We have found Sculpsure to be the most effective and without the complications of other popular methods.

The results of liposuction typically come in stages, varying by individual. You’ll likely see some results immediately after surgery, but swelling and bruising are normal and can take weeks to resolve. Soreness diminishes after two weeks and most patients no longer are relieved of taking pain medication after a week. Some residual swelling can persist for several months. Most people see good results from 6 weeks but final results 6 - 12 months after surgery.

It is completely normal to experience minor swelling, bruising and tenderness following liposuction, but bruising will subside completely within 3 weeks. Recovery period can also depend on several factors. There include the areas which were treated, adherence to the surgeons instructions, scar care and consistence in taking medications. The amount of fat removed by your surgeon is also important in determining the recovery period.

Compression garments reduce swelling, and provide support and protection to improve long-term liposuction results. It should be worn for a minimum of two weeks. Most patients can shower after 2 to 3 days but bathing is normally discouraged and the compression garments should not be worn during showers.

You can usually commence normal daily activities and exercise as soon as you are comfortable, but in general, the only restriction is to wait until your stitches are removed (7-10 days post-surgery). Sometimes when large amounts of fat are removed patients are somewhat anaemic and need to take iron for a few weeks and you may be asked to wear a support garment to reduce bruising and swelling.

Most patients return to work after a week. But slight variations may occur depending on the extent of liposuction and the number of areas that have been treated. Strenuous activities are discouraged for a minimal period of two weeks. Light walking before your procedure prevents blood clotting and minimizes swelling.

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