Technological advances in liposuction have led to some amazing breakthroughs over the past few decades. I’m really pleased to see how far we’ve come and to provide my patients with a less invasive procedure that creates more precise results with a lower risk of complications and almost invisible scars. And while these developments have reduced recovery times, there is still a recovery process that needs to take place afterward as with all forms of surgery. So what do you need to know about your liposuction recovery?
1.) Take a week off of work. This is the amount of time we usually recommend following surgery. Luckily, liposuction is one of the easiest procedures for your body to recover from. Taking a week off doesn’t mean you have to spend the week in bed; in fact, walking around carefully after surgery can help reduce the risk of blood clots developing. On the whole, though, you do need some quiet and relaxing time at home where your responsibilities don’t go much further than reading and watching TV. During this week you might feel like you’re ready to go back to work and your regular activities, but pushing your body before it’s ready will only prolong the swelling and bruising. Take a week, make the best of it by giving yourself the chance to heal properly, and your body will definitely thank you.
2.) You can return to gentle exercise after about 2 weeks. I’d categorize this as walking outside, walking on a treadmill, or using a stairmaster. High impact exercise that includes running or high intensity cardio and aerobic workouts should be left out of your routine for about a month after surgery.
3.) Yes, you really do need to wear the “medical Spanx” we give you. After surgery you’ll be given a pair of lycra shorts that seem a lot like biking shorts and you’ll wear them under your clothes like underwear. You need to do this for 6 weeks after surgery, and no, we’re not doing this to be mean. These compression garments help your body to heal properly and prevent seromas from forming. What is a seroma? It’s a surgical complication where fluid builds up in the body. It’s not a seriously endangering complication, but it slows down healing, causes discomfort, and can last a lot longer than the 6 weeks that you wear your lycra shorts. Just imagine it as shapewear, and remember that when your liposuction recovery is done, you won’t need to wear shapewear ever again.
Of course, there are other things you can do to help your healing process go smoothly and there are very occasionally exceptions to some rules, so it’s really important to listen to and heed the advice of your plastic surgeon. Our consultations are always free, so if you want to come in and talk about it face to face, we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Or if you’ve already gone through liposuction recovery and found any tips or tricks that worked for you, please feel free to share in the comments.