A classic, tried-and-true contouring method, liposuction (Lipo), slims and reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fat deposits and improving body shape and proportions.
You should be aware that recovery varies from one individual to the next. Factors such as age, overall health and prior medical history all play a role in determining how quickly you will recover. It’s important to let your body heal at its own pace. You will need someone to drive you home when you’re cleared to leave. You will be sore and likely feeling residual effects of the anesthesia or pain medication, so it’s not safe to operate a vehicle.
Day 1-3: Your surgeon will have given you a compression garment or elastic bandages to wrap around the treatment areas. It’s important to wear these diligently and as instructed by your physician, as they help to reduce swelling and contour your body to its new shape. You may also have small drains placed at the surgical sites – this depends on surgeon preferences. These prevent fluid from building up around the incisions, which can slow healing. If you have these drains, your surgeon will tell you exactly how to care for them and how long you will have them in.
During the first few days of recovery, you can expect moderate pain and soreness. Your surgeon will have given you pain medication to make this discomfort manageable, so follow your medication schedule closely.
You should plan to limit your activity during this time as well. Your compression garments may restrict your movements some, but it’s also important to limit unnecessary activity when possible. It’s recommended that you enlist help around the house for these few days, especially if you have young children.
Week 1-2: After the initial few days of total rest and moderate pain, you will likely notice a significant reduction in pain and soreness in the week or two following your procedure. Many people can return to work after two weeks, but if you have a particularly physical or demanding job, you may want to schedule additional time off in order to recover more fully. You will still be required to wear your compression garments during this time as well.
Week 3-5: Around the one-month mark is when patients typically no longer feel pain or soreness. You may still see swelling, but this is normal. Swelling can take months to completely subside. At this point, you will likely begin to see visible results as well. Keep in mind that your results will improve as the swelling and bruising continue to heal. After about four weeks, most people are able to resume light exercise, but any heavy or strenuous activity should still be avoided.
Week 6+: The six-week mark is where the majority of bruising and swelling should have subsided, but lingering swelling can last a bit longer for some.You will likely no longer need your compression garments at this point, and your activity levels will no longer be restricted unless otherwise ordered by your doctor. By this point, you will likely be able to see the full scope of your liposuction results.
You should not try to rush your recovery, but there are certain things you can do to help your body’s natural healing process.