Liposuction has become a safe and effective procedure that is increasing rapidly in popularity with advancements in technology yielding less invasive options. As is the case with any surgical procedure, if you are considering liposuction, it is important to be aware of what to expect in terms of recovery. This will allow you to make suitable arrangements prior to your procedure date to aid your recovery journey.
If you’re interested in liposuction and would like to understand more about the different options, the details of the procedure and whether you’re suitable, you will find all the information you need on The Harley Medical Group Blog.
It is helpful to compartmentalise the liposuction recovery process into separate sections, as this can instigate realistic goal setting and help patients navigate the process. Overall, you can expect the entire recovery process to take up to 6 months. However, you will be able to return to work and other usual activities long before this.
If you have read about the different types of liposuction, you’ll know that there are a variety of techniques that differ in terms of invasiveness, anaesthetic requirements and procedure length. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recovery journey also differs according to the technique used and the area that is treated. It is therefore essential that you engage with your personalised liposuction aftercare plan provided by your Surgeon at The Harley Medical Group.
The first part of the recovery process is the week following surgery. During this time period, you will need to rest and wear your compression garment as directed. Immediately after surgery, many patients experience mild to moderate discomfort as the local anaesthetic begins to wear off. This will vary according to the size and location of the treated area and whether or not a general anaesthetic was used. If required, an overnight hospital stay will allow your Nurses and Surgeon to monitor your condition and provide appropriate pain relief.
Once you have progressed through the first week of recovery, you will have attended your postoperative follow-up appointment and likely had any stitches removed. It is possible that you will be asked to continue wearing your compression garment throughout the initial months of recovery to maximise fluid drainage and optimise results.
Depending on the nature of your job, you will be able to return to work after 1-2 weeks of recovery, providing that no strenuous activity is involved.
You should continue to avoid strenuous activity and exercise for 4-6 weeks following surgery to prevent trauma to the treated area or reopening of any incisions. However, light activity, including walking, is encouraged early on within the first week to avoid postoperative complications.
Inflammation, or swelling, is an important and expected element of the recovery process. When the body’s tissues are disturbed during liposuction, the surrounding tissues mount a protective response to aid healing and repair. However, you’re probably wondering, ‘when does swelling go down after liposuction?’ Postoperative swelling is usually at its worst during the first week of recovery and will gradually resolve over subsequent months. It is important to recognise that it can take up to 6 months for swelling to subside entirely and for the final liposuction results to be appreciated.
Compression garments are a crucial part of the liposuction recovery process that is often overlooked. By improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to healing tissue, and promoting venous and lymphatic drainage, compression garments help to reduce swelling, aid the healing process and minimise scarring. Compression also provides a helping hand to the skin as it adheres to the new contours of the underlying tissues.
These garments are essential during the initial 3 days following surgery and are strongly encouraged during the initial 4-6 weeks at least. Whilst this might sound daunting and unachievable with traditional compression garments, The Harley Medical Group collaborate with a leading provider of high-quality, handmade medical-grade garments to provide our patients with comfortable, well-fitting options. This allows our patients to incorporate compression into their aftercare in a way that feels less tedious and restrictive.