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What affects liposuction recovery?

The good news is that recovery from liposuction surgery has markedly improved over the years.  The widespread use of local, tumescent anesthesia has not only decreased liposuction recovery time, but has also made it safer, faster and less expensive.  Tumescent anesthesia involves the injection of a dilute saline lidocaine solution into the fat layer before the procedure.  This solution provides anesthesia and prevents bleeding.   As the solution expands the fat layer, it also moves nerves, blood vessels and other tissues out-of-the-way.  As a result, there is less trauma to these structures as the fat is removed and liposuction recovery is improved.  Plus, at the end of the procedure you are numb and back on your feet immediately.

liposuction recovery

Other factors affecting liposuction recovery include overall health prior to the procedure, duration and intensity of the procedure and individual variations in pain tolerance.  Some of these factors can be controlled, like being in good shape, but some are out of your control.

So what is liposuction recovery time?

The great thing about liposuction is that at the end of the case you will see the fat that has been removed from your body.  You know that your results are going to eventually be there.  It is at this point that the liposuction recovery period begins.  The areas where the fat has been removed now have empty space.  Your body doesn’t like empty space and begins to fill them with fluid, causing swelling.  This swelling begins in the first 48 hours after the procedure and will last for weeks to months.  The good news is that your body will remove this swelling on its own.  While we wait for this, we help the process by wearing a compression garment, doing daily massage and moving our muscles with exercise.  We also allow you to drain the anesthesia from your body for several days to further speed your recovery.  Everyday the swelling will resolve and your new sleeker shape will become evident.

The other concern after liposuction is pain.  The tumescent anesthesia will provide from 8-12 hours of anesthesia after the procedure.  It also wears off gradually and most patients report a mild to moderate soreness at this point.   Pain medication is provided in case it’s needed, but the need for refills is rare.  Bruising is another concern.  Tumescent anesthesia contains epinephrine that constricts blood vessels and prevents bleeding.  The combination of the epinephrine and moving the blood vessels out-of-the-way, makes bruising relatively rare.  However some patients tend to bruise more than others.   The good thing is that bruising always resolves on its own.

Liposuction recovery timeline.

During the first 1-2 days after surgery you will be very thin, moderately sore and little swelling.  You will drain from some of the lower incisions for 1-2 days.  Between days 1-2 the swelling will increase and the pain begins to diminish.   Most patients return to work and normal activity after 2 days (some sooner!). Over the next several weeks to months, you will be wearing a compression garment as the swelling subsides.  Pain is usually absent and is replaced by some isolated areas of sensitivity and numbness.  At the 4-6 week mark, much of the swelling has subsided and skin has tightened and we get an idea of your results.  Final results take 3-6 months as you fully recovery.

liposuction recovery

Liposuction recovery tips.

There are several things you can do to improve your liposuction recovery time.  Choose a liposuction surgeon who is experienced at performing liposuction totally under tumescent anesthesia.  As discussed above the advantages for speedy recovery with local anesthesia are unmatched.  Eliminating the recovery after general anesthesia further accelerates your recovery.   You should also go into the procedure as strong and as healthy as possible.  The healthier you are, the faster your liposuction recovery will be.  It is also important to follow your post liposuction instructions carefully.  This means wearing your compression garment, performing daily massage and moving your body.  The faster you get back into the full swing of things, the faster you will recover.

Smart Lipo Recovery Time.

Smart Lipo or Smartlipo, entails the use of a laser during liposuction.  The smart lipo laser will help to melt fat and tighten skin.  In terms of recovery, smart lipo can reduce recovery time by allowing less trauma from liposuction as well as cauterizing blood vessels, reducing bruising.

Chin Liposuction Recovery Time.

Chin or neck liposuction recovery time is significantly improved over other body areas.  We tend to use more smartlipo laser in this area, causing less trauma.  The chin and neck have a great blood supply and healing is faster.  We can usually remove the compression garment in the first week and swelling subsides quickly.

Click here to find out more about Smartlipo Laser Liposuction.

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