Liposuction is one of the most popular procedures in the field of plastic surgery. In 2013 alone, almost 200,000 liposuction procedures have been done in both men and women in the US. More and more people are undergoing liposuction to get rid of their excess body fat that regular exercise and a healthy diet cannot remove.

The average downtime for people to have undergone liposuction is 7-10 days. After this, patients can already go to work and do other normal activities. To achieve the best results of liposuction and to have a fast recovery, here are some helpful tips:

1) Minimize excessive movement for the first few days.
After your surgery, expect to see your body swelling. The swelling will go down after a week so it is recommended that during the first week, you must avoid strenuous movements. Refrain from doing heavy activities such as exercise and heavy lifting. Doing such may cause swelling longer and bruising.

2) Wear compression garments.
Compression garments help maximize the results of liposuction. It aids in the improvement of your new body’s contour. It also reduces excessive swelling and bruising. Wear compression garments for at least 3 weeks. Keep it snug – not too tight and not too loose.

3) Do not smoke and drink while in the recovery process.
If your doctor did not allow you to smoke or drink before liposuction, this will continue 2-3 weeks after your surgery. Oxygen in your body is consumed by nicotine products – whereas your body needs it for faster healing of the skin. It can also cause you coughing which may lead to excessive bleeding. Alcoholic beverages may interfere with your medications and may cause bleeding as well.

4) Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications are off limits.
It is not advisable to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications when you are in the recovery process. Taking such to relieve pain may increase the risk of bleeding complications. Also, it impairs the body’s white blood cells – cells in the immune system essential for faster healing of the wounds.

5) Perform light exercises such as walking.
While resting is essential for healing, it is also important to move around lightly. Walking – not running – can help reduce swelling significantly. It also prevents blood from clotting in your lower extremities. As soon as you gauge yourself and feel like you can move better, go for a walk.

6) Keep your incisions clean.
Instructions regarding how your incisions should be cleaned would depend on your doctor. It is recommended to take a shower once or twice every day. Make sure to wash your hands before cleaning the incisions. Soap and water can be used in cleaning the wounds. Some doctors recommend the use of hydrogen peroxide. Change your dressings every time the absorbent pads are full.

7) Be present during your post-operative check-ups.
Aside from the obligatory meeting for removing sutures, it is a must for patients to attend their check-ups, as your doctor requires. It is a way of doctors to keep track of your progress. You can make inquiries regarding your recovery during these meetings which can prevent complications from happening.

Looking for a plastic surgeon? Check out the directory of plastic surgeons here.

Dr Patrick Hsu

Dr. Patrick Hsu is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Microsurgeon in Houston, offers aesthetic, reconstructive, and plastic surgery at Memorial Plastic Surgery. Follow him on Google+

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