When patients leave the surgery facility to go home, they are usually groggy for about 12 hours or overnight. That is why it is very important to have someone who can assist you with getting around and taking your medications for at least the first 24 hours.
Make sure that you have all your medications, cold drinks, and towels at your bedside. Most people are nauseated during the first 24-48 hours. To reduce this, we suggest that you take your nausea pill one hour before taking your pain pills or antibiotics. While it is good to drink plenty of liquids, please refrain from drinking plain water or acidic fruit juices because they will make you more nauseated.
Do not be alarmed when blood-tinged tumescent fluid oozes from your incision sites. This is a normal result of liposuction and usually stops within half a day. The surgeon leaves these tiny incisions exposed so that the liquid spills out, thereby minimizing bruising. You should cover your bed to avoid staining from this fluid.
There will be some swelling and some minimal bruising which dissipates five to eight weeks following surgery. Despite this swelling, you will be smaller than your original size. However, you should wait to buy new clothing until your size has stabilized.
Following liposuction surgery, you are placed in a support garment that covers all liposuctioned areas. Do not remove this until your doctor instructs you to do so. We usually have the patient remove their garment and to take a shower after 2 days. The first time that you remove your garment you will feel faint, which is normal. Have someone with you at that time. After your first shower you need to apply Vaseline or heavy lotion all over liposuctioned areas to elevate the itchiness that is caused by the skin-drying effects of liposuction. This is a good time for you to start massaging the liposuctioned areas. You should massage these areas deeply about three times a days for about six weeks. Sometimes, patients whose skin was not firm and elastic will experience dimpling or wrinkling of the skin. These can be eliminated or minimized by massaging and early exercise.
All liposuctioned areas stay numb for four to eight weeks. Massage will help to desensitize your skin in order to avoid hypersensitivity or skin irritation. The most important way that a person can contribute to having a great result is by being meticulous about conducting massage.
Most patients will have ¼ inch incisions that will heal and become for the most part unnoticeable. Patients will also feel a bruise-like or muscle cramp-like pain, particularly in the areas where fat was removed, and which will be addressed through a prescription from your surgeon. Antibiotics are prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.
Patients can hasten their recovery by moving as much as they can, to increase their circulation. Many will find this difficult, but should push themselves to take at least small steps. The walking will reduce your risk of blood clots. It is helpful to elevate the areas where you had liposuction, by placing pillows under those areas. Support garments should be worn 24 hours a day for three weeks, and then during the daytime for the next three weeks. This will help to reduce swelling, and to help shrink the skin.
How Painful Is Liposuction?
Because liposuction only involves the fat beneath the skin, and not entry into the abdominal cavity or cutting or tightening of muscles, most people describe it as feeling like a bad bruise. Others say that you might feel like you do after a heavy workout. For the majority of patients, liposuction is less painful than a C-section, hernia surgery, breast surgery, abdominal surgery or a hysterectomy.
When Can I Resume Work and Exercise?
Most patients can resume normal activities three to seven days following liposuction. You can even resume exercising within that time frame. However, you should resume activity only as is comfortable for you. You will probably be restricted as to lifting, pushing and pulling because your muscles will be bruised. Most patients return to work within a week, or less.
When Can I Resume Sexual Relations?
Liposuction does not hinder your ability to have sexual relations. However, you should resume sexual activity only as you feel comfortable in doing so. The desire to resume having sex varies from patient to patient.
How Will Liposuction Affect My Stamina?
As with any major surgery, liposuction will have an impact on your energy level. While you can resume normal activities within a week, you will experience variations in your stamina, sometimes from day to day. While there will be days when you feel as you did prior to surgery, you will not feel 100 percent yourself consistently in the four to six weeks following surgery. Sometimes you will feel a burst of energy, and sometimes you will feel exhausted, possibly without any warning. You should feel prepared for this ebb and flow in your stamina.
Will Having Liposuction Affect Me Emotionally?
Liposuction is a transformation that not only alters your body, but it also changes your image of yourself, as well. It will also alter the way that others perceive you. You can make the best– or worst of this — as with any life-altering experience.
While achieving their desired figure is exciting for most people, there can also be a difficult adjustment period for patients, significant others and friends.
Sometimes a feeling of guilt accompanies achieving the desired results. Some patients, especially those who have devoted themselves to the needs of others before fulfilling their own needs, feel undeserving, or conflicted about investing in themselves. Many patients suffer due to the puritanical heritage of the United States. Taking steps to improve our looks is often seen as a selfish thing and is thus frowned upon. Issues also stem from our cultures negative attitude towards aging. While other cultures revere the elderly, and the wisdom that accompanies age, our culture maligns the aging process, and any acknowledgment that we are getting older. Therefore, we face the pressure of having to look young in order to remain competitive among our peers.
Unlike women, men who have liposuction are more likely to keep their cosmetic surgery a secret because they are afraid to be perceived as being somehow unmanly to care about their appearance. Liposuction results can also pose a dilemma for spouses and significant others. Sometimes even those who love you will feel threatened by your new attractiveness. Others may feel jealousy.
Other significant emotional changes include depression and mood swings. These can result, both from the feelings described above, as well as chemical imbalances that may accompany the healing process following surgery. These emotions, while normal, should not be ignored and should be shared with your physician. Some patients benefit from having an anti-depressant prescription to ease them through this process.