Most of our patients describe post-liposuction discomfort as soreness rather than painful – much as if you went to the gym and worked out really hard. We typically send patients home with several medicines after their procedure to help with any discomfort or soreness you may experience.
You can expect to have some bruising and swelling following your procedure, but it should be mild. If possible, you should keep the treated area elevated when you’re at rest, but we do want you to get up and take short walks frequently after your procedure. This will help reduce the soreness and promote good circulation to help prevent blood clots and speed healing. Moving around will help you stay positive, too.
You can also expect to have a significant amount of drainage following your liposuction procedure. This is perfectly normal and will usually stop after two to three days. The majority of this drainage is the remaining tumescent fluid we use during the procedure that does not get removed at the time of the liposuction. There is almost always more than you will expect. We will remind you of this several times before and after your procedure to give you peace of mind that it is normal.
While bruising usually goes away within a week, swelling will last longer. A small amount of residual swelling may remain up to four months after your procedure. However, about 75% of the swelling is usually resolved within four to six weeks. You will have to wear an elasticized compression garment for a specified period of time depending on the specifics of your procedure. This supports your skin and underlying tissues while they are healing and helps reduce swelling.
You will see some immediate improvement after your procedure, but as the swelling continues to resolve, your results will become more visible. Arnika (a.k.a. bromoline) is a great herbal supplement to help speed the resolution of bruising and swelling and is available for purchase at our office, if desired. If Renuvion skin tightening is added to your liposuction procedure, full results from the skin tightening will be apparent at nine months after your procedure.
Your incisions will heal completely in 2-3 weeks. Because Dr. Harris makes only very small incisions to perform liposuction (and uses those same incisions to perform Renuvion, if that’s part of your procedure), you will have minimal scarring. Dr. Harris takes great care in this regard as well as in the details of your liposuction/sculpting procedure itself, because he understands your ultimate goal is great-looking results.
You should be able to return to your normal routine within a few days, depending on the type and extent of liposuction performed. However, you will have to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting for several weeks to give your body plenty of time to fully heal with the best possible results. While the recovery even for large areas is pretty short, smaller areas of liposuction such as arms, thighs and the neck are even shorter. We have had many patients who have gone shopping or even out to dinner that same night.
The timeframe for recovery is always a bit different for every patient because every person and procedure is different. At Image Surgical Arts, we do everything we can to make your recovery process as fast and smooth as possible and to provide you with the best experience possible.
The most important thing you can do to ensure a speedy, comfortable recovery is to follow doctor’s orders! Everything we ask you to do – or not do – is specifically designed to enhance your recovery. We will give you written instructions to take home for post-operative care, and our team will go over those with you before you leave. And, of course, we are always available to answer questions or address any concerns you may have.