Recovering from Surgery
Most people are required to wear some type of compression garment or bandage after the procedure. This provides support to the treatment area, reinforces your body's new shape, and minimizes swelling. Dr. Schweitzer will let you know how long you will need to wear your compression garment. Talk to him about how long you should expect to take off from work, which is sometimes dependent on what you do for a living and what area of your body you are having done. In Dr. Schweitzer's experience over 90% patients undergoing a liposuction procedure feel that they are able to return to school or work 48 hours after the procedure.
In addition to wearing the compression garment, there are some key things you can do to further aid the healing process after tumescent liposuction:
- Activity - Rest for the next 12 hours. Dizziness after the procedure can persist for a day or two. If you feel dizzy, make sure to move slowly and be careful. Do not shower until the day after the procedure after you have moved around a little bit and are sure you do not feel dizzy. We highly recommend placing a chair or a stool in the shower so you can sit comfortably. This is critically important if you have ANY dizziness symptoms as falling in the shower can be dangerous. Shower with soap and water as usual. It is highly advised to have an adult with you during the first 24 hours to assist you if you experience dizziness and to help you change your dressings. The day after your procedure we recommend you take a walk for up to a mile with someone accompanying you. Progress your exercise as you tolerate it. If you experience fatigue or an increase in discomfort after exercise, you are probably overdoing it. As you heal, exercise is essential for increasing blood flow and a good result.
- Garments, Dressings- The garment must be worn as much as possible for the first 7 days. Compression created by the garment is the most important thing after your procedure. Take your garment off only to shower or change the dressing. Remember, wearing the garment is more important than trying to stay dry so do not attempt too many frequent dressing changes. To change the dressings, simply take off the wet ones and use the sanitary pads or the dressings provided by the nurse and apply over incision sites. Use extra padding in these areas. Chin support garments are worn 24 hours per day for 2 days.
- Massage - Start massage today. This can be done over the dressings and the garment you are wearing. We recommend firm downward pressure to the treated areas three times a day, 3-5 minutes per area. It is very important to a smooth recovery that you eliminate as much of the remaining fluid as possible. Massage should continue for several weeks after your procedure.
- Diet - Resume normal diet unless you experience nausea. Often the nausea can be a result of medication. Try to eat small amounts of food frequently while you are taking these medications. Persistent nausea and vomiting should be reported to Dr. Schweitzer immediately. Avoid caffeine for the next 24 hours. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
- Clean the incision sites with soap and water. We do not recommend soaking in a tub until the incisions are totally scabbed over.
- Itching is normal. Do not pick or scratch at the incision sites. You may take Benadryl for itching.
- Avoid sun tanning until bruising and incision sites have completely healed and faded.
- Remember, the goal of any kind of liposuction is improvement and not perfection. The first two weeks patients often look worse. At about 14 to 17 days the healing and the new shape starts to appear. You need to be patient. When Dr. Schweitzer sees you back before 6 weeks, it is not to see your final result but rather to make sure you are feeling well and to answer any questions you may have.
Tumescent liposuction is a very safe and effective procedure. Taking sensible precautions during the first 48 hours will help you to further minimize the risk of complications down the road.
If you would like to meet with Dr. Schweitzer to discuss any of our liposuction procedures, email us or call us at 316-448-1818 to schedule a consultation.