Post Operative Care: Liposuction
COMPRESSION GARMENT: If you have had suction of your knees, thighs, hips, or abdomen, Dr. Zubowski will have put a compression garment on you at the end of surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You should not remove this garment at all until the second or third day after surgery. After that, feel free to remove the garment temporarily for laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom.
ICE PACKS: A significant amount of bruising accompanies liposculpture. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. After liposculpture of the abdomen, it is not uncommon for the groin and genitalia to become markedly swollen and bruised. Do not be alarmed! The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks. Ice packs will help the discomfort and swelling.
SHOWERING AND BATHING: You may shower or bathe the day after surgery.
TAPING: Dr. Zubowski may decide to cover some or all of your suctioned areas with elastic tape or adhesive foam. On the third or fourth day after surgery, you may peel these off in the shower or bath. This is easier than taking them off “dry.”
MASSAGE: If you so desire, feel free to have a gentle massage during your post-operative course.
POST-OPERATIVE VISITS: We will wish to examine you 3 or 4 days after surgery, once the tape or foam has been removed. Your stitches will need to be removed about 1 week after surgery.
EXPOSURE TO LIGHT: Protect the bruised areas from sun until the bruising fades completely.
ACTIVITY: You may start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living, as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2-3 weeks.
AS YOU HEAL
BRUISING AND SWELLING: Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas and usually increase slightly after the removal of any tape or foam. The bruising will decrease over 3-4 weeks, but may last as long as 6 weeks. The swelling, on the other hand, takes as long as 6-9 months to disappear completely, although you should see vast improvement within 1 month. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed.
NUMBNESS: Scattered numbness in the suctioned areas occurs occasionally and will disappear within a few weeks.
LUMPINESS: As you heal, the suctioned areas may feel “lumpy” and irregular. This, too, decreases with time, and massaging those areas will hasten their softening.
ACTIVITIES: If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause pain. Wait at least 3 weeks to begin aerobic exercise.