After liposuction surgery, there is a period of time where the patient will need to wear a compression garment to assist in their recovery.
What Is A Liposuction Compression Garment?
The liposuction procedure generally takes between one and three hours, after which time the patient is able to go home wearing a compression garment. This garment is designed to make the patient comfortable, decrease swelling, and help shape the areas which have been contoured. It is basically a girdle made of stretchy, elastic material which places targeted areas under compression.
Compression garments should be worn up to between three and six weeks after the procedure. The garments should only be removed for showering (which the patient is safe to do two to three days after the procedure). After the patient stops wearing the compression garment, the physician may recommend lighter garments be worn for some more weeks.
The patient will need to visit the doctor’s office several times after the surgery to assess how their recovery is going. The first visit should be about four to five days after the liposuction procedure. During subsequent visits, the doctor will advise the patient when it is safe to stop wearing the compression garment, which will be based on the patient’s recovery. In general, this will relate to the degree of liposuction performed, how many areas were targeted and how much fat was removed.
How Long is the Liposuction Recovery Period Likely to Take?
The recovery after modern liposuction procedures is not too bad. Most people can go back to work within a few days of having the procedure. It is recommended that people return to regular exercise within one to two weeks after having liposuction (during exercise patients may notice a tight, slightly annoying feeling in the area where the procedure was done, but there should be no excessive discomfort). Naturally, patients should continue to wear their compression garments for exercise, and should not over exert themselves or engage in anything too strenuous until the physician advises them that it’s safe to do so.
Liposuction patients who engage in a regular exercise routine after surgery often have better results from their surgery than those who don’t. This is because exercise helps to mobilize the fat and fluid that remains, and may even help the patient lose a little extra weight. Patients who do exercise tend to be the most happy with the results of their liposuction surgery.
For any scarring (which will be quite minimal due to the size of cannulas used in modern liposuction), scar treatment could include tape, topical vitamin E, or a medication such as Mederma or Scarguard.
How Long Until The Patient is Completely Healed?
Patients may experience different levels of pain after a liposuction procedure. Doctors will generally prescribe an antibiotic to ward off potential infection, and a pain medication for the first few days after the procedure. Swelling may remain between two weeks and two months or more, so again, it is very variable for different patients. These differences are generally related to the extent of the liposuction procedure, how much of the body was operated on and how much fat was removed.
It generally takes between one and six months before the body has healed completely and the final results are visible, so a degree of patience is required. In order to achieve a faster recovery, it is important that patients maintain high levels of hydration, avoid alcohol as long as possible, keep their compression garments on for the recommended time and avoid bathing or swimming for at least a week after the procedure.