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 and bruising. Dr. Hall will let you know how long you will need to wear your compression garment or bandage. In addition, the length of time for recovery will depend on the location and amount of treatment. Talk to him about how long you should expect to take off from work, refrain from exercising or performing tasks that require physical exertion. In Dr. Hall’s experience over 80% of his patients return to work in 48 hours.
In addition to wearing the compression garments as prescribed, there are some key things you can do to further aid the healing process after tumescent liposuction:
1. Activity– Rest for the next 12 hours. Dizziness after the procedure can persist as long as 5 days. Move slowly and be careful. You may shower 6 hours after the procedure. We highly recommend placing a chair or a stool in the shower so you can sit comfortably. You may shower with any remaining Hibiclens or Betadine. It is very important 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.
2. Garments, Dressings– The garment must be worn as much as possible for the first 7 days. After that it is good to purchase a lighter support garment or body shaper from a local department store to be worn during activity for 1 more week. 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 and then nightly through the next 10 days.
3. 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 7 days after your procedure.
4. 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. Hall immediately. Avoid caffeine for the next 24 hours. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
5. Clean the incision sites with soap and water and use the remaining Betadine that you purchased. We do not recommend soaking in a tub until the incisions are totally scabbed over.
6. Itching is normal. Do not pick or scratch at the incision sites. You may take Benadryl for itching.
7. You may experience a mild depression for several weeks after the surgery.
8. Avoid suntanning until bruising and incision sites have completely healed and faded.
9. Remember, the goal 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. Hall sees you back in one week for a follow up it is only to look at the incision sites and not to look at the results of the areas treated.
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. Hall to discuss tumescent liposuction and the results you can expect, e-mail Infini Cosmetic Associates to schedule a consultation.