Follow your plastic surgeon's instructions when heading home after liposuction
16 October 2017

After Liposuction: What You Need to Know When You Get Home

Making the Best of Your Liposuction by Following 5 Steps

You’ve had your liposuction procedure – congratulations. Even though it’s minimally-invasive, making up your mind to have your fat removed was a big decision which most likely was months in the making. Having the procedure behind you is likely to make you feel relieved.

But now that you’re done and back home after liposuction, you’re not quite finished. The results you long for are in your hands from here on out, so it’s important that you follow all the instructions.

1. Ask your liposuction doctor for post-op instructions

Your plastic surgeon will have given you detailed directions before and after your procedure. Make sure that you receive written directions that you can reference when you leave. These should include an emergency contact phone number for after-hours should any concerns arise.

Your instructions will include how to wear your compression garment properly, and when to resume certain activities. You may have been given antibiotics to take for a few days after your procedure; be sure to finish these. They help to prevent any type of infection post operatively. It is recommended to take any antibiotics with food to avoid nausea. You will also typically be allowed to resume any medications your doctor has advised you to stop prior to your procedure.

2. Getting home after liposuction

It is not recommended to plan on driving home after a liposuction procedure unless you were not sedated. You may feel like you are coherent enough to drive, but you are more affected by the local anesthesia or IV sedation than you realize. Make a plan with someone you trust to drive you home. It should be a person that will be able to help you get into your home and get settled. Most plastic surgery centers will have a waiting lounge to allow such persons to pass the time comfortably during your liposuction procedure.

It is not recommended to hire professional drivers or call Uber or a taxi, as these strangers will not be accountable for your safety. Ask a spouse, family member, or friend to accompany you to the doctor on your big day, just like you would if you had your wisdom teeth pulled.

3. At-home care after liposuction

Once home, plan on some lazy time and simply rest. This is a time to spoil yourself! It’s the perfect time to binge on Netflix and catch up on old movies or TV Shows. Don’t overdo it on the first day. Most likely you’ll still be numb from your sedation, and this might tempt you to do too much too early. This could lead to an increase in swelling. You want to make sure that you are moving around regularly, but avoid strenuous activity. It is good to walk around your house every hour to keep your circulation promoted. Stay hydrated, reduce the use of salt, rest, and lightly massage the treated areas. This can help your inflammation to subside. Avoid alcohol for the first 3-4 days, especially if you are taking any type of pain medication.

Most likely you will have more discomfort the day afrer your procedure than the day you came home, because by that time the pain medicine will have worn off. Nevertheless, make sure that on this day you plan to take a walk. Walking promotes circulation, which helps in healing.

4. The best liposuction results require a compression garment

The most important piece of post-op liposuction care is your compression garment. Make sure that you are diligent in wearing this garment. It both protects the areas that you had treated and shapes your body for the best possible results. Wearing your compression garment is absolutely essential. Whatever amount of time suggested by your doctor is the absolute minimum. Do not take any shortcuts!

At NuBody Concepts, we ask our patients to wear their garment for 8 weeks at a minimum. In many cases, 12 weeks are even better. Your body is “remodeling” after liposuction. Even though you probably feel great and can already see your results just a few days after your procedure, there is still more to come. Your skin is reattaching to the muscle since the fat between the two was removed in your procedure. Keeping that area compressed assures that your skin will be as firm and taut as it can be.

5. Resuming exercise after liposuction

Most patients are told to wait about two weeks after their procedure before they resume strenuous activity like working out. Listen to your body; if something is uncomfortable, give it another day before you try it again. Do not try to push through if your body is telling you to stop. Patience is very important while your body heals after liposuction, and exercising rigorously before you’re ready can affect your results.

It is important to understand that liposuction takes a little time to get the best results. Yes, the effect is immediate – you do get to walk out of that doctor’s office several pints of fat lighter. This fat is permanently gone from your body as soon as it is suctioned off. But the healing process requires patience. If you want the best liposuction results, follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions. Take it one day at a time; take pictures along the way to document your progress. You’d be amazed how much fun it is to compare your before and after pictures during this time. Before you know it, it’ll be time to see your plastic surgeon for the scheduled follow-up appointment to wrap up your treatment.

If you follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions, you’ll be poised to achieve the best possible results. And remember, the fat is not just loosened or frozen or massaged. It is permanently gone!