For decades liposuction has been a popular go-to treatment for unwanted or diet- and exercise-resistant fat present in the body. These can be either a postpartum belly or bulges around the back, flanks and inner thighs that are difficult to remove with exercise and diet alone. Liposuction can provide dramatic results within weeks. However, it is an invasive surgical procedure that causes trauma to the body resulting in soreness, swelling, bruising, and pain. Hence, it is crucial to incorporate a post liposuction plan after the procedure to get your body back up to speed. I’ve got you covered with my post liposuction care guide.
What is Liposuction?
Liposuction has been around since the 1980s and is generally used in the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, back, arms, neck, and chin. It is also known as liposculpture suction, suction-assisted lipectomy, or lipo. Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery aiming to improve physical appearance; it is not a weight-loss method. It works by inserting under the skin a hollow instrument called a cannula that breaks up fat cells and sucks them out of the body. The cannula is attached to a powerful high-pressure vacuum that performs the suction.
It’s important for liposuction patients to be in good overall health. Certain conditions such as restricted blood flow, diabetes, coronary artery disease, or a weak immune system could complicate the surgery. Furthermore, individuals considering liposuction should be within 30% of their ideal weight. Liposuction works best if the candidate has good skin tone and elasticity that can easily mold into new contours. (1)
What Are The Types Of Liposuction?
Depending on the area in question, and your goals in utilizing liposuction, the surgeon chooses the best technique for the task at hand. Although there are a few different liposuction techniques, they all use a cannula connected to a vacuum to suck fat out of the body. The most used techniques are:
Tumescent Liposuction. This technique is the most commonly used. The surgeon injects a sterile solution composed of saltwater that helps fat removal, lidocaine anesthetic to relieve pain, and epinephrine, a drug that causes blood vessels to constrict. This mixture eases the fat suction process, reducing the pain and loss of blood.
Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction (UAL). Often combined with traditional liposuction, it uses a metal rod that sends ultrasonic energy under the skin. These sound waves liquify the fat cells allowing them to be removed easily. A new generation of ultrasound-assisted liposuction called VASER-assisted liposuction is available to improve contouring and reduce the possibility of skin injuries.
Laser-assisted Liposuction (LAL). Also known as SmartLipo, it uses laser light to produce a burst of energy to break down fat for easy removal. The surgeon inserts a laser fiber through a small incision and mashes fat deposits for this procedure. Afterward, the fat is removed by using the cannula.
Power-assisted liposuction (PAL). In this method, the cannula motions back and forth rapidly. Thanks to the vibration, fat can be removed easily and quickly. The PAL technique can also reduce pain and swelling, allowing the surgeon to remove more fat precisely. This technique is recommended when large amounts of fat need to be extracted or if the patient had liposuction before. (2)
After the liposuction procedure comes the recovery phase, which occurs in stages:
- Right after surgery, the individual will be placed in a custom-made compression garment to put pressure on the liposuction areas. Initially, the garment is not uncomfortable, thanks to the anesthetic used.
- The patient will be transferred to the recovery room, where their vital signs, including blood pressure and oxygen levels, will be checked. Also, the doctor will check for any symptoms of nausea or dizziness.
- Post-surgery, a few hours later, when the anesthetic starts to wear off is when some moderate discomfort may show up. The amount the soreness experienced depends on the area treated. It is often recommended the patient stay overnight at the hospital to be monitored for possible dehydration or fluid changes.
- 3 to 5 days post-surgery, the doctor will see you, remove the garments and check on the incisions. The compression garment needs to be worn 24 hours, and it’s important to move every two hours to prevent blood clots.
- 5 to 7 days post-surgery, you can return to work.
- For the first two weeks, doctors recommend performing a gentle massage in the affected areas to disperse accumulated fluids.
- After four to six weeks, you can go back to physical activities such as exercise, and the compression garment is worn 12 hours a day.
- After three months, you will see the swelling markedly decrease, although a complete recovery can take up to 10 months.
Liposuction Healing Program
It is essential to keep in mind that the results of any plastic surgery procedure will not be noticeable instantly. On the contrary, the body can swell and increase in size right after the procedure. In the recovery phase of plastic surgery, it is essential to minimize fluid retention. Proper care is crucial to attaining better results and speeding up healing. That is why I created an 18 week surgical recovery guide that you can use in your liposuction recovery process. To decrease swelling and aid your healing process, I recommend you focus on two main areas: topical healing and internal healing.
Topical Healing From Liposuction
As part of your topical healing, I recommend using T-Relief Gel, a homeopathic mix of medicinal plant-based active ingredients such as arnica, calendula, and echinacea. T-Relief Gel is free of perfumes, petrolatum, parabens and can be used safely on any area of the body to reduce bruising, swelling, and pain.
Another step in your topical healing is implementing lymphatic drainage through dry skin brushing. Here, you can download your free guide explaining the process of dry skin brushing step by step. You can start with dry skin brushing a week after the surgery, just do it very softly. This will also help alleviate the itchiness of the skin from the liposuction. Remember to use a natural bristle brush like this one.
Internal Healing From Liposuction
As part of your internal healing protocol, use Lymph Stim, which is ideal for post-surgical use. It helps to reduce swelling and fluid retention by helping the lymphatic system, disrupted due to the liposuction, to heal faster. Another aspect of the post-surgical internal healing is dealing with pain. After the surgery, you will be given pain medication for a short period. However, CBD oil can be an excellent alternative to treat post-surgical pain without using pharmaceutical narcotics.
Remember that the recovery process varies for everyone. Nevertheless, it is vital to help your body deal with swelling and pain to help it recover faster. You can do it naturally, with these tips. Want to learn more? My monthly newsletter has everything important for you to incorporate into your daily, weekly and monthly routines to maximize your energy and optimize your longevity. Sign up for monthly news here.