There are several components to answering this question, so we thought it would be a good idea to summarize the most common points that help our patients make the decision about when it would be a good time to schedule the procedure. And just like anything else, good planning leads to a good outcome, so make sure you have the practical facts about what the recovery will be like and how it will influence your daily schedule before you sign up.
Keep reading to learn the details of the liposuction recovery period.
Here is a list of the most common points of discussion that we have with our liposuction patients, both men and women:
- SORENESS. You can expect to be pretty sore for the first 2-3 days after liposuction, especially in the back, love handle, and thigh areas. The fat is particularly dense in those areas and takes a slightly more aggressive treatment to get rid of it effectively. The soreness is usually not severe enough to require anything beyond a strong anti-inflammatory medication though, and it usually calms down around the 4th day after the procedure.
- BACK TO WORK. Most of our patients can go back to work on the 3rd or 4th day after the procedure, but this depends on how much physical activity is required on the job. If your job doesn’t require any strenuous activity at all, you may even be able to go back sooner than the 4th day as long as you’re prepared to deal with the soreness during the time you’re there. If your job is a physically active one, it’s a good idea to take a week off so that the soreness won’t interfere with your activity and performance.
- BACK TO THE GYM. It’s best to take 7-10 days off from the gym. Going back to exercise too early will lead to additional swelling that will only prolong the overall recovery and your final result. If you take it easy and apply plenty of ice in the first week after the procedure, you’ll find that you’ll start to see results a lot sooner than if you are constantly active during the first week and gain a lot of unnecessary swelling.
- COMPRESSION GARMENT. A high quality compression garment is a MUST for at least 6 weeks after liposuction. Without a garment, the swelling will quickly get out of control and will take much longer to resolve. The garment also provides a uniform pressure to all of the surgical areas that shapes them into the contour that you want, and guides the skin to heal in a pleasing way without ripples or wrinkles. The compression garment is just as important (and maybe a little more important) than the procedure itself, so don’t skimp on the quality or on actually wearing it.
- FINAL RESULT. The final, final result after liposuction comes at around one year after surgery, but the majority of that healing takes places within the first 3-4 months. Most before and after photos are taken around the 3 month mark because this is usually the first time that a significant change is noticeable. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any difference in the mirror immediately after the procedure. That’s not how liposuction works. It takes several months for the swelling to begin to resolve, and this is why it’s SO important to wear your compression garment continuously, and ice as much as possible during the first week. The more swelling that accumulates in the first week, the longer your recovery period will be.
If you have any questions about liposuction, or if you would like to schedule a personal consultation, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 917-703-7069 or click here to send us a message through our website.Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon New York
Photo Credit: Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery LLC