Woman's Hips Liposuction
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The Recovery Process

What is the recovery time?

Being an outpatient procedure, tumescent liposuction does not require hospitalization. Patients are usually groggy for the first 12 hours after the surgery, and it is important to have someone assist you with moving around and getting medications for the first 24 hours. Conventional liposuction patients only need pain relief up to 24 hours often minimal and consist of oral painkillers.

When will be the final results evident?

Swelling and minimal bruising should be gone after 5-8 weeks. Most patients will have quarter inch incisions that will heal and become mostly unnoticeable. Do not mistake the swelling for an increase in body size.

What should you expect during recovery?

Most patients experience nausea during the first 24-48 hours, and it is recommended that you take a nausea pill one hour before taking pain pills or prescribed antibiotics. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid plain water or acidic fruit juices because they make you feel more nauseated.

You may see blood-tinged tumescent fluid drain from your incision sites, which is a normal part of recovery so that bruising is minimized. This should stop within 12 hours.

Pain (similar to that of a bruise, heavy workout or muscle cramp) in the areas that fat was removed can be managed by prescription painkillers from your surgeon. You should be able to resume extraneous activities or exercise about two weeks after the liposuction procedure as long as you feel comfortable. You may be restricted in movement for the first few weeks due to muscle bruising. Most patients can return to work within a week.

Your energy level will be affected by the liposuction, as it is a major surgery procedure. You will experience various stamina levels throughout recovery, and you may not feel 100% for the first 4-6 weeks seen in occasional bursts of energy and feelings of exhaustion.

Liposuctioned areas will be numb for 4-8 weeks, which can be improved by massaging the spots with your fingertips deeply for 10-20 minutes three times a day for about six weeks.
After the liposuction procedure, the doctor will place you in a support garment that covers all affected areas. This is to reduce swelling and shrink the skin. Keep the garment straight to lessen dimpling of suctioned areas.

For how long should the garment be worn?

The garments should be worn 24 hours a day for three weeks, and then during the day for the next three weeks. The garment should not too constrictive but should be tight enough to give support. Make sure not to remove the garment until your doctor tells you to. Most patients can remove the garment and shower after about two days. Do not use hot water while showering.

You may feel faint after removing the garment for the first time, which is normal, so have someone there to help you. After the first shower, you need to use petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) or heavy lotion on all liposuctioned areas to reduce itchiness that is caused by the liposuction's skin-drying effect.

What are the Doctor's Recommendations? (Tips to Follow)

  • Make arrangements for a family member or responsible adult to take you home following surgery. You should have someone stay with you and assist you for the first 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Rest as needed the day of and the day following the procedure.
  • Walking around will help your circulation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid plain water or acidic fruit juices because they make you feel more nauseated. Be sure you are urinating light-colored urine every 4-6 hours.
  • Most patients experience nausea during the first 24-48 hours, and it is recommended that you take a nausea pill one hour before taking pain pills or antibiotics.
  • Avoid eating greasy or acidic foods to minimize the risk of nausea.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level (finger-stick or other methods) if you are diabetic three times a day for the first 2 days.
  • You may see blood-tinged tumescent fluid drain from your incision sites, which is a normal part of recovery so that bruising is minimized. This should stop within 12 hours.
  • After the liposuction procedure, the doctor will place you in a support garment that covers all affected areas to reduce swelling and shrink the skin. Keep the garment straight to lessen dimpling of suctioned areas.
  • Massage liposuctioned areas with your fingertips deeply for 10-20 minutes three times a day for about six weeks to desensitize your skin to avoid hypersensitivity, skin irritation, dimpling or wrinkling.
  • The garments should be worn 24 hours a day for three weeks, and then during the day for the next three weeks. The garment should not too constrictive but should be tight enough to give support.
  • You can remove the garment to shower, but avoid hot water while showering.
  • You should be able to resume extraneous activities or exercise about two weeks after the liposuction procedure as long as you feel comfortable.
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