While there are now some ways to “lose” fat cells from just about any part of the body, liposuction remains the most efficient solution available. This body-sculpting procedure is performed in the office using minimal sedation and meticulous technique. The inclusion of laser technology aids in the end-result, including an expedited recovery. Still, something that patients should expect after liposuction is swelling; and this is an interesting side effect that isn’t likely to occur in the way you might expect.
Swelling isn’t there and gone.
When we think of post-surgical swelling, we tend to imagine a linear path to healing. As tissues recover from the disruption of liposuction, the appearance of the surgical site should progressively improve. This is the case, for the most part; but there is a caveat, and you should know about it. Swelling after liposuction does improve in a somewhat linear manner. You won’t go from less swelling to obviously bad swelling. However, you may notice that, as you start moving more, swelling “returns.” This is only a result of increased circulation and fluid movement, which should be eased with elevation.
Swelling takes it’s good, sweet time.
As anxious as you may be to see the ultimate, final result of liposuction, your body will do what it needs to do, and that means it will take all the time it needs to recover fully. Swelling is fortunately relatively short-lived regarding the most noticeable appearance. For the full extent of swelling to dissipate, though, can take up to a year.
Compression: make friends with it.
In the first weeks after liposuction, when swelling is most prominent, it is your compression garment that will provide you with the most relief. Compression is gentle and yet efficient at supporting tissue that has been agitated through the liposuction procedure.
Liposuction and post-surgical swelling go hand in hand; that’s just a natural pairing, there. However, there are several ways in which this procedure and the post-op instructions provided aim to minimize the various side effects of surgery. Using compression as needed, and easing back into physical activity (beyond walking) are two easy and efficient ways to manage swelling and comfort after liposuction.
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Do you have questions? We’re happy to schedule an appointment for you at our Plastic Surgery office in New York City, call (212) 472-2900 today!