Post Operative Care Instructions
You should not plan to drive yourself home. It is recommended that you have a responsible adult at home with you on the day of surgery.
If you have had liposuction totally by local anesthesia, you may resume your usual diet immediately. Drink adequate amounts of water, fruit juices or soft drinks to prevent dehydration. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 48 hours before surgery and 48 hours after surgery.
Quiet rest is recommended for the first days immediately after liposuction surgery. Do not drive or operate hazardous machinery for 24 hours after surgery. Do not make any important personal decisions for 24 hours after surgery. Later in the day or evening of surgery you may take a short walk if desired. The day after liposuction surgery you should feel well enough to drive your car and engage in light to moderate physical activities. You may carefully resume exercise and vigorous physical activity 1-2 weeks after surgery. It is suggested that you begin with 25% of your normal workout and then increase your daily activity as tolerated. Most people can return to a desk job within 2-5 days after surgery, although one must expect to be sore and easily fatigued for several days.
Elastic Compression Garments
Post-Op Garments are designed specifically for liposuction. These garments are specifically designed to be used with super-absorbent pads and to provide firm compression to encourage maximum drainage of residual blood-tinged anesthetic solution. Beginning the day after surgery, the post-op garments are to be removed daily to permit you to shower and to wash the garments. Garments or binders should be worn day and night until 24 hours beyond the time when all the drainage has completely stopped. Do not be concerned if you have drainage for several days. Discontinuing the use of the garments and binders too early may result in more prolonged swelling and contour irregularity. Typically, patients will need to wear the garments for 3 to 6 weeks. Some patients, especially after a large amount of liposuction, will have drainage for more than a week. Many patients choose to wear the garments for a greater duration simply because of the comfort the garments provide. Wearing the post-op garment for more than the minimal number of days provides no significant advantage in terms of the ultimate cosmetic results but certainly speeds up the final result.
Dizziness and Fainting
Patients may experience a brief sensation of dizziness the morning after surgery, when the garments are first removed in order to take a shower. Feeling lightheaded is similar to what you might experience when standing-up too quickly. It is the result of rapid decompression of the legs after the post-op garments are removed. Should dizziness occur, simply sit or lie down until it passes. Dizziness may be prevented be removing the outer compression garment 10 minutes before removing the second garment.
Fainting at the Sight of Blood
Some people have a tendency to faint upon the sight of blood. Such persons should anticipate such a problem when removing blood-tinged absorbent pads when changing dressing after liposuction.
Fainting after Urination
A liposuction patient should stand up slowly after urinating. In order to avoid a serious injury from a fall, if dizziness does occur, the patient should sit or lie down on the floor immediately. It is recommended that patients not lock their bathroom door so that someone can come to assist if necessary.
Managing Post-Op Drainage
One should expect blood-tinged anesthetic solution to drain from the small incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours following liposuction. In general, the more drainage there is, the less bruising and swelling there will be. For the first 24 to 48 hours, bulky super-absorbent pads are worn overlying the treated areas, and under the compression garments. After most of the drainage has stopped, patients need only place absorbent pads over the incision sites that continue to drain.
Leaks Are Possible
Leaks beyond the pads can occur. During the first 36 hours, when sitting or lying down, you should place absorbent terrycloth towels beneath you in order to protect your furniture from any unexpected leak of blood-tinged drainage. When there is a large amount of drainage, it is advisable to place a plastic sheet beneath the towel.
Wound Care & Bathing
Keep incisions clean. Shower once or twice daily. First wash your hands, then wash incisions gently with soap and water; afterwards gently pat incisions dry with a clean towel. Apply new absorbent pads. When an incision has ceased draining for more than 24 hours, it no longer needs to covered by pads.
Do NOT apply ice-packs or a heating pad directly to skin overlying the areas treated by liposuction.
Do NOT soak in a bath or swimming pool for at least 7 days after surgery in order to minimize the risk of infection.
Nausea and vomiting are among the side effects that may be associated with liposuction. Nausea can be caused by antibiotics, lorazepam, or local anesthesia.
Menstrual irregularities may occur for a month or so after liposuction. Premature or delayed onset of monthly menstruation is a possible side effect of any significant surgery.
Slight temperature elevation during the first 48 hours after surgery is a natural consequence of the body’s reaction to surgical trauma.
Inflammation, swelling, and soreness are expected consequences of liposuction. Two 500mg Paracetamol should be taken every 4 hours while awake for the first 48 hours to reduce postoperative soreness and inflammation. Discomfort and soreness is worse the second and third day after surgery, then improves daily. Swelling is orst from day 3 to day 7 or even longer.
Avoid Aspirin and Ibuprofen
For 3 days after surgery do not take aspirin or ibuprofen or similar NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) NSAIDS also depress the immune response to infection by impairing white blood cell function.
Bruising is very common with liposuction. The more extensive the liposuction surgery, the more bruising one can expect. Some patients have more of a tendency to bruise than others.
Pain and Swelling
Pain and swelling due to an inflammatory reaction to surgical trauma may occur and increase 5 to 10 days after surgery. Notify your surgeon if there is a dramatic increase in pain or swelling.
Itching of the treated areas several days after surgery may occur as part of the normal healing process. To help relieve the itching, you may try taking antihistamines as directed on the packaging. Be aware that antihistamines may cause drowsiness.
If you have any concerns following your surgery then please get in touch. We are available in office hours or there is always someone available at the hospital outside office hours. Usually a picture will tell the story and so if you’re happy to include one then that will certainly help us give you the best advice.