Liposuction After Care Instructions

After surgery, it is important for you to have someone available to stay with you for the first 24-48 hours, as you will be weak and drowsy. You may require help the first few times you get out of bed.

  • It is important to be walking early and frequently, move your legs and ankles when in bed. Keep legs elevated, when in bed, for the first 2-3 days. Please don’t cross your legs as this can increase the risk for blood clots.
  • Please take deep breaths frequently to keep your lungs clear (15-20 per time).
  • A light diet is best for the day of surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to soups or jello. You may start a regular diet the next day.
  • Most people experience muscle soreness as opposed to sharp pains for about 5-7 days after surgery. The pain medication and muscle relaxant we have prescribed should relieve your discomfort. You may take the pain medication every 3-4 hours as needed for the first 2-3 days after the surgery for pain and/or discomfort. You may take the Xanax every 8 hours for the first 24/48 hours for anxiety. It is best to take pain medication with crackers, jello etc. Do not drink alcohol while taking pain medication.
  • It is important to refrain from strenuous activities for 3 weeks after surgery. Keep the heart rate below 100 beats per minute. Gradually work to pre-surgical activities beginning slowly at the 2nd week.
  • The girdle must be worn AT ALL TIMES for TWO WEEKS. You may remove the girdle beginning on the 3rd day before showering. Be sure that someone helps you remove the girdle the first time you take it off. Some people feel dizziness/light headed when the girdle comes off. This is normal. Sit or lay down for about 20 minutes BEFORE you shower.
  • You can put the girdle in the washer and dryer while you are showering and then put it back on in 1-2 hours. You then wear the girdle at night for two weeks. Many patients continue to wear the garment for comfort. If you wish you may purchase a second full length Lycra girdle without zippers at a department store to wear for comfort.
  • The body retains fluids in response to surgery so do not expect to see any immediate weight loss for the first 2-3 weeks. IN the long run you will see more of a change in the way your clothes fit than a decrease in pounds.
  • Swelling and bruising are a normal expectation following surgery. Bruising could be apparent for as long as 3-4 months afterwards. The bruises will move down your body as they are absorbed.
  • Massage to the surgical sites will help increase circulation and alleviate the hardness felt underneath the skin. Massage can begin 2 weeks after surgery. Request a Swedish lymphatic massage therapist.
  • It is normal to have an itching sensation and/or numbness following surgery in the areas that underwent liposuction. This will gradually subside over the next 2-3 months.

General Instructions

  1. Avoid strenuous activity and lifting of objects heavier than 10 pounds for 3 weeks (keep heart rate less than 100 beats per minute).
  2. All incisions will be extremely sensitive to sunlight during the healing phase. Direct sun contact is to be avoided and use a sunscreen with SPF 20 or greater for at least 6 months that has both UVA and UVB protection.
  3. Please take all medication carefully and as directed.
  4. If you have nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath or diarrhea after taking your medications, call the office at 573-882-2275 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours, call 573-882-4141 and ask for the plastic surgery resident on call.
  5. If you develop a fever (oral temperature of greater than 101) redness, or increased pain at the surgical incisions, please call immediately.
  6. Some of my patients wear their compression garment for longer than 2 weeks and then wear a compression girdle with extra-support pantyhose thereafter.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can be beneficial following liposuction surgery beginning 3-4 weeks after the procedure. Suggested therapy is 2-3 times per week for 3-4 weeks. This allows for enhanced lymph drainage and for enhanced resolution of the swelling associated with liposuction. We also recommend circular massages with vitamin E oil and external ultrasound heat therapy as needed.