AFTER LIPOSUCTION INSTRUCTIONS
Going Home: You must have someone drive you home after your surgery. It is strongly rec-ommended that you have someone spend the first 24 hours with you. Resume your usualdiet and drink plenty of water and juices.
Pain: You may experience some soreness after your procedure but should not have anysignificant pain. You can take extra strength Tylenol, 2 every 4-6 hours as needed. For amore restful sleep, you can take Benadryl 50mg.
Activities: Quiet rest is recommended immediately after surgery. After surgery, do not driveor operate hazardous machinery the rest of the day. Do not make any important personaldecisions for 24 hours after surgery. Later in the day or evening you are welcome to take ashort walk if desired. The day after liposuction you should feel well enough to drive your carand engage in light to moderate physical activities. You may carefully resume exercise andvigorous physical activity 2 to 4 days after surgery. It is suggested that you begin with 25%of your normal workout and then increase your activity daily as tolerated. Most people canreturn to a desk job within one to two days after surgery, although one must expect to besore and easily fatigued for several days.
Garment: After liposuction, a garment is worn to hold the absorbent pads in place and toprovide mild compression that encourages the drainage of the blood-tinged anesthetic solu-tion. Do not remove the garment until the morning after surgery to take a shower. Whenthe garment is first removed, you may experience a brief sensation of dizziness. Feelinglightheaded is similar to what you might experience when standing up too quickly. Shoulddizziness occur, simply sit or lie down until it passes. Dizziness may be prevented by remov-ing the garment slowly.
Beginning the day after surgery, the garment should be removed daily to permit you toshower and to wash the garment. The garment and binders should be worn day and nightplus an additional 2 to 3 weeks after the drainage has stopped. This is usually about threedays. Discontinuing the use of the garment and binders early may result in more prolongeddrainage. Because of the comfort it provides, many patients will wear their elastic garmentlonger than 2-3 weeks. Wearing the post-op garment for more than the minimal number ofdays is of no significant advantage in terms of the ultimate cosmetic results, however, somepatients wear the garment for additional days or weeks because of the comfort the supportprovides.
You should expect a large volume of blood-tinged anesthetic solution to drain from the smallincisions during the first 24 to 48 hours. In general, the more drainage there is, the lessbruising and swelling there will be. For the first 24 to 36 hours, bulky absorbent dressingsare worn under the garment. After most of the drainage has stopped, you need only placethin absorbent gauze dressings over the incision sites that continue to drain.
Wound Care and Bathing: Keep your dressings and incisions clean. You may remove thedressings 24 hours after surgery to shower unless you have been instructed not to do so.
Shower once or twice daily. First wash your hands, then wash incisions gently with soap andwater. Afterwards, gently pat incisions dry with a clean towel and apply a dollop of vaselineto each incision. Apply new absorbent dressings until incisions have stopped draining.
DO NOT apply ice-packs or a heating pad to skin over the treated areas.
DO NOT apply hydrogen peroxide or plastic Band-Aids to incision sites.
DO NOT soak in a bath tub or take a sit down bath for 10 days.
DO NOT get in a Jacuzzi, swimming pool, lake or ocean for 10 days.
Do not expose the skin incisions to sun or tanning beds for 1 month. Wear a SPF 30 on theincision sites after they have healed.
Bruising: Bruising is minimal with the tumescent technique but some is to be expected. Itwill resolve with time. More serious bleeding may result in hematoma formation that willcause pain greater than usual. Small hematomas will be absorbed. Large ones may haveto be aspirated or drained.
Swelling and lumpiness: Swelling due to the inflammatory reaction that occurs with all typesof surgery will most likely occur and will take several weeks to fully resolve. Small lumps andbulges will improve with time and massaging these areas will help.
Numbness and itching: You will likely experience sensations of pin pricking, crawling, itchingand numbness that usually disappears after a few weeks. Itching of the treated areas forseveral days after surgery is common. To help relieve this, you may try taking Benadryl.
Slight temperature elevation during the first 48 hours after surgery is a natural consequenceof the body’s reaction to surgery.
Scars: Incisions will be red, pink, or reddish purple for 3 to 12 months but will generally fadeout. Some people, for genetic or inherited reasons, may develop thick, wide, depressed orelevated scars. Your previous experience with scars should be an indication of how you willheal.
Post-operative asymmetry: Some asymmetry and small bulges may occur from edema orswelling. It usually improves after 3 months. If it doesn’t, small areas may be treated underlocal anesthesia in the office.
Washed-out feeling or fatigue: This can occur from loss or shift of large quantities of bodyfluid containing salt and other electrolytes that is the result of fat removal, surgical stress,and anesthesia. Drinking a large quantity of fluids before and after your surgery will helpavoid this.
Pigmentation: The skin may appear darkened from blood pigmentation. It will usually lightenin six months to one year. Avoid sun exposure without sun block.
Skin Changes: With improved techniques and instruments, sagging, wrinkles, waviness,and dimpling of the skin have become mush less common. Skin that is tight and firmbefore surgery, will probably remain about the same. Loose, sagging skin before surgerymay tighten up a bit, but often remains loose. Indentation due to excess fat removal is apossibility, but extreme care is taken to try and avoid removing too much fat. If this occurs,it may require fat transfer.
Be careful to not wear really tight clothing or belts around the waist if this area was liposuc-tioned until most of the swelling has resolved and the area is near healed.
Psychological response: You may experience some post-operative depression or “let down”which can occur after many types of operations and this is a natural phase for some peo-ple. Remember the healing phase may take several months. Feel free to discuss your sur-gery openly with your family and friends, who often don’t understand the benefits of lipo-suction and the necessary healing time. They may make uninformed comments, which cancreate emotional conflicts and put doubts in your mind about the surgery. Reassure themthat you alone elected to have the surgery to improve your self-image and well being. Relyon Dr. Bigelow and her staff to tell you how you are progressing.
It is important to keep all of your planned post-operative office appointments. Your first post-operative visit will be in 10 days. You will then have appointments at 6 weeks, 3 monthsand 6 months unless you have a need to be seen at some other time.
Please keep these instructions on hand for reference
until you are completely healed from your procedure.
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