Proper Body Care After Liposuction

We should be taking care of our bodies even in the slightest way. The earlier we take care of our bodies, the longer we live. However, no matter how we diet and exercise, we can still get stubborn fat. Stubborn fat is fat which may persist despite diet and exercise programs. This type of fat develops because of bad genes and hormonal causes. Stubborn fat has more alpha receptors than beta receptors, making it more resistant to diet and exercise. Fat which contains more alpha receptors cannot be taken away by mere diet and exercise alone. The only way to remove resistant fat is to remove fat cells which are stored in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. One of these methods is liposuction.

Liposuction has various health benefits. First, liposuction can improve our health by lowering elevated blood pressure levels and preventing fat-related diseases such as cancer, obstructive sleep apnea, atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke and arthritis. Liposuction can also boost self-esteem and can shape unwanted curves.

The most common fat removal technique is tumescent liposuction. Tumescent liposuction is done using very dilute lidocaine and epinephrine to shrink the blood vessels. These drugs are then injected into the skin’s subcutaneous fat so that the area will be swollen and firm. The cannula is then applied which then sucks away fat. After the procedure, there may be minimal swelling or bruising on the site and minimal pain. After a short period of time, a patient can resume work.

If you have just undergone liposuction, you may ask: how should you take care of our body? Here are some tips:

Care after Liposuction

After the procedure, expect that there would be bloody fluid that would be drained on your clothes and your sheets for the first 24 to 72 hours after liposuction. This fluid is the same fluid which was administered to you during liposuction (tumescent fluid) to make fat removal and suctioning easier. Just let the fluid drain and keep the site clean.

After liposuction, you may also experience mild bruising especially at the site. You need not panic because this bruising will usually disappear in about 20 to 21 days (three weeks). There may also be swelling on the site. If you think that swelling will be the final body contour results, it’s not. Swelling is normal after the procedure and will subside for some time. Final body contour can be observed at around three to four months.

As to the dressings, their removal will depend on your surgeon’s decision. If your doctor will allow it, you can remove the outer dressings from the site in about 24 to 72 hours after the procedure. The incisions may be open or your doctor may decide to apply stiches on them. In some cases, there would be sterile strips or tapes which will be left in place over the incisions for quite some time. Sterile strips may be left alone because they may fall off on their own or they may also be removed by your doctor during follow-ups.

Your doctor may also allow you to shower or take a bath about 24 hours after the procedure. During shower, you should only run soap and water over the areas and avoid scrubbing. After taking a shower, you may dry the area gently with a clean towel. Do not use non-running water in the site within 2 weeks after the procedure. Non-running water may be in the form of baths, swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, etc.

You should also monitor the incision site for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pus drainage, warmth, pain and foul odor. You may also have fever during an infection. If infection occurs, see your doctor because appropriate antibiotics may be prescribed for you.

Your doctor may also advise you to wear a compression garment at all times. You should do so, and only remove the compression garment when you shower. These compression garments are said to decrease swelling on the site and speed up your recovery. Your doctor will determine when you could stop wearing the compression garment. The compression garment is usually worn for 6 to 8 weeks and may also depend on your doctor’s decision.

Physical Activity

You can begin walking on the night after the surgery. Walk short distances first, such as going to the bathroom, going to the sink etc. Your exercise or walking program needs to be approved by your surgeon and should start during the day right after the surgery. Your doctor will tell you when you should start strenuous exercise.

During the course of recovery, you should wear clothing and use sheets which will be okay for you to get stained. When there is no longer drainage, you can wear any clothing you want, except tight or rubberized clothes that will not allow your skin to “breathe”.

As for when you can return to work, this would depend on the demands of your job. If you usually do office work or light activities, you can go back to work within 7 to 10 days. However, if you are an athlete or someone whose job entails moderately strenuous to heavy work every day, you should ask your surgeon about this. You can resume doing household chores within one week.


Take only pain medications which your doctor will prescribe to you. Avoid taking medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and similar drugs within one to two weeks because these drugs can increase bruising and drainage. Always ask your doctor first on what pain medication to use.

Avoid using hot or cold compresses over the site because it can result to burns or frostbite. Remember that the liposuction site gets numb after the procedure and you cannot feel direct heat or cold on the site. Loss of sensation cannot make you withdraw from hot or cold stimuli, so you will get burns without even feeling them.


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