As an Orange County liposuction surgeon, many patients ask about the recovery period.
Depending on the patient, the area and amount of liposuction required, the procedure may be performed in the office under local anesthesia. In other cases, the procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center using general anesthesia.
After liposuction, the patient wears his/her compression garment, depending on the area of procedure. For the abdomen, a binder is used. For the inner and outer thigh, a “biker” type garment is worn. Other areas have their own type of garment. The purpose of the garment is to minimize swelling, and to allow the skin to retract properly to the underlying tissue.
The patient is seen 24-48 hours after surgery. The areas are inspected to make sure there is no bleeding or infection and that the compression garments are fitting properly.
The next visit is one week after surgery. At this visit, the sutures (if placed) are removed. At this time there may be bruising in some or all areas of liposuction, which will resolve in the next few weeks. There will also be swelling. It is important for the patient to realize during the first three months it will difficult to asses the final result due to swelling. The final shape realistically begins after three months. The patient is instructed to continue wearing the garment and to avoid any exercise or activity which will move the area of liposuction.
The patient returns for his/her one month follow-up. If the healing process is proceeding normally, the patient may start exercising. The garment may or may not be worn at this time.
At the three month follow-up, the swelling has improved dramatically and the final contour is beginning to show. In some patients, the swelling may take longer to resolve.
The six month follow-up has arrived! By this time, the swelling is resolved and the final shape has been reached. It is very common to have areas of numbness where liposuction was performed. The numbness may take up to one year or longer to completely resolve.
Liposuction typically removes 85% of fat cells from the area. This means out of every 100 fat cells, 15 remain. Therefore, liposuction is not a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
This is a typical recovery for a patient undergoing liposuction surgery. Not every one will have the same experience and, rarely, complications do occur.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 10 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call (714) 834-0101.
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