Liposuction Post-Op Care Initial Recovery Expectations

For your liposuction procedure, your surgeon administers an initial anesthetic, then makes small, inconspicuous incisions near the treatment area through which the excess fat is suctioned out with a small, hollow tube called a cannula. The time required to perform your procedure depends on the size and number of areas being treated and the volume of fat being removed.

After your procedure, treated areas may be swollen, bruised, and sore. You may need to wear compression wraps for a few weeks to minimize swelling and optimize your new body contour. Most patients are ready to return to light activity, including work, within 3 to 5 days, but you will need to avoid strenuous activity for at least 3 weeks.

Surgeons and staff of the New York Group for Plastic Surgery are here to support you after a liposuction procedure. The following instructions and guidelines will help your recovery process:

• During surgery, you will be placed in a garment to provide support and compression. Underneath the garment you will notice clear adhesive tape with gauze applied to the incision areas to help absorb some of the drainage, along with additional gauze underneath the garment. You may experience mild to moderate drainage from the incision sites that may leak through the dressings. This is a combination of the liposuction solution and a small amount of blood, which is why it may look red in color. You may want to put some type of towel of absorbent pad underneath you so that no drainage soils your furniture. The drainage will slowly decrease and should completely reside within a few days.

• You may shower the day after surgery. Prior to showering: Remove the garment, discard any loose gauze and leave the clear adhesive tape on. Shower, reapply gauze if necessary, and reapply the garment. It is OK if the clear adhesive tape falls off prior to your first post-op appointment.

• You may also remove the garment for laundering, as it may become soiled due to drainage. Other than laundering and showering, you must wear the garment at all times for several weeks after surgery.

• If you do not have gauze at home you may substitute it with a maxi-pad, which works nicely because the sticky side will stick to the garment.

• We want you to avoid straining or any aerobic activities. The doctor will give you clearance to increase your activity according to the progress of your recovery.