Liposuction Post-Op Care Patient Q&A

Here are frequently asked questions and answers for patients of the New York Group for Plastic Surgery following liposuction:

Q: How long do I need to wear a compression garment?

A: We typically recommend wearing the garment you are placed in at the time of surgery for 2 weeks. Then you may switch into a SPANX type garment, to be worn for 4-6 weeks. The more compliant you are wearing the compression garment, the better your results will be.

Q: When can I begin exercising?

A: You may walk at any point, but strenuous exercise where you may raise your blood pressure should not be done for 1 week. After that period, you may begin to work up to your prior exercise routine without restrictions.

Q: Is it normal to have an increase in swelling after I exercise?

A: Yes. Once you return to work (where you are on your feet more than you were immediately post-op) or return to exercise, you can experience an increase in swelling. Keep wearing your garment and the swelling will resolve with time. Normal swelling after liposuction usually takes 6-8 weeks to completely resolve.

Q: What can I do to optimize my results?

A: Avoid high salt foods and high fatty foods for the first month after surgery. If you can lose 1-3 lbs after liposuction, your results are optimal. Be compliant with your compression garments!! Apply gentle massage to the area(s) of liposuction daily with any type of lotion and this will stimulate the lymphatics and help resolve swelling quicker.

Q: The areas I had liposuction over feel numb or hypersensitive, is this normal?

A: Yes. Changes in sensation right after surgery are very common. You may experience numbness or tingling or may be extra sensitive. Either way, the areas will return to baseline sensation within 3-6 months. Gentle massage can help nerves regain normal sensation.

Q: When can I begin using scar treatment remedies like Mederma or silicone scar sheeting?

A: We recommend that you begin this type of treatment once the scar has fully healed and this is typically around 2 weeks after surgery. You may purchase Mederma at any pharmacy and silicone scar sheeting is available for purchase at our office or online. Scar treatment remedies are best used for 6-8 weeks after surgery.

Q: How long does it take for bruising to resolve?

A: Bruising takes about 2 full weeks to completely resolve. After about 6-7 days, the bruising will turn from a purplish color to a more green/yellow; this will then fade by 2 weeks.

Q: When can I drive?

A: You may drive when you are off pain medication and can safely and comfortably maneuver the car; this is typically 3-5 days after surgery.

Q: When can I travel?

A: You may travel 2 weeks after surgery.

Q: When can I get in a pool, submerge in a bathtub or go to the beach?

A: You may be submerged in water at 2 weeks post-op as long as you don’t have any open wounds. It’s best to wait for 1 month before going in hot tubs because they typically harbor more bacteria than pools.