Liposuction is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed around the world. This fat-reducing technique helps adults of all ages achieve a slimmer, more sculpted physique. If you are considering liposuction to eliminate stubborn fat, you probably have at least a few questions about what happens afterward. Will the fat grow back? Will fat accumulate elsewhere? What is recovery like? We’ll cover all that here.
What Happens Immediately After Surgery?
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure but that doesn’t mean patients stand right up off the operating table and drive themselves home. Depending on the extent of fat-reduction desired, liposuction may be performed with general anesthesia. Some procedures are performed with anesthetic injections in the treatment area and sedation. Either way, patients usually spend a short time in a recovery area where staff can observe them as the anesthesia wears off. Then, patients are released to a loved one who will see them home. Someone should stay with the patient for the first day of their recovery.
What Happens in the First Few Weeks after Surgery?
Patients may take prescription pain medication for at least a couple of days after surgery. The area may feel sore and tender. The compression garment applied right after surgery helps with swelling and also protects the area from accidental bumps. Beginning as soon as is comfortable, patients are encouraged to walk. At first, this may be around the room, then around the house, then the neighborhood. There is no rush to resume strenuous activity. For now, the focus is on rest and hydration.
After the first week of recovery, many patients are ready to go back to work. Minor swelling and soreness may persist but are easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication. More rigorous physical activity may resume around two weeks after surgery, but strenuous exercise should wait about a month.
What about Results?
Liposuction can remove a significant amount of fat, resulting in a more sculpted body for the person who is already near their ideal weight. Do not expect to weigh less after liposuction but do expect to love your new look. Over time, the tiny incisions made for the procedure fade. A scar cream may be helpful. Liposuction is designed only to eliminate fat, not to tighten the skin. Patients with poor skin elasticity may be advised to combine liposuction with some type of lift. For example, the results of abdominal liposuction can be enhanced with a tummy tuck.
As for fat growing back, it doesn’t. Liposuction permanently removes unwanted fat cells. With good lifestyle habits that maintain a stable weight, patients can expect to enjoy lasting results from their liposuction procedure.