Recommendations to Help Speed Up Your Liposuction Recovery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, liposuction is one of the top five most-performed cosmetic surgeries for both men and women. The procedure’s popularity stems from its success at targeting stubborn fat deposits for removal to sculpt a more streamlined and toned physique. As an invasive surgical procedure, recovering from liposuction takes time, and what you do during your recovery can help speed up the process and ensure optimal results.
The cosmetic surgeons—Drs. Paul Gardner, Leo Baccaro, Mark Walsh, and Andrew Bonett—at Naples Plastic Surgery have extensive experience performing liposuction surgery for their southwest Florida-area patients. Their surgical finesse and body contouring artistry help them provide stellar results for their patients. Still, the surgeons note that patients can help secure the most successful outcomes by diligently following recovery period recommendations after surgery. Not only does adherence to these recommendations help enhance results but it also speeds recovery. And these recommendations are equally applicable to male liposuction patients.
Healthy Eating Ensures the Best Recovery
The old saying that “you are what you eat” may not be exactly correct, but what you consume after a major surgery like liposuction certainly influences how you heal. Your diet will also affect the long-term success of your liposuction. Not only will processed foods loaded with simple carbohydrates, sugars, and excess sodium do little to aid your recovery, but they also cause inflammation, which hinders healing. And over the longer-term, processed foods can start to rebuild up the fat deposits the liposuction removed.
Instead, base your diet on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables, and include food items with known anti-inflammation properties. Your body will use lean protein to help repair tissues damaged by the surgery, while fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support the healing process. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties help control the inflammation your body experiences as part of the healing process. Along with reducing the stress inflammation causes to the body, anti-inflammatory food items, such as the ones listed below, can help reduce pain:
- Salmon, mackerel, and all fatty fish
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
A crucial part of a healthy diet to promote optimal healing is making sure to stay hydrated! A properly hydrated body ensures that your blood can deliver plenty of oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues and is instrumental in helping develop scar tissue that will fade over time.
Wear the Compression Garments as Directed
After your surgery, you will be provided with compression garments designed to reduce swelling and help with body contouring. Even if you find them uncomfortable, you need to keep them on because swelling impedes the healing process by restricting the flow of healing nutrients to the site and the removal of waste products from it. Additionally, garments help maneuver the remaining fat cells into a natural-looking position for the best contours. Patients who prematurely remove them may compromise the aesthetic outcome.
Get Moving When Able but Restrict Exercise
While liposuction patients typically need to rest for one to two weeks after the procedure, they should begin moving as soon as they feel capable. Movement encourages healing blood flow and helps desensitize nerves, easing pain and speeding up recovery. You might not want to move much initially, but even on the first day after surgery you should begin walking around your home several times a day, for a few minutes at a time. That said, to prevent potential complications, your surgeon will suggest that you refrain from any strenuous activity, including exercise, for at least three to six weeks.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
If you smoked tobacco products, your surgeon undoubtedly encouraged you to quit at least 6 weeks before the surgery. As likely explained, nicotine in tobacco impedes blood flows to the skin, which can compromise the surgery by increasing the trauma to the skin caused by the procedure’s incisions. Now that your skin is healing, you want to continue ensuring that the surgical site receives as much blood flow as possible, so now is not the time to resume your habit.
You should also avoid alcohol consumption because it causes dehydration (see healthy eating recommendation) and can affect healthy scarring.
Avoid Blood Thinners
As you’ve undoubtedly surmised by this point, proper blood flow to the surgical site is critical for fast, effective healing. Along with proper flows, you want to make sure your blood is robust by avoiding blood thinners, which can encourage bruising, hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. Thinned blood oozes into soft tissues and promotes an inflammatory response, which causes more bruising and pain while hindering recovery. Blood thinners you should avoid include fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids found in supplements and multivitamins, and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Lymphatic Drainage Messages
Your surgeon may recommend lymphatic drainage (LD) massages for a few weeks after your surgery. LD massages are light massages that help mobilize a remove fluid from swelling after liposuction. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but becomes more comfortable with each treatment. These massages help speed up healing and further improve your contour to optimize aesthetic results. Naples Plastic Surgery has identified several excellent providers in Southwest Florida, so we can help you find a massage therapist closer to your home.
Focus on Your Posture
Particularly with liposuction of the abdomen, it is very important to focus on your posture and keeping your back straight during your recovery period. Slouching tends to cause creases across the abdomen, which can scar down and cause suboptimal cosmetic results. Keeping your abdominal skin extended will help achieve a flat and naturally contoured abdomen.
Contact Naples Plastic Surgery for Any Post-Op Questions
If you’re considering undergoing liposuction or have any questions about post-operation recovery, one of our surgeons would be glad to talk to you. As recognized liposuction experts in southwest Florida, Naples Plastic Surgery can tailor liposuction surgery and recovery that can help restore your youthful physique and boost self-confidence. To learn more, contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.