Liposuction recovery is a smooth process for most patients. Following liposuction surgery, you will awaken in the operating room and then will be transported to the recovery area. You may still be sleepy at this time, and therefore you will be observed during this period until you are fully alert. Most patients receive a small amount of pain medication during this time as well.
Once you are completely awake, you will be transported to another recovery area where you will be given something to eat prior to discharge. When you are able to tolerate food and are able to move with little assistance, you will be discharged home. You must have a responsible adult available to escort you out of the surgery center.
When you return home, you should take a nap for 2-3 hours. Most of the narcotic medication which you received during surgery will have worn off by this time, so you should have little to no nausea when you awaken. Dr. Naidu recommends that you stay up for the remainder of the day, and perform regular activities at home which do not require strenuous activity. While the tendency is to completely limit movement and stay in bed, gentle activity during this early period will facilitate your recovery. Aerobic and sexual activity should be limited for 2 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within 2-3 days.
You will need to be seen in the office 2-3 days after surgery, at which time you will be evaluated for any unusual swelling or bruising. Bruising at the sites of treatment may be present for 2-3 weeks. You may experience mild pain and soreness for 2-3 days after surgery; most patients discontinue their pain medication after the second day following surgery. If you notice sudden swelling, severe pain, redness, drainage, or a fever, you should contact the office immediately for evaluation.
Walking is permitted the day of surgery, but strenuous activity is limited for 2 weeks following surgery. Swelling will be present for the initial 2-3 months after surgery, and the final results are typically seen 3-6 months after surgery. The scars will continue to fade and soften for up to one year following surgery.