What Should I Do For Reducing Post-lipo Swelling?

Liposuction is a surgical technique devised to remove local fat deposits from the body in a short period. This method is primarily suitable for those with stubborn fat pockets that do not go away with regular diet and exercise. Despite having numerous advantages, lipo surgery has some unpleasant risks and complications which may last for weeks or even months. This article discusses the reasons and treatments for liposuction swelling and answers some of your questions.

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What Should I Do For Reducing Post-lipo Swelling?

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is mainly performed to remove unwanted fat deposits from different body parts. Today, liposuction is performed in different methods. The most efficient types of lipo surgery include tumescent, ultrasound-assisted, laser-assisted, and power-assisted. Tumescent is the most popular technique of this surgery as it is safer and less painful than other methods.

Lipo surgery is mostly done under local anesthesia. After administering anesthesia, the doctor melts the fat deposits by laser, ultrasound, or vibration and then sucks out the fat cells with a cannula suction device. Although outpatient, this surgery involves an incision (to insert the surgical devices) and sutures and requires intensive post-op care.

The most common complications of this surgery are swelling, pain, and scarring. The other risks of liposuction include fluid accumulation under the skin, infection, bruising, change in the sensation of the operated area, damage to blood vessels and nerves, fat embolism, necrosis, skin discoloration, and internal puncture. 

Swelling After Liposuction: Why and When Does It Happen?

Swelling and bruising are the body's natural reactions to trauma and surgery, including liposuction. After lipo surgery, millions of cells are transferred to the operated area to speed up the repair of the damaged tissue. Also, extra fluid may be stuck in the body's tissues which causes inflammation; therefore, swelling is essential to liposuction recovery and helps the tissues and muscles heal faster. Remember that during the first week after this surgery, the swelling is at its highest point, but as time passes, it gradually subsides, and your muscles show up. 

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How to Reduce Swelling After Liposuction?

How to Reduce Swelling After Liposuction?

The majority of liposuction swelling will subside on its own within six to eight weeks following the surgery, but if you want to have a slim body in a shorter time, you should consider the following points:

Wear a compression garment.

A compression garment is a piece of clothing that wraps your operated area tightly. By wearing this garment for four weeks, the sutures will be protected, the swelling will go down faster, and the skin will adjust to the new contour better. During the first two weeks, you must wear a compression garment 24/7, and you are only allowed to take it off when bathing. You can remove it in the next two weeks when you sleep at night. 

Keep the operated area cool.

A cold compress or ice pack three times a day can significantly reduce the swelling and discomfort after the lipo surgery. On the other hand, exposure to heat can increase your swelling and pain; therefore, you need to avoid sunbathing, hot tub, sauna, etc., while recovering from the surgery. 

Eat a healthy diet.

A proper post-lipo diet plays an important role in maintaining the results of your surgery and reducing swelling. While your affected area is still healing, you should reduce the amount of salt intake, avoid having fast foods, add lean protein and fiber to your diet, and take supplements containing iron and other minerals. 

Drink plenty of water.

As mentioned earlier, sodium causes water retention and increases liposuction swelling. However, you can flush out the excess sodium from your system by drinking at least six glasses of water daily. Staying hydrated also improves the function of your kidneys and lymphatic system and prevents infection. Most surgeons and dietarians suggest that men drink 3.7 liters of water while women should have 2.7 liters of it a day.

Get enough rest and avoid strenuous activities.

A regular sleep plan increases your metabolism and helps you have a slim body for the rest of your life. Getting enough rest throughout the day also helps your body save energy to heal faster. So, you should get at least six hours of sleep daily and refrain from strenuous activities such as bending, lifting heavy objects, running, riding a bicycle, and stretching your body for at least two weeks. 

Have a mild, routine exercise plan.

From the second week onwards, your doctor will ask you to establish a mild, routine exercise plan to eliminate the liposuction swelling faster. Walking for 30 minutes and doing light aerobic exercises during the first month of the surgery can improve your contour to a great extent. You can resume your normal exercises from the sixth week after the operation.

Get a manual lymph drainage massage.

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is a kind of massage that initiates with diaphragmatic breathing and continues with slow rhythmical movements of hands on the affected area. This massage improves the function of the lymphatic system and helps you get rid of fluid-based swelling faster. Most patients need this massage three times a week for about four weeks.

Swelling After Liposuction: Why and When Does It Happen?

How Long Does It Take for Swelling to Go Down After Liposuction?

As each body uniquely reacts to lipo surgery, it is hard to specify a certain timetable for its swelling. In general, a large bulk of swelling subsides within four to six months following the operation, but in some cases, it takes up to six months for the inflammation to go down. Following your surgeon's post-op instructions minimizes downtime and improves your final contour.

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FAQs About Swelling After Liposuction

1) When does liposuction swelling peak?

The swelling gradually increases during the first 72 hours after liposuction surgery and remains stable for a few days. The swelling subsides from the first week onwards, and you feel less tightness in the operated area.

2) Why do I look fat after liposuction?

After lipo surgery, many patients complain that they look even more overweight. Remember that the swelling is intense during the first weeks following the surgery, but once it goes down, you can see your body slimmer and firmer.

3) What is the fastest way to reduce swelling after liposuction? 

Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate liposuction swelling right away. The abovementioned methods only reduce the recovery time and help the swelling decrease faster. 

4) What happens if the swelling doesn't go down after liposuction?

Some patients prefer not to take the long road and let the swelling subside at its own pace, which is completely normal and healthy. However, if the swelling does not subside within eight weeks, it may be a sign of kidney dysfunction or severe tissue damage.

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