Sunday, October 25, 2009

What to expect after routine liposuction: What is normal?


i had lipo to my hips and back area 4 days ago. i was really surprised that i had no drainage from the lipo. i went home an hour after surgery.

i was expecting drainage from the lipo. i had nothing! not one drop. is that normal? i do have severe bruising. i also weighed myself, i now weigh more than before my surgery. is all this normal?


After routine liposuction, it is normal to expect the following signs and symptoms:

1. Bruising - despite the use of "tumescent" solution, some bruising is normal. This will take 2-3 weeks to resolve.

2. Swelling - most MDs recommend the use of compression garments that help keep the swelling under control and feel protective while you are swollen. You can expect to wear your garment for up to 6 weeks.

3. Water retention - seen as weight gain. Stop weighing yourself! Give yourself at least 6 weeks for the majority of the initial surgical swelling and water retention to be processed by your kidneys, and to be eliminated.

4. Fatigue - you will not feel like yourself for at least a few weeks after liposuction. Your body is busy recovering from surgery; you will not have the usual energy to perform all your usual activities during the daytime. Ensure you have some helpers to assist with your activities of daily living, child care, house work, tasks around the home, etc. Be sure to take as much time as you realistically need off work!

In addition, as long as the amount of tumescent solution injected was approximately at a 1:1 ratio to the fat removed (known as the "superwet" technique), you will not likely drain from the incisions. Most Plastic Surgeons perform this technique, as it enables accurate evaluation of how much was is being removed during surgery, enables a smooth contour, and avoids blood loss during the procedure.

Get some rest and remember that any surgery is an "injury". You need to allow your body to heal, and to deliver the building blocks needed for healing in the form of healthy nutrition, lots of restful sleep, and a positive attitude.

Happy healing!
Karen M. Horton, MD, MSc, FRCSC