Liposuction has been a common cosmetic procedure for many years. Since its inception, the procedure has morphed right along with the development of innovative technologies, such as tumescence or ultrasound. These changes have made the surgical removal of fat a gentler, more creative process. Still, swelling is pretty much a given. Post-operative swelling is not a black-and-white issue that you either have or don’t have (you will have it); it varies. Here’s what you need to know.
Swelling may be minimal one day, and more noticeable the next.
Generally speaking, the swelling will gradually subside. This is how patients expect their recovery to go. Then, they start to get back into a normal routine and, out of the blue, they wonder if their swelling has gotten worse. Noticing an increase, rather than a decrease, in swelling can sound the alarms in your head. Don’t panic. There is a reason for this.
Swelling will vary as you become more active. Sometimes, the swelling will be more noticeable when you are at rest. Here’s an example. When your arms are at rest by your side, fluid may linger somewhat as you heal from liposuction of the upper arms. Elevating your arms for a short time can reduce this temporary symptom.
Liposuction Swelling Timeline
It will take months for swelling to go away completely.
The good news is that the majority of decrease takes place in the first two weeks after liposuction. From that time on, you may experience the “up and down” days as you resume normal exercise and get back into a normal workday routine.
How To Reduce Swelling After Liposuction
Ah! The Value of Compression!
Compression garments are the normal fashion after liposuction, at least for a few weeks. The benefit of compression is improved support for soft tissues, and also the management of swelling. If drains are placed, they may also be stabilized to some degree by the comfortable compression against the surgical site.
Take it Slow
Swelling is as much of concern for patients as discomfort and bruising. Liposuction is an advantageous procedure that can give you the contours you have been missing. However, remember that tissue disruption does occur, and this means you need to be extra-kind to your body for as long as necessary to ensure that healing is not obstructed by too-strong a desire to “get back to it” regarding exercise.