To ensure optimal long-term results after a liposuction procedure, it is imperative to follow aftercare guidelines, such as keeping your incisions clean and regularly changing your bandages and abstaining from certain activities, especially during the first few weeks. Below are a few suggestions to keep in mind of what not to do after liposuction.
Proper hydration is essential to expel remnants of anesthesia that was administered prior to surgery, as well as to replenish any fluids that may be lost from your incisions. Drinking sufficient water will also facilitate the recovery process and prevent excessive swelling. Some swelling is normal after liposuction, but excessive swelling is not. In addition, avoid drinking alcohol for at least one to two weeks as this causes dehydration. Alcohol also weakens the immune system as it impedes wound healing.
It is important to stay active after surgical procedures, and that involves liposuction as well. Hospitals usually encourage patients to get up and move around after surgery, so it should not be different after a liposuction procedure. Light walking keeps the blood circulating properly and lowers the risk of blood clots. Blood clots, such as a pulmonary embolism, are especially dangerous as they can lead to a blockage if they reach the lungs. Walking a few minutes a few times each day should be sufficient.
Performing intense physical exercise and heavy weight lifting
Although moving around is encouraged, vigorous physical activity is not recommended, nor is heavy weight lifting. Any activity that raises your blood pressure and heart rate is highly discouraged, especially during the first week after liposuction. Intense exercise may cause bleeding from your wound and increases your risk of infection. Any type of surgical procedure puts stress on the body; therefore, rest is necessary to facilitate the healing process. You should abstain from intense exercise for at least four to six weeks following liposuction. After this time, it is essential to exercise on a regular basis to maintain optimal surgery results.
Taking blood-thinning medications
Blood-thinning medications, such as Ibuprofen, before or during the first week after liposuction is not recommended and are never prescribed after surgery as they may cause dangerous bleeding. Tylenol is a safer option. If more potent pain medication, like an opioid, is needed, consult your plastic surgeon for a prescription. You might also receive a prescription for antibiotics to prevent infection.
Taking a long bath
Soaking in a bath or hot tub will need to wait at least four weeks after surgery. Taking a bath too soon may cause you to be more prone to infection, even if your incisions are small. This will only interfere with recuperation. Even if your plastic surgeon applied a waterproof bandage instead of a traditional non-waterproof dressing, you should still refrain from taking a long bath. Moreover, avoid hot showers. It is advised to take quick, warm showers instead. Depending on the liposuction procedure, wearing a compression garment during the first day or two post-surgery might be required, so showering may have to be further delayed.
Forgetting to wear a compression garment
Wearing a compression garment for the first few weeks is strongly recommended by plastic surgeons but is not always strictly followed. Compression garments not only reduce swelling or bruising and increase circulation but also reduce scarring and speed up the recovery process. They are also necessary for the body to acclimate to its new, contoured shape. Moreover, wearing a compression garment as directed by your surgeon reduces the risk of seroma or, in other words, a fluid that frequently occurs post-surgery. When the fat between your skin and muscle is removed during liposuction, the space still remains as the skin does not attach to the muscle right away. Fluid may build up in this space post-surgery, but a compression garment applies pressure, which prevents the fluid from accumulating or disperses any fluid that has already accumulated.
Avoiding a healthy, balanced diet
Although it might be convenient to order fast food take out following liposuction, it is not a good idea. Apart from exercise, adopting a healthy lifestyle is paramount to maintaining liposuction results for not only months but also years. Implementing a well-balanced diet of lean protein, an abundance of diverse vegetables and fruit, as well as whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, and quinoa will not only keep you healthy but will also help you manage your weight at the recommended range. In addition, anti-inflammatory foods packed with nutrition, such as cruciferous vegetables, berries, and walnuts, to name a few, promote optimal recovery. Sugar, simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, white bread, and white rice, as well as sugary drinks like soda and juice, should be limited if not avoided as they are devoid of nutrients and only serve as empty calories.