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Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck

Liposuction Recovery Timeline

By Lloyd G. Van Wyck, M.D. on July 08, 2016

A woman's body with lines and arrows drawn on itSometimes no amount of diet and exercise can get rid of fat from trouble spots such as the abdomen, thighs, upper arms, and neck. If you've worked hard to achieve a sculpted appearance but haven't seen the success you desire, liposuction may be able to help. Liposuction treatment can target unwanted fatty lumps and bulges throughout the body to create a beautifully contoured and streamlined appearance. Liposuction is a surgical procedure and requires time for recovery after treatment. To receive your personalized liposuction recovery timeline, schedule a consultation with Ottawa, ON plastic surgeon Lloyd Van Wyck.

The First Few Days of Recovery

Although each liposuction recovery is unique to the individual and will vary based on the extent of treatment along with personal healing times, there are some general things to expect during recovery. During the first few days after liposuction, it is common to feel some soreness, mild discomfort, and swelling. Many surgeons recommend wearing a compression garment and applying ice packs near the treated area to help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort. Pain medication is commonly prescribed to help manage any pain or discomfort.

Some patients are recovered enough to return to work after a few days. However, all patients should stick to light activity for a minimum of two weeks after surgery. After three to four days, patients are encouraged to take light walks to reduce the risk of blood clots, which can form as a result of prolonged bed rest, and help blood circulation, necessary for healing.

The First Few Weeks of Recovery

After the first few days of recovery and during the next three weeks, it's important for patients to properly care for their incisions and watch for any signs of infection or other complications. Infection may be marked by increased redness, swelling, severe pain, or foul smelling discharge. If any signs of infection are observed, patients should inform their doctor immediately.

Most patients will be well enough to return to their normal activities two weeks after treatment, but should speak to their doctor before beginning any rigorous or strenuous activity. Additionally, patients should continue wearing compression garments to help reduce swelling and support the tissues while they heal.

The Next Several Months

Bruising should resolve after about a month of recovery and the majority of swelling should diminish around this time. It's important to note that during the first few weeks of recovery, many patients will not be able to see the full results of treatment. This is because it can take several months for swelling to completely resolve and several months for the newly loose skin to adjust to it's new contours.

After about four weeks, many patients will be healed enough to stop wearing compression garments and to resume strenuous activity. As healing continues over the next several months, the skin should begin to tighten in the treatment area. Patients will see some immediate results from surgery, but full slimming results may take three to six months to completely develop.  

Schedule a Consultation

For more information about liposuction and what to expect during recovery, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wyck.

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