Liposuction recovery protocols have undergone significant changes over the last decade. The advent of ultrasound assisted liposuction has not only transformed outcomes but also required major revisions in postoperative recovery. Ultrasound assisted liposuction converts solid fat into a fluid state. As such much more fat can be removed that previously possible with traditional liposuction techniques. In addition, the retained, liquid fat is able to smoothly settle postoperatively thus avoiding contour irregularities. One of the secrets to obtaining smooth results is the regimented liposuction recovery protocol. All of our liposuction patients must commit to a minimum of 5 lymphatic messages that are performed over the first week to 10 days following surgery.
This liposuction recovery regimen ensures optimal settling of the liquid fat and prevents contour irregularities. Lymphatic messages last 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the extent of body contouring performed. The lymphatic messages include a 10 minute ultrasound of the nodal basin to stimulate lymphatic flow and then strategic lymphatic messages that literally drain any liquefied fat either to the nodal basins or to drains that are kept in place for the first week. Optimizing liposuction recovery also requires use of customized compression garments with individually fitted foam in-lays. Patients are asked to wear these compression garments around the clock over the first two weeks in an attempt to avoid undue swelling.
Finally, liposuction recovery urges patients to return to physical activity no later than three weeks following surgery. Earlier return to the gym is encouraged if patients feel comfortable working out as early as two weeks.
This 39 year old male demonstrates excellent abdomen and flanks contouring results even at one month when his postoperative liposuction recovery photographs were taken.
A 45-year-old female following HD liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, back, scar revision of the abdomen, abdominal flap advancement, mini tummy tuck, and fat grafting to the breast and buttocks.