After Surgery Instructions: Liposuction

After Surgery Instructions: Liposuction

Post-Procedure Instructions: Liposuction

Medications and Diet: All of the medications you have been prescribed are very important. Please read all the directions below carefully, and call us if you have any questions. REMEMBER TO EAT BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR MEDICATION.

CELEBREX (200mg)- Take one tablet by mouth every 12 hours for the first 72 hours and then continue as needed.
GABAPENTIN (100mg)- Take one tablet by mouth every 12 hours for the first 72 hours only.
ULTRACET If prescribed (37.5 mg TRAMADOL/ 325mg ACETOMINOPHEN) -Take 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. When you have finished the Ultracet or you don't need it anymore, you can take Tylenol instead.  You can start taking Tylenol 6 hours after your last dose of Ultracet.
This is your pain medication that is taken as needed only for pain.  You should try to cut back on your pain medication three days after surgery to avoid nausea and constipation. Please note that per DEA regulations, we are unable to refill this prescription. Please call us if you are experiencing more pain than is covered by the medications provided. You may need to get additional pain medication from your primary care provider. You should try to wean off the Ultracet to acetaminophen alone (Tylenol) as soon as possible after the surgery.
ZOFRAN (Ondansetron 8mg)- Place one tablet under the tongue on the day of surgery and then used as needed every 8 hours after surgery if you have nausea
This is a very potent anti-nausea medication that will prevent nausea after your surgery.  It is placed under the tongue and dissolves immediately.
FLEXERIL (Cyclobenzaprine 10mg)-Take one tablet by mouth every 8 hours as needed for muscle spasms. You should take this medication every 8 hours after surgery for the first two days, then as needed, and at night before you go to bed.
MILK OF MAGNESIA (OTC LAXATIVE)-12 OZ bottle- Take 1 tablespoon in one dose to help relieve constipation as needed.  The maximum dose is 4 Tablespoons in 24 Hours.
You can stop it once your bowel habits return to normal.
BOIRON PELLETS (Arnica Montana – herbal medication used for swelling) - Dissolve 5 pellets in the mouth 3 times a day for 5 days.  Use until finished.

Activity: You should refrain from high impact activity and limit your day to day activities to support your healing. Have someone help you to go to the bathroom and take a shower. For the first two days, you should stay at home as much as possible and only go out for emergencies. Don’t drive for the first couple of days if it hurts or if you are on pain medication or taking the muscle relaxant.

Dressings: leave everything alone for 36 hours. After 36 hours, take off the garment, netting and gauze. Leave the steristrips (small white tapes) in place over your incision, if you have them. After this you can take a shower. After the shower, put on the garment again (make sure the seams are facing the outside), directly over the steristrips. If you don’t have steristips, pat dry and put the garment on directly. You do not need to put gauze on your incisions unless they are draining. Do NOT start using the scar stick or brown tape yet, we will instruct you on this after your one-week appointment.

Showering: After 36 hours, then pat dry. Do not take tub baths or get in a Jacuzzi or pool.

Diet: For the first few days, eat only soups and bland food that are easy on your stomach. Start eating only in small quantities.

Drainage: A large amount of drainage from all of the incisions is NORMAL. It will look red, and may concern you because it looks like you are bleeding. This is the fluid that we inject prior to liposuction to soften the fat. Allow it to drain out (the shower is a good place to massage it out). For the first couple of days you may want to sleep on a towel or old sheets.

Normal Things: It is normal for you to be swollen, look strange, be numb, and have electric shocks of pain. There will be some hard areas and lumps. The bruising may travel to different areas of your body. Please be patient with all of this for a few months, and it will all go away. Depression and mood swings are common too. Remind yourself that everything will be better soon.

Appointment: Please remember your one-week appointment. This is a very important appointment to keep.

Questions: During business hours, please call our office at 844-595-1959

Post-Procedure: After The First Week

Ok to shower ONLY for the next one month. Do not take baths or get into Jacuzzis, swimming pools, the ocean or lakes.

Ok to walk or do a low setting on the treadmill, elliptical machine, etc. after two weeks. Do not do any heavy lifting, running, or upper body exercises for one month. After one month, it is important to begin a strict diet and exercise program to maintain your results.

Wear brown tape on incisions. Change it every few days. Also massage the scars as much as possible. You can use the vitamin E over the brown tape.

You may have some fluid coming from the incisions. This is normal and will stop in a few days.

Wear the garment as close to 23 hours a day as possible for the next one month. Ok to remove it to shower. You may purchase another one if you would like to have a spare, but get the stage 2 garment, which is more comfortable.

You may notice some stitches in the incision, and these will fall out by themselves within two weeks.

If you notice some lumpiness, massage these areas. Start Endermologie and Vivite Daily Firming Lotion after one month.

Swelling and bruising will take up to 6 months to a year to go away. Please be patient.

Post-Procedure: After The First Month

Congratulations! You have completed the initial healing phase of the surgery!

Remember, you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, and there is still a lot of swelling at this point. The hardest thing for you over the next few months will be having patience.

It is okay to start exercising. Start slow, and increase as you feel the movement is not causing pain. Remember to listen to your body. If something is painful or causes soreness, do not do it right now and try again in a few days. Exercise is extremely important. People either gain weight or lose weight after plastic surgery, and you should be losing weight as the swelling goes away. Watch your weight on the scale weekly, and call us immediately if you are gaining. Remember, weight loss is the key to your success in this procedure.

The scars are going to continue to heal. Use the scar stick twice a day. It is normal for the scar to be purple or red. Be patient and do not expose the scar to the sun or to tanning beds (keep it covered with black tape and a bathing suit if you are out in the sun). Most scars can take a year or even longer to fade. If the scar becomes thick or wide, call us immediately. Another good alternative is to use ScarGuardMD.

Lumpiness is normal after this surgery. It may take 6 months to a year to resolve. Massage all lumps with a firm massage daily. You may notice new lumps come and go as you heal. Do not let this alarm you. You can also try Endermologie (a smoothing massage done by our therapist) and/or Vivite Daily Firming Lotion.

Loose skin will continue to improve to a point. This is completely up to your skin elasticity. Be patient and give it up to a year.

You can stop wearing the garment if you like. If you feel better with the garment on, it does not hurt to continue wearing it. You can also go to a stage 2 garment if you like. It is a good idea to keep the garment, because on active days or work out days you may feel swollen or bloated. Wearing the garment over night helps to reduce that swelling.

The results will continue to get better as long as you lose weight, exercise, watch your diet, and are patient. It can take up to 6 months to a year to see the final results.

Follow up: Remember, we are always here for you for any type of problem. Call us immediately if you feel something is not right. It is our goal for you to have the best result possible, and communication is the key to achieving this goal.

Post-Procedure: Frequently Asked Questions

“Do I remove the steri strips, or does the doctor remove them?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to remove your steri strips. Until then, the only dressings you should remove are the big pieces of white tape and gauze, and only after 36 hours have passed after your surgery.

“I have a lot of red fluid coming out from my incision, is this normal?”

When we perform liposuction, we first inject a large volume of saline mixed with some medications to soften the fat and reduce bleeding. Often in the first 36 hours after surgery, you will see some of this fluid coming out of your incisions. If you do, it is normal. Please call the office if you still have fluid coming from the incisions after 36 hours, you have a fever, the areas are very painful, or you notice that the fluid has a yellowish color”

“When can I take my first shower?”

The doctor recommends you wait 36 hours after your surgery to take your first shower. It is very important that you have a family member or friend there with you when you take your first shower, in case you feel dizzy or weak. You have a list of detailed instructions in your surgery handbook that the nurse gave you at your pre-op appointment, and also a duplicate copy in the envelope that the surgery nurse sent you home with on the day you had surgery.

“When do I start using my scar stick? How often do I apply my scar stick?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your 6-week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start using your scar stick. After they tell you to begin using it, you will be applying it to your scars twice daily, once in the morning after your shower, and once again before bedtime.

“When can I lay on my stomach?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start sleeping on your stomach. For the first week, the doctor recommends sleeping on your back with your head elevated with two or three pillows to help to reduce swelling.

“Do my stitches dissolve or do I need to come in to the office to have them removed?”

All of our doctors use dissolving stitches. It is important that you keep your follow up appointments to ensure that the doctors and nurses are able to watch your progress as you heal.

“When can I start exercising?”

The doctor or nurse will see you at your one week follow-up appointment and will tell you when is the best time to start exercising. For the first week, the doctor recommends that you focus on resting, and after one week he will generally clear you to start a low-impact exercise routine such as walking or a low-incline setting on an elliptical or bike. After six weeks, he will generally clear you to resume your regular exercise routine, including weight lifting, aerobics and running.

“When can I go swimming or take a bath?”

The doctor does not recommend swimming or tub baths for six weeks. You may take showers only for the first six weeks after surgery.

“How long will I stay swollen/bruised?”

It is normal to have swelling and bruising all the way up to six months after surgery, or longer depending on the type of surgery you had done. However, it will get better every day and you will continue to see improvements, especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine after your doctor tells you it is okay to begin exercising. Bruising is different from person to person, but it is usually gone within a month.

Content written and approved by Darshan Shah, MD Plastic Surgeon.