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Getting Liposuction? Top 5 Pre- and Post-Op Hacks For Stunning Results

  • 5 months ago

Liposuction Pre- and Post-Op Tips

You've found the best doctor and are scheduled for liposuction. Now what? We've compiled the top five tips for both pre- and post-operation to help you have the best experience possible.

Pre-Op: What To Do Before Surgery

1. Lead a healthy lifestyle before surgery

Liposuction is not meant to be an easy way to lose a lot of weight, but a tool to help get rid of stubborn fat pockets and enhance contouring. According to Dr. Todd B. Kotch, it is “really designed to improved those difficult areas you can not improve with diet and exercise." Patients typically lose between 2 and 5 pounds from one session of liposuction,

Some people use liposuction at the beginning of their weight loss journey, and some people wait until they’ve lost significant weight first. Liposuction can sometimes be a motivator to continue with a healthy lifestyle post-op, but most doctors agree that liposuction should be performed as a contouring procedure after weight loss.

View popular Tummy Tuck videos

2. Purchase everything you will need for your recovery

Make sure you have all your medications and recovery items purchased and ready to go before your surgery date. Check with other community members who have undergone the same procedure to see what they have used. We have a handy list of supplies right here to help you get organized.

3. Prepare your home and your family; Take enough time off work

According to Dr. Jon F. Harrell, you should take about a week off from work, and expect to be in discomfort for the first few days.

In addition to your recovery items, make sure to stock your kitchen with easy meals and healthy snacks. Freeze meals ahead of time, clean the house, find your comfy clothes, get movies and books ready to go, plug your chargers into an outlet near your recovery area, and don’t forget about rounding up old towels to cover where you will rest so you don’t leak on your furniture.

Make sure your family/roommates understand you will be out of commission for a few days. If you live alone it is a good idea to have a friend spend the night after your procedure. 

4. Stop smoking

As you’ve probably already heard, smoking significantly interferes with healing. Dr. Steven H. Williams warns that “Nicotine (in addition to other harms) causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels,” which will slow healing and increase chances of complications.

Consult with your doctor to discuss when to cease smoking, but in general expect to stop smoking for at least  two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after. (Or better yet, use this procedure as an excuse to kick the habit for good!) It is possible to be turned away from surgery if your doctor suspects you did not stop smoking.

5. Have realistic expectations going in

You're Not Gonna Look Like GiseleLiposuction is a great tool to help enhance what you have, so make sure aren’t expecting to magically morph into an entirely different body type. You will still be you after surgery. If you are expecting to turn into Gisele you will be disappointed with your results, even if they're actually great. Make sure your doctor can give you a clear expectation of what kind of results you will have and be sure to listen.  Ask to see before and after photos that match your body type and really study the after images. Read reviews from other community members who are have similar figures and are having similar areas treated.  

"You absolutely must be realistic with your expectations! If you are in poor physical fitness or have a low pain tolerance, it will be a problem. If you expect major changes or weight loss, you will be disappointed." - anonymous1234

Post-Op: Caring For Yourself After Surgery

1. Continue to follow a healthy lifestyle for faster healing

Start exercising as soon as you are ready.  Water and nutrient dense foods will help with recovery and ultimately your results.  Salty, processed foods will cause excessive bloating and potentially cause weight gain.  Depending on your surgery experience, you will be able to ease back into fitness after  a week or two (talk to your doctor to know for sure). You can start light walking almost immediately, getting your body moving will help accelerate your healing.

2. Follow your recovery plan and keep that compression garment on

Compression garments aren’t known for being comfortable, but they really help your body heal properly. Follow your doctor’s recovery plan. If your compression garment feels loose be sure to call your doctor’s office about getting a smaller one.

Massage is another commonly prescribed post-op treatment which can aid with healing. Be sure to talk with your doctor about how to perform self-massage or how to choose a massage provider, and understand how often massages should be undergone post-operatively.

Tummy Tuck videos from RealSelf doctors

3. Document your healing so you can monitor your results

The easiest way to track your progress is to take weekly pictures of your body. Writing a review is a great way to keep a diary of your recovery and to get support from the Liposuction Community. Having support from other users who understand your journey and who can answer your questions helps you feel less alone in the process (especially if your friends and loved ones may not totally understand what you're going through. 

Ready to start your review? Click here!

4. Be patient! Results take a while

Don’t bother weighing yourself the first few weeks after surgery, your body will be retaining liquid and be swollen. Dr. Brooke R. Seckel advises that "it takes at least three months for most of the swelling to go away after liposuction. You will have 80-90% of your results by six months, with final results becoming fully apparent at nine months to a year. "I have seen patients who looked even better after 1 year than they did after 6 months," says Dr. Seckel. 

5. You can still gain weight after liposuction

While it is true that you will have less fat cells in the areas that underwent liposuction, you still can gain weight all over (and more so in the areas that were not treated). You must choose to take control of your lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise, if you want to maintain your results that you invested in.  

“The bottom line is that if you want to maintain your results, you need to keep your weight at a stable level,” says Dr. Steven Turkeltaub.

Do you have any additional tips to share regarding liposuction?  We'd love for you to share in the comments below!

Photo credits: Courtesy of Dr. Robert M. Grenley; Courtesy of Gisele Intimates