How Much Should I Ice After Smart Lipo?

Is it important to keep the ice packs on at all times?

Doctor Answers 4

Icing is not necessary after smartlipo

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The swelling after liposuciton is due to wound healing and there is no evidence based study of which I am aware that icing tissue after liposuction reduces swelling.

Chicago Dermatologist

Ice is not recommended after Smartlipo.

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I have a vast experience with liposuction (conventional, ultrasonic) and laser-assisted liposuction (Smartlipo, Smartlipo MPX  and Smartlipo Triplex).  I have never recommended that patients use ice in any shape or form after any type of liposuction.  I do not recommend it after Smartlipo.  Liposuction in general has an effect on the circulation to the skin.  Ice placed directly on the skin after liposuction, will cause the blood vessels that nourish the skin with blood and nutrients, to constrict, narrow and even shut down.  This can cause skin necrosis (death of the skin due to loss of blood supply).  In addition, most surgical procedures, liposuction included, cause a temporary loss of sensation of the skin.  If ice is placed on the skin, and the skin is "numb", then the patient does not know that the skin is too cold and the normal, protective "reflex" to remove the ice from the skin because it is freezing.  A frostbite of the skin and skin necrosis can therefore result from placing ice on numb skin.  I never have patients place ice on the "operated skin", in any of the following surgeries---liposuction (all types), face/neck lifts, breast lift, breast reduction, abdominoplasty, or any type of skin lifts where the skin is undermined and numb.  I try to explain the anatomy and physiology of the surgical procedures that I perform, so that my patients are empowered with information and understand the rationale for choosing certain procedures, rejecting others, and know what to expect during the recovery phase.

Christine A. Petti, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Ice packs after liposuction

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Be very careful using icepacks after liposuction.  The skin may be numb even if you're sore deeper. You might not know you're hurting the skin by applying to much ice and leaving it on too long if it's numb. Check with your surgeon what your specific instructions are.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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Ice and liposuction

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I a mnot a big fan of using ice on the areas treated. The problem is that patients often have numbness and may not appreciate if the ice stay so n too long. This may lead to a burn.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.