What can I do to reduce the enormous amount of swelling in my legs after a lower body lift?

I had a full lower body lift, including a tummy tuck, and my legs are HUGELY swollen. None of my clothing fits over my legs. My ankles are even swollen, although I am wearing full compression knee highs. What can I do to reduce the enormous amount of swelling in my legs? By the way, I have NO swelling in my abdomen. It is all in my legs, thighs and hips. I look like a clown. Please help! I'll take any suggestions you have to offer!!

Doctor Answers 2

Swelling is normal after a body lift surgery

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Swelling after a 360 lower body lift is expected. This is how the body heals. However, you need to minimize the swelling or edema. To minimize swelling, I would suggest several things.

First, I would suggest a compression from your toes to your rib cage, not just down to the knees. This compression garment should have no gaps. If there are any gaps in the garment, fluid will collect in areas without compression. I would suggest wearing this garment 24 hours a day.

Secondly, I would suggest leg elevation. After a 360 circumferential body lift, I believe the best way to recover is in the recliner. Have your legs elevated at heart level or ideally, even above heart level. I would minimize the time you get out of the recliner. I would not do any extra activities, like walking or exercising. Third, avoid any salt in your diet. Fourth, continue to drink plenty of fluids. Your body needs this fluid to heal.
Congratulations on your 360 lower body lift. Good luck on your weight-loss journey.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Things to help with swelling...

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should be discussed with your surgeon.  Blood clots in your legs should be ruled out and if none, then you could consider external compression devices when sleeping and thigh high compression stockings or pantyhose like compression garments when up and about.  But your surgeon should be directing you during this process so please check with your surgeon.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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