Excess fat is a problem that plagues many patients. Even those with ideal diet and exercise routines often find that there are areas of the body that seem resistant to these healthy practices. Stubborn pockets of fat can be a frustrating situation, as they prevent patients from obtaining their ideal body contour. At our plastic surgery practice, Dr. Stephen Hardy can perform liposuction to eliminate these excess deposits of fat and aid patients in sculpting and toning the body. After this procedure, our Missoula patients will experience liposuction side effects. Dr. Hardy explains the most common side effects of liposuction and offers advice on how to deal with these side effects during the recovery period.
Liposuction has advanced in many ways over the years and the new techniques and equipment available make liposuction safer and more effective than ever before. Some of the techniques, such as laser-assisted liposuction, even decrease the severity and duration of side effects experienced following treatment. However, even with these advanced techniques, side effects are a natural part of the recovery process and patients should be prepared for what to expect following a liposuction procedure. Below are some common side effects of liposuction and helpful tips on how to care for the body during recovery:
- Discomfort: It is normal for patients to experience some discomfort following liposuction. Fortunately, discomfort is usually short lived and most patients are free of pain within a week after liposuction treatment. Dr. Hardy can prescribe pain medication that can be used as directed to alleviate pain.
- Swelling: The liposuction procedure puts stress on the treatment area that will result in swelling immediately after treatment and in the weeks following. Dr. Hardy will provide compression garments and specific instruction for how long these garments should be worn. These garments help to alleviate swelling. While swelling is the most obvious in the first two weeks of recovery, some swelling may persist for up to six weeks after surgery. Aside from use of the compression garments, other practices that can help alleviate swelling include keeping well hydrated, avoiding excess salt intake, and icing the swollen areas.
- Bruising: Bruising is another common side effect of liposuction. Patients with superficial bruising will likely have light bruising that lasts for just a week or two. Some patients may experience deeper bruising that lasts for up to six weeks, although this is fairly uncommon. As with swelling, icing the bruised areas can help in alleviating any discomfort due to bruising.
- Skin laxity: The skin around the treatment area is likely to be loose after liposuction. The degree of laxity will depend on what liposuction technique was used, how much fat was removed during the procedure, and the elasticity of the skin before treatment. In most cases, the skin will gradually tighten to conform to the new contour of the body within a few weeks after treatment. Use of the compression garment will aid in this process.
Side effects are a normal part of the recovery from any cosmetic procedure. However, choosing a skilled plastic surgeon who uses the latest surgical advances can ensure that recovery goes smoothly and is free of complications. Dr. Stephen Hardy and his staff can be trusted to deliver care of the highest quality. To learn more about liposuction or the many other procedures performed at North West Plastic Surgery Associates, contact us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!