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How to have a speedy recovery after liposuction

Updated: Nov 13


Liposuction is the easy way to get a beautifully sculpted body, without all the tears and sweat at the gym, and it is growing in popularity every year. In 2015, the number of people that had liposuction went up by 20% from the previous year.


Once you have had your surgery then you may experience some swelling at first. The swelling will usually appear one or two days after the surgery, and may continue to go up for two weeks. There are a number of different steps that you can take to reduce the swelling and speed up your recovery. Here are some of our top tips:


1. Wear a compression garment

One of the best ways to reduce your swelling is to wear a tight-fitting garment that can go under your clothing. The swelling that occurs after liposuction is usually caused by inflammation and a build-up of lymphatic fluid. Compression garments work by outing pressure on the affected area, which therefore forces the body to reabsorb the lymphatic fluid, therefore reducing the fluid build-up and swelling at the same time.

The compression garment is usually worn for four to six weeks, depending on how severe the swelling is. Please note that a compression garment is not the same as shape-wear (spanx) and will not offer the same qualities.


2. Get a massage

Lympathic drainage massages have been proven to significantly reduce swelling after liposuction. This can be a costly option, so you may want to ask your therapist to teach you come techniques that you can do at home.

Here is some advice that we think you should follow:

  • Ensure that you are focusing on the surface of the skin, remember this is not a deep tissue massage, so only lightly touch the area.

  • You can stimulate the lymphatic vessels by stretching the skin rather than rubbing the skin, as this may cause more pain.

  • Listen to your body- if it is painful then stop, don’t push your body


Go for a walk a few days after the surgery

In the first few days after surgery, you should ensure that you reduce the amount of physical activity that you do so that your body can begin the healing process. We strongly recommend that you still walk from room to room within your house to ensure that you do not develop a blood clot.


After a few days you can start to start to slowly increase your level of activity by taking longer walks and doing activities like taking a shower. Research shows that exercise helps to speed up the recovery process as it stimulates the lymphatic system and therefore reduced the build-up of lymphatic fluid. It is normally to be back up to full level three weeks after surgery.


Keep an eye on your diet

If you are having liposuction, then it goes without saying that you should watch your diet after to ensure that you get the best results. After your surgery, you should try to avoid foods that are high in salt and alcohol as this will help to reduce the swelling. Salt and alcohol both cause the body to retain fluid, causing swelling and puffiness. We recommend that you try to eat as much plant-based meals as possible while recovering.


Once the swelling has gone down you should try to maintain a diet that includes mostly unprocessed foods, fatty fish, 5-a-day and super foods such as sprouts, nuts and berries.

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I have practicing privileges at The Nuffield Health Derby Hospital and BMI The Park Hospital, Nottingham.

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