Though there are a number of non-surgical ways to remove unwanted fat, liposuction is still favored by many for its convenience, predictability, and versatility. Liposuction can remove up to ten pounds of fat quickly and produces permanent results, making it a great way to prepare for summer events. Still, patients need to be aware that there’s a difference between initial liposuction recovery time (the period before you can return to work safely) and total recovery time. Factoring total recovery time into your plans is essential if you want to look your best for beach season.
Why Total Recovery Time Matters After Liposuction
Liposuction recovery is a lot more comfortable than most patients expect. Soreness after this procedure is generally minimal, and most people report that it abates within just three to five days. Swelling, however, is an entirely different story: Conventional liposuction uses a cannula to manually loosen deposits of adipose tissue, a process that creates significant localized tissue trauma. Though traditional liposuction isn’t risky, it does lead to long-lasting inflammation, especially if the patient is having a large area treated.
The swelling that follows liposuction isn’t a medical concern (most people hardly even feel it), but it does obscure the results of this procedure. Fluid retention can mimic excess fat, giving treated areas a puffy look that most patients prefer to keep hidden. Sometimes the skin looks dimpled in places during healing, too. This happens because the body doesn’t always absorb exudate fluid evenly.
How Long Does Swelling Last After Liposuction?
Everyone’s body heals very differently, so it’s difficult to predict how long swelling will last after liposuction on a case by case basis. Swelling usually resolves after four to six weeks, but in some cases, it’s been known to last for three to four months. As such, we recommend erring on the side of caution: Book your liposuction procedure at least a few months before summer begins if you want to achieve a beach-ready body.
How to Shorten Liposuction Recovery Time
The best way to obtain the rapid, permanent results of liposuction without the lengthy healing period is to opt for a modified liposuction procedure. Most of the swelling that follows liposuction is a result of manually agitating adipose tissue, so hybrid procedures like SmartLipo and SlimLipo are associated with a much shorter recovery period. These procedures use laser energy to loosen fat cells and prime them for removal, which greatly reduces tissue trauma and postoperative swelling. Laser-assisted liposuction procedures are associated with only two to four weeks of swelling, on average.
SmartLipo and SlimLipo also have other advantages: They cause treated tissues to contract, minimizing the risk of loose skin, and increase collagen production. Older patients and patients who have lost a significant amount of weight often enjoy smoother, sleeker contours when they choose laser-assisted liposuction over traditional liposuction.
To learn more about how these innovative procedures can help you sculpt the perfect beach body in time for summer, contact Burlington plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Grace. Dr. Grace will be happy to share his expertise with you and help you develop a personalized body contouring plan.