*Individual Results May Vary
Recovery From Body Contouring Surgery
What kind of recovery should I expect after my Body Contouring Surgery?
Lower or upper body contouring procedures may be performed as an outpatient procedure or in a hospital, depending on the planned extent of the procedures. Dr. Agha operates at the Newport Center for Surgery, an American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery. This is an approved surgical facility that operates under a board certified anesthesiologist. For more extensive or multiple procedures, you are recommended to stay overnight in a nearby after care facility for 2-3 days. For out-of-state patients, you should plan to stay locally for two to three weeks after a lower body contouring, and one to two weeks for upper body contouring.
Day of Surgery– When you wake up from your body lift procedure, you will be in the recovery room and will be wearing a binder or garment. You should plan to wear the compression garment for four to six weeks following surgery.
Caregiver– Both lower and upper body lift surgeries involve multiple surgical procedures performed in one setting. Thus, it is very important to have someone who can assist you with getting around and taking your medications for at least the first week.
Nausea– Most people are nauseated during the first 24-48 hours. To reduce this, we suggest that you take your nausea pill one hour before taking your pain medication or antibiotics. Also, do not take your pain medications on an empty stomach.
Sleep– During the first week after your lower body lift, attempt to sleep on your sides. Also, keep your legs slightly bent at the hips. This ensures that the tension on your buttock incision is minimized, reducing pain and resulting in a thinner scar.
Sequential Compression Device– As the major risk of body contouring surgery is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), you will be provided with sequential compression stockings and a portable pump. You are recommended to use the device all times for the first five days unless ambulating. The SCD has been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of DVT in many clinical studies.
Painkillers– You’re likely to feel sore for a few days, but you should be up and around in 24 hours. Most of your body lift pain can be controlled by the prescribed painkillers.
ProCare MD Nutritional Supplement– This product should be started three weeks before the surgery and continued until all incisions are well-healed at about five to six weeks. The product can be taken in whatever dosage you prefer as long as three to four scoops are ingested per day. This provides nutritional elements needed for rapid and optimal healing.
Shower– Remove your dressing, sponges, and gauze pads on the third or fourth post-operative day. You may now take a shower with help only. After showering, simply pat your incisions dry and replace your abdominal binder.
First Post-operative Visit– Dr. Agha prefers to see you on Day 5 for your first post-operative visit. At this time, he will remove the drainage tubes.
Swelling– Any swelling may take three to five weeks to subside.
Driving– It is not safe to drive a car within 24 hours of taking pain medication as your reflexes and alertness may be altered. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.
Walking– You will probably be unable to stand fully upright for 7 to 10 days after a lower body lift. Even if you can’t stand straight, it is still important to start walking as soon as possible, usually the evening of surgery. This is the best way to reduce the chance of getting a blood clot in the legs.
Light Exercise– Dr. Agha recommends light exercise to reduce swelling and prevent clotting. Light exercise includes walking, stretching, and moving arms and legs while sitting. If you should feel pain or pulling from the scar area, cease the movement.
Activities– During the first week after body lift surgery, you want to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure. This could cause bleeding at the operative site, which could result in a hematoma (collection of blood). Walking is the safest exercise, especially during the first week. Avoid exercises which directly stress the area of your surgery for a full four weeks. After this period, cardiovascular activities, such as riding a stationary bicycle or brisk walking can be initiated. Running at this point may be premature. Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to six weeks. Six weeks after surgery, you will be nearing your pre-operative level. Avoid pulling at the surgical area to maximize healing and minimize scarring. During the early phase of healing, one must avoid irritation around the operative site as this can worsen swelling and fluid accumulation. This could cause development of a seroma (fluid collection) or cause problems with the wound (dehiscence or opening of the suture line or widening of the scar). Even though the skin is closed, there are many activities taking place beneath the skin.
Healing– You will need a few weeks to recover and heal from your procedures. The typical healing time is at least one to two weeks before returning to work.
Scarring– Every person’s body is different, and many factors contribute to scar healing. Your scars will be firm and pink for about six weeks. Non-smokers and those who follow the Enhanced Recovery Nutritional Supplements routine have a better chance of rapid healing and thinner scarring. Expect to wait at least nine months before your scars lighten in color and become as flat as the rest of your skin. Although they will never disappear completely, scars will not show under most clothing, even bathing suits.
Follow-ups– Regular check-ups protect against complications.
Emergencies– Some discomfort is expected following your body lift surgery. Be sure to tell us if: There is an increase in swelling, pain, redness, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area. You develop fever, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, or a general ill feeling. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
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