Recovery normally entails one to two days in bed, three to five additional days of relaxing and convalescing (during which the patient may begin to get up to shower, etc.), and another three to five days of progressive activity. (Driving, sex, etc. may gradually be resumed during this period.) Twelve to fourteen days is the usual length of recovery. Once the incisions have had some time to heal, you should wear tight bicycle pants to help the skin heal in position.
Dependent on the extent of tissue excess and laxity, considerable improvement in contour and profile can be seen. Discomfort is much less than most patients expect. Any soreness is easily controlled with analgesics.
For two days, try to rest as much as possible and stay on a soft diet. Eat lightly, but drink plenty of fluids and eat fruit to prevent constipation. Slight oozing of your incision lines is normal for a day or two, but if you notice excessive swelling or large amounts of blood on your dressings, call the office.
During the first several days after surgery, it is not unusual to have drainage from your incisions. At the time of surgery, fluid is injected into your thighs to decrease blood loss and facilitate the liposuction. Much of your drainage will be this fluid. Walking during the first 48 hours is strongly recommended as tolerated. Climbing stairs or activities that produce tension across the wounds such as squatting should be avoided for the first three days.
You will be seen back at the office in two to three days for removal of dressings and evaluation of wounds. Wearing the elastic garment is optional at this point. Some patients feel more comfortable with it, while others, especially in the summer, find them unpleasant. There is no data to suggest wearing a garment improves overall outcome. Showering is permitted 48 hours after surgery.
The next visit will be at 10-12 days after surgery. This time, the doctor will reassess the incisions and verify that appropriate healing is taking place. Non-absorbable stitches along your inner thighs will be removed. Your thighs will feel “tight” and will be swollen. Most of the swelling should be gone by six weeks after surgery. Individuals with desk-type employment may resume work in one week. Lifting should be limited to 25 lbs. for four weeks. Others with work involving prolonged periods of standing, walking or heavy lifting may need to wait from three to six weeks. Vigorous activities or aerobic exercises should not be resumed for six weeks.
The scars will tend to become increasingly red after two weeks and begin to fade after two to three months. The scars will never completely disappear and will take from 12-18 months to reach their final appearance.