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Liposuction swelling is actually a pretty common occurrence.
Many of you out there want to know all about this particular liposuction side effect what to expect, how to manage it, and what to do to minimize it if at all possible.
I'm going to give you all of that information.
My goal in this article is to educate you so that you will be able to plan for swelling after lipo and help to resolve sooner rather than later. Also there are a couple of warning signs to look out for that your swelling may be something more serious. We'll discuss that as well.
So, let's not delay a second longer...
The mechanism for liposuction swelling initially is the tumescent fluid that is injected into the areas of the body that are going to be treated.
Before any fat is removed an anesthetizing fluid is injected under the skin until the area is swollen and firm.
In fact, that is how "tumescent" liposuction got its name.
So the initial swelling comes from the extra "stuff" that's put into you.
Once liposuction surgery begins the surgeon moves a surgical instrument called the cannula back and forth vigorously in the treatment area. The cannula is responsible for suctioning out the fluid that was placed into the area AND with it, the targeted fat as well. This vigorous motion of the cannula is responsible for disrupting, cutting, and breaking apart the fatty layer of tissue.
Liposuction surgery is an organized way of injuring those tissues.
When the body it injured it rallies to repair and rebuild structures. Part of this repairing process involves, natural swelling as the body's lymph fluids come into the area bringing with them white blood cells, nutrients, and proteins needed to fight infection and repair the damage.
This swelling is a natural part of the healing process.
Compression garments (bras, waistbands, stockings, and arm socks) help to prevent the discomfort associated with swelling. The pressure provided by these garments also helps to control scarring - AND may have the even greater benefit of preventing blood clotting.
Expect your liposuction doctor to give you specific instructions concerning how long you will need to apply pressure after surgery.
Wearing compression garments is one of the things many liposuction patients feel is significantly uncomfortable and restrictive. However it is necessary to prevent excessive swelling, speed healing, and minimize scarring.
Basically, it takes time to healing and for your body to get back to normal.
Depending on the type of liposuction surgery and the extent of the surgery you may be swollen and tender for weeks or months after surgery.
If you experience pain that seems to be getting worse, or if your drainage becomes greenish and pus-filled, or if your swelling become redder, and "warm" to the touch then you need to contact your doctor immediately.
You may be developing an infection which will need treatment as soon as possible.
If for any reason you feel that your healing isn't proceeding as it should then you should contact your care provider. When you are recovering at home you need to be able to rely on your own instincts. In fact, it is imperative that you do.
Learning to trust yourself is part of being a good patient.
You should seek consultation for any symptom that seems out of the ordinary.
This includes having a greenish, pus-filled discharge, or an increase in pain or tenderness. And if the temperature of the treated area appears to be increasing seek help immediately. This can be a sign that you may be getting an infection...
Your health and safety are the most important aspect of your liposuction surgery. So, be sure to err on the side of caution to protect it.
"Liposuction." Louann W. Murray, Ph.D. and Tish Davidson, A.M. The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 3rd ed. Detroit: Gale, Online update, 2008. 5 vols.
Moss, Rose, Charles J. Moss, and David R. Broadway. "Body Contouring with Ultrasound-assisted Lipoplasty." AORN Journal 71.2 (Feb 2000): 370. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.
Mysore, Venkataram. "Tumescent liposuction: Standard guidelines of care (Recommendations)." Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology 74.7 (Jan 2008): 54. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.
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