If you’re reading this right after you have just gotten plastic surgery, Im so glad you found this page. If you’re preparing for liposuction, Im proud of you for doing your homework. Cuz, lets face it, the recovery after liposuction is NOT what we are told it is, or what we imagine. The fact of the matter is that the weeks of swelling after liposuction is definitely not what you expect.
The swelling after liposuction takes time to heal, and usually starts one to two days after the surgery. All those before and after photos make it look like you go in, they take out your fat, and you leave the office LOOKING SNATCHED. The reality is : days of swelling, pain, lumps, bumps and bruises that take weeks to heal if not longer.
And that not even talking about the FAJA. oh the faja. that completely necessary torture device that you have to stuff yourself in to for months.
If this sounds familiar I am here to tell you what exactly is going on and what you can do about it. But first, let me tell you what is even going on, when that swelling ruins your dreams of string bikinis on the beach any time soon.
I want to give you a few analogies that make your super complex lymphatic system, a little easier to think about. The reality is that your lymphatic system is your waste removal system. So I want you to think about it like the sewer system in a big city, like New York. When it is working normally, all the water, rain, toilet waste, and general city debris go down in to the sewer system, through water ways, in to water treatment plants, and then is recycled for different purposes.
Your lymphatic system is a lot like this is that, your cells use energy from food you eat, the waste from your cell is then extruded in to the space between your skin and muscle called your Interstitium. When the pressure builds up in this space from a build up of this fluid, little drains (think about your tub drain) called vacuoles open up and then it goes in to your lymphatic vesicles (think underground sewer lines) and it travels up to your vena cava to dump in to your blood stream and you pee it out! On the way to your vena cava your lymph fluid passes through your lymph nodes (think water treatment plants).
When you get liposuction you are sucking out your lymphs system along with your fat, but don’t worry! It heals back 100% in most post op patients. The thing is, it takes anywhere from 9-16 months for that system to heal.
Why such a big span of potential time you ask? It is based on a few factors. One is how your own body heals, and another is what you do to help that healing along. Eating clean, fresh food, excersising, using your compression garments properly, and how often you do lymphatic drainage are all actors in how quickly your body heals and looks fantastic.
Along the way, you can get sections that have healed and others that have not, and that is why you often find lumps and bumps around that 6 month mark. Also, after about 4 months most post-lipo patients stop the self care routine. 4 months is a long time to heal! Let alone 9 or even 16 months! So most people get a little lazy (lets be honest about it) and those areas that are still healing get swollen in very specific places.
It can look great in certain angles and then you shift just alittle and its like a different body part. ANYWAY, there is light at the end of the tunnel and there are things to help you along the way.
1 – DRY BRUSHING
If you don’t dry brush, you need to question your life choices. It feels awesome, it helps your swelling, and its take about 7 minutes a day. You want a soft flat bristle brush specifically for this self care routine. Start just below the affected area, and with gentle long, sweeping motions brush up towards your heart. Take 10 strokes along each line. going all the way up to your chest and neck from the area you want to reduce the swelling in. Do this every day for a week and then thank me.
2 – DRINK WATER
All that healing is seriously dehydrating you. You retain tons of fluids and salt during this time. And, according to The Mayo Clinic, dehydration can be seriously dangerous.
Try adding some ginger, lemon, cucumber and mint to a big pitcher and drink it throughout your day. This is inflammation, weight control, skin tone, and detoxification. And it tastes awesome.
3 – GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
Look, I know you did not expect to have SO MUCH extra cost with the recovery of your lipo. But having a professional Lymphatic Drainage Specialist working with you is GAME CHANGING.
I can’t stress it enough. Even if you do it once a month every month, you WILL see a difference. Also someone who is certified to do MLD can notice if there are any changes in your body that you should be aware of. And it feels awesome, so there’s also that.
Look for people who are licensed. Make them prove it with a certification, or even just ask them to explain how your lymph system works. Those that have gone through the proper training will be able to explain it easily, just like I did earlier.