Liposuction Care Instruction
From Our Baltimore Area Practice
To maximize your cosmetic surgery results, it is important to follow all of the pre- and post-operative instructions you receive at our Baltimore area practice. Liposuction patients should take the following steps to ensure their overall safety and satisfaction before and after surgery.
FOUR WEEKS BEFORE LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- Please make arrangements for autologous blood donation, if necessary.
- Begin taking iron tablets as prescribed.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- Stop taking aspirin and aspirin-containing products. Stop all herbal supplements unless approved by Dr. Schuster. Must be off all aspirin-containing products for two weeks before surgery and for two weeks after liposuction surgery. Check all medications with us; some medications such as Motrin and Advil may also affect clotting.
- Confirm your “pre-op history and physical” appointment with your family doctor / internist.
- Please notify our Baltimore area office if you develop a cold or any other illness prior to liposuction surgery.
- Vitamins are important in healing. Begin taking multi-vitamins with C, E, minerals and iron. Stop taking “extra” Vitamin E.
- NO SMOKING.
- Make certain arrangements have been made for someone to drive you to and pick you up after your surgery and to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
- Obtain your compression girdle.
TWO DAYS BEFORE LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- At the grocery store, buy light foods such as juice, tea, bread/bagels, jelly, soup, and JELL-O®.
- Buy two quarts of Gatorade and Betadine™ Scrub liquid soap.
- All prescriptions should be filled.
- Buy a few re-usable ice compresses.
- Begin Arnica Montana: three tablets, three times daily.
EVENING BEFORE LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- Shower with Betadine™ Scrub liquid soap for three full minutes. Avoid contact of jewelry with Betadine™; it stains.
- Prepare bed sheets to protect from bloody drainage.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Do not eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight the night prior to liposuction surgery.
DAY OF LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- Do not eat or drink anything prior to surgery. DO NOT SMOKE.
- Wash with Betadine™ for three full minutes. Do not put on any makeup or deodorant after washing.
- Do not wear wigs, hairpins, hairpieces, or jewelry. Dress in old, loose, comfortable clothes. Do not wear pullover tops or panty hose.
- Have someone drive you to your surgery and make certain someone will be available to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours.
AT HOME AFTER LIPOSUCTION SURGERY:
- The night of your liposuction procedure, as well as the next day, you may rest in bed for most of the time but feel free to move about and get out of bed as well. Apply ice packs for the first 48 hrs. only to those areas treated by liposuction. By the second day after surgery you should be spending most of the time out of bed moving around.
- A small amount of bloody drainage through the girdle is normal. Protect your bed sheets from bloody drainage.
- Excess fluids are required immediately after surgery. Drink one quart of Gatorade daily for the first two days. You may drink other fluids such as juices as well. Avoid caffeine and salt.
- The girdle placed on you at the time of surgery should be worn continuously for three weeks after surgery. On the third day after liposuction surgery, remove the girdle, discard any pads which may fall out and shower briefly. Do not remove any tape which may have been applied. After showering, pat your skin dry. Blow dry any tape using a cool setting. Put the girdle back on. You may remove the girdle each day to shower.
- Any discomfort should be relieved by the pain medication. Take either extra strength Tylenol™or Advil ™ regularly to help with general discomfort. Take the pain medicine prescribed by Baltimore area surgeon Ronald Schuster, MD as needed for more severe pain after liposuction.
- To avoid blood clots, it is recommended that liposuction patients get out of bed every few hours. While in bed it is important to bend your feet, ankles, and knees frequently.
- Some amount of bruising and swelling is expected. This will disappear with time.
- Spotty areas of numbness are common and may last several weeks, but will disappear.
- Feelings of sharpness, burning and other sensations are common during the liposuction healing process.
- Three weeks after liposuction surgery you may discontinue the girdle. To help reduce swelling and hasten the healing process, it is recommended that patients wear some sort of mild compression garment ( i.e. Biker’s shorts, Lycra, or Spandex shorts ) as much as conveniently possible for an additional month.
- You may resume full activity including exercise after two weeks.
- You may want to purchase a stool softener, such as Colace, as pain medication may cause constipation.
- Continue taking your vitamins. You may also add iron supplements if you feel fatigued.
- Avoid salt for several weeks after surgery as it will keep you swollen.
- Be patient. Final liposuction results may take a good three months.
Please contact our Baltimore center for more information on liposuction or other cosmetic surgery options.