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How Bad Is the Pain After Liposuction?

Posted in Body Procedures

Are you considering liposuction but worry that the recovery may be too painful? This blog discusses liposuction pain management from surgery through recovery and what you can expect as you heal.

5 Min Read:

The Concern About Pain After Liposuction

While the results of liposuction surgery can be transformative, a common concern among prospective patients is the level of pain associated with the procedure. Understanding the nature and duration of pain after liposuction can help individuals make informed decisions and prepare adequately for recovery. 

How Tumescent Fluid Affects Liposuction Pain

Liposuction has evolved significantly since its inception, with advancements aimed at reducing pain and improving patient outcomes. One of the most impactful developments in this regard is the introduction of tumescent fluid. The use of tumescent fluid in liposuction procedures has revolutionized the procedure, particularly with pain management. This technique involves the injection of a specialized fluid into the fatty tissue before the fat-removal process begins. Understanding how tumescent fluid affects liposuction pain can help patients better prepare for the procedure and manage their post-operative recovery.

What Is Tumescent Fluid?

Tumescent fluid is a solution used in liposuction procedures to make it easier for the surgeon to remove the fat. The fluid is injected into the treatment area before liposuction, causing the tissue to swell and become firm. This process engorges the fat cells, making them easier to remove while minimizing damage to the surrounding tissue. Additionally, the fluid numbs the area and reduces bleeding. 

Tumescent fluid is a mixture of several components, each with a specific job. These include:

  • Saline Solution: Saline is a commonly used fluid in surgical procedures because it is safe and easily absorbed by your body. For liposuction, it causes the fatty tissue targeted for removal to swell, making it easier to extract with less trauma to surrounding tissues.
  • Lidocaine: Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that numbs the treatment area by blocking nerve endings in the skin from sending pain signals to your brain. You may also choose general anesthesia or sedation to ensure your comfort during the procedure further.
  • Epinephrine: Epinephrine is a hormone more commonly known as adrenaline. It causes your body to react in several ways, but the benefit it provides during liposuction is the constriction of blood vessels. Not only does this keep the lidocaine in the treatment area longer, but it also helps control bleeding.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the acidic pH of the tumescent solution, making it less painful when injected.
  • Tranexamic Acid (TXA): Tranexamic acid is a medication that helps to reduce the amount of bleeding during surgery and decrease the amount of bruising after surgery.

As you can see, pain management begins before your liposuction procedure is even underway. So, what can you expect after surgery?

Timeline of Pain After Liposuction

We use the word “pain” when talking about the beginning of your recovery after liposuction, but it’s typically more of a feeling of discomfort than actual pain, and it doesn’t last long. 

  • Immediately After Surgery: As you might expect, the first day or two after liposuction will be the most uncomfortable. You will experience bruising, swelling, and significant soreness in the treatment area. Your pain level at this time is typically moderate and often described as the muscle soreness you feel after an intense exercise session. However, any discomfort is easily managed with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Week One: After the initial few days of recovery, you’ll notice that your discomfort has begun to subside. You will likely feel pangs here and there when you move too quickly or put pressure on the treatment areas. Continued rest and limited activities will help keep you on the road to recovery.
  • Week Two: By the end of week two, you will see several overall improvements, such as discomfort, swelling, and bruising dissipating. You may still have a bit of soreness or tenderness around the treatment area, but it is easily manageable and will continue to improve. 
  • Week Three and Beyond: As you approach the one-month mark after your surgery, the majority of the pain, swelling, and bruising will likely be gone, and you should be able to see your liposuction results more clearly. Minor swelling may persist for up to six weeks, but you should be able to return to your regular activities with no restrictions or discomfort by four to six weeks after your procedure. 
Woman holding a hot water bottle against her stomach

Ways to Manage Pain After Liposuction

As mentioned above, pain after liposuction is generally minor and easily managed with medication. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions to follow during your recovery to help make you as comfortable as possible. Some of those instructions may include:

  • Wearing a compression garment to minimize swelling and discomfort
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Lymphatic massage to get rid of excess swelling
  • Walking every day to prevent blood clots, increase blood flow, and encourage healing 
  • Refraining from tobacco use, as it slows healing

Liposuction is a safe procedure when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, so any pain you experience should be mild. However, contact your surgeon immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, fever, or other concerning side effects as you recover. 

Learn More About Liposuction in Beverly Hills

When you’re ready to slim and contour those areas on your body that you have been working on with no result, it’s time to see what liposuction can do for you. You’ll get the best results using body contouring in Beverly Hills. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Josef Hadeed today to experience the stunning results you can achieve with liposuction and Dr. Hadeed’s revolutionary TriDef® Liposculpting technique. For more information, call (310) 970-2940 or complete the online contact form.

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