If you’ve received a lipedema diagnosis, you may be considering arranging lipedema surgery. Liposuction is an effective surgical treatment that permanently removes the abnormal fat cells. While it can help to improve both your physical and mental well-being, it requires ongoing maintenance. You will need to know how to go about managing your condition after your surgery. So, here is some expert advice to make sure you maintain your result in the long term.
It’s important to eat well after any kind of liposuction. However, if you’ve had lipo to treat lipedema, this is especially important. You should follow an anti-inflammatory regimen with plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 rich foods. Remember to stay well-hydrated, too.
Treating Your Bruising
Bruising is common in lipedema patients, but it can be especially extensive after surgery. You can expect this bruising to last several weeks. Flexible ice packs are very helpful. Apply them for 10 minutes, then remove for 20 minutes before reapplying for another 10. If you apply vitamin K cream, St. John’s wort oil, or arnica gel every day, this also helps to reduce bruising.
Unusual Sensations in The Skin
Within around a week of your surgery, you may begin to experience unusual skin sensations. These can last as long as 10 weeks. The cause of this sensation is the nerves starting to “wake up.” They may feel like electric shocks, tingling, pins and needles, or itching. Numbness is common, too. Over time, these sensations will subside. If you’re experiencing severe itching, use antihistamines to reduce the discomfort.
Wearing Your Compression Garments
Surgeons recommend that all lipedema sufferers wear compression garments. After surgery, they are especially important. You should follow your surgeon’s advice closely. You will need to wear your garments for around 20 to 23 hours each day for at least one week. After that, you will need to wear them during the day for around three months. If you are experiencing swelling in your ankles and feet, a stronger garment may be necessary. Bear in mind that, in the first three months after surgery, you may need several garments. Your limbs are undergoing a reduction in size, so you may need smaller garments over time.
Managing the Shower
You will need to take showers, of course, after your surgery. This could be more problematic than you imagined, though. Rest for around 20 minutes before showering so your blood pressure can stabilize. If you don’t do this, you could feel dizzy or faint.
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is very helpful for patients suffering from lipedema. After surgery, MLD continues to be helpful. It helps to boost your recovery and helps you to maintain the results of your operation. You should, therefore, consider resuming your MLD treatments after your surgery.
Returning to Activity
Immediately after surgery, you shouldn’t try to be too active. You should only start out doing around a quarter of your usual amount of activity. Then, over time, you can increase your activities. You should, however, commence gentle, regular exercise to prevent stiffening of your joints. Within a couple of days, you should be walking around indoors and going for short walks outside. If you don’t walk enough, the risk of developing blood clots in your lungs and legs is higher. Swimming in the long term is a good way to aid your recovery. It will help to improve your mobility and will improve your lymphatic function.
Having Surgery for Lipedema
Lipedema surgery can be extremely helpful for anyone suffering from this painful condition. Here at Artlipo, we’re specialists in performing liposuction on all kinds of people, including lipedema sufferers. Contact our team today to learn more and to arrange your first consultation.
Dr. Thomas Su, is the owner and cosmetic surgeon of Artistic Lipo. He has led our full-time clinic specializing in awake-only liposuction since 2007. Dr. Su began his medical career in internal medicine, practicing that until 2005, when he began to provide a full spectrum of non-invasive cosmetic procedures.