How long will I be leaking after liposuction? – Post Liposuction Leak and Care

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How long will I be leaking after liposuction?

Liposuction (more details here) is performed by inserting a long, thin, metal tube called a “cannula” through a 2-4mm well-hidden incision. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device that creates suction through the cannula, and this suction removes fat cells. Before we can perform this part of the procedure, the treatment area has to be specially prepared to minimize any bleeding or discomfort. This is accomplished by filling the treatment area with a fluid mixture (with a different kind of cannula) prior to removing the fat. This fluid is called “tumescent” solution, as it causes “tumescence” (swelling) of the treatment area. Usually composed of an electrolyte solution, lidocaine, and epinephrine, tumescent solution shrinks the blood vessels in the area and desensitizes local nerves. Liposuction using this kind of fluid (most that is performed in modern centers) is therefore often called “tumescent liposuction.” While a significant amount of this fluid is removed during the suction portion of the procedure, some is left behind. This is what may leak from your incisions after liposuction. The amount and duration of this leakage varies by the details of the procedure performed (like how much tumescent fluid was used and whether or not the incisions were closed). In general, we tell our patients to expect approximately 48 hours of some leakage and equip them to deal with it in a clean, comfortable manner.

Post Liposuction Care

Liposuction recovery is a very straightforward process and knowing what to expect will make it that much easier. Dr. Darren Smith specializes in liposuction and has performed many of these procedures over the years. He has designed every aspect of his liposuction procedures from preoperative preparation to the treatment itself and through recovery to ensure that the best possible results are achieved in a safe, comfortable manner.

Immediately after your procedure, you will generally have very minor discomfort, as there is still a significant amount of numbing medicine (tumescent solution) in the treatment area. You will feel swollen and the skin in the treatment area will likely be numb. We find that discomfort from liposuction will generally be at its worst (which usually is described as mild-to-moderate soreness, like after a heavy workout) approximately 24 hours after the procedure. You should at no time experience severe pain after liposuction.

Drainage After Liposuction: How to Drain Fluid After Liposuction?

Dr. Smith likes his patients to wear a compression garment for 48 hours straight after the procedure. This helps to control the swelling and will keep absorbent pads in place to catch any drainage or leakage from the incisions that may be present. It is normal to experience leaking from your liposuction incisions after the procedure. This almost always stops by 48 hours. The drainage may vary in color from nearly clear to a watery red. The drainage is a combination of numbing medicine (tumescent solution) and fluid that the body produces in response to the procedure. The red color comes from a small amount of bleeding that may occur. While the drainage may appear alarming as it can be red in color, remember that a very small amount of blood can make a large volume of clear fluid appear red. If you are concerned by the appearance of your drainage, Dr. Smith and his team are available to speak with you 24/7.

After 48 hours, the drainage will almost always have stopped. Dr. Smith advises his liposuction patients to remove the compression garment at this point and begin a normal showering routine. It is important to check the water temperature with a part of your body that has not been treated with liposuction to ensure that the temperature is comfortable – remember, treated areas may be numb. We ask that you refrain from submerging your incisions in a bath or swimming pool until they are completely healed, generally 1 week to 10 days.

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Dr. Smith likes to see his liposuction patients back 7-10 days after the procedure for the first time. The stitches are removed at this visit. This process is not painful. From there, the standard post-liposuction follow-up schedule includes an appointment at one month and then three months after the procedure. Again, Dr. Smith and his team are always available for questions or concerns, and you are always welcome to come in for extra follow-up appointments. This entire process is designed to ensure that you are comfortable and know you are safe the whole time.

Should I still be leaking 9 days after Lipo?

No, you should not be leaking 9 days after liposuction. Generally, liposuction leakage lasts for 1-2 days after the procedure. This leakage is mostly anesthesia fluid (tumescent solution) that was used during your liposuction surgery. Leakage that occurs after this point could indicate a problem, such as an infection.

When should I call my doctor if I had liposuction?

  • Pain is getting worse instead of better more than 36 hours after your procedure.
  • Inability to eat or drink without feeling nauseas or vomiting.
  • Inability to have a bowel movement for more than 2 days after your procedure.
  • Fever, redness or milky drainage from your incisions (clear drainage which can be pink or yellow in color is normal for the first 48 hours after liposuction).
  • Swelling or bruising that is getting worse instead of better more than 2-3 days after your procedure. 6. Rapidly expanding, hard swelling at any point after your procedure.