Patients are often concerned about the duration of their recovery after the completion of surgery and they wish to understand what the recovery process will entail. Body contouring is no different but due to the size of the surgery, patients need to have realistic expectations concerning the period of their recovery. The process of recovery after an extensive surgery like body contouring may be divided into three phases depending on the experience of the patients at each phase. The phases include how the patient feels, what they are able to do, and what is happening with their surgical incisions. While discussing body contouring surgery, caution needs to be exercised about the nature of the procedures.
The first phase of recovery from body contouring treatments occurs immediately after the operation. The patient is in pain and can carry out limited physical activity. They have to deal with drains and dressings. However, it should be noted that body contouring surgery is not really painful but more discomforting and it is common to experience a bit of stinging sensation along the incisions. The patient may shower after 48 hours without pain but they are restricted to sitting around or walking about their home. This phase is obviously the most difficult and usually lasts from 7 to 10 days.
In the second phase, the drain comes out, the tapes are removed and the patients slowly start resuming daily activities. Their body is still sore but they no longer experience any severe discomfort. Some of the external stitches are removed at this stage, which usually lasts between 10 to 21 days. The patient can return to work if their job involves minimum strenuous activity. However, it is recommended that the patient should not work out. The incisions are going to turn red in three weeks as they begin to heal.
The final phase of recovery takes place after 3 to 8 weeks of surgery and during this time, the patient feels better. By the end of this phase, they can resume their normal lifestyle. However, minor problems are common during this phase and they might surprise the patients who suppose they have completely healed by then. This may include reactions and extrusions to dissolvable sutures, which the body tries to push out as they dissolve. This is also the time when seromas of fluid collection may take place in the body once the drains have been removed.