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Expert Tips to Maximize Your Recovery After Body Contouring Surgery

Body contouring refers to plastic surgery procedures that transform the body, providing tighter, firmer, and more slender or shapely body contours. These procedures target specific areas to remove fat, tighten skin and/or muscles, and add volume for overall shape improvement.

At Plastic Surgery Austin, our range of body contouring procedures includes:

What Happens to Your Body After Surgery? 

When you undergo a surgery like body contouring, your body initiates a complex healing process. Initially, the surgical area experiences inflammation, a natural response that helps protect and repair the tissue. White blood cells and other healing factors rush to the site to fight infection and start mending damaged tissues. During this time, collagen production increases, which is crucial for wound healing and strengthening the tissue. This phase can result in swelling and discomfort, so proper care and adherence to recovery guidelines are vital.

Why Is Optimal Recovery Important After Body Contouring?

Optimal recovery after body contouring is essential, as it underpins the success of the surgery and your overall well-being. This crucial phase involves supporting the body’s natural repair mechanisms to promote efficient and complication-free healing. It’s not just about achieving the desired aesthetic results; it’s also about ensuring your health and comfort during the healing process. By adhering to post-operative instructions, you help reduce infection risks, manage pain and swelling effectively, and promote proper wound healing. This diligent approach ensures your body adapts well to surgical changes, leading to the best possible outcomes in appearance and functional recovery.

As such, our team at Plastic Surgery Austin is dedicated to guiding you through a smooth post-operative recovery. We will provide you with tailored recommendations and review everything when we meet in person. We’re also sharing essential general and procedure-specific recovery tips here to help you understand what to expect and prepare effectively. These insights aim to help you be well-equipped for the best possible recovery.

General Body Contouring Recovery Tips 

While each procedure has specific instructions, certain universal tips can help streamline your recovery after body contouring. These tips include the following: 

Rest and Listen to Your Body

First and foremost, give yourself permission to rest. Your body needs time to heal, and pushing yourself too soon can hinder your recovery. Listen to your body’s cues. If you feel tired, rest. If you experience discomfort, adjust your position or activities accordingly.

Managing Pain and Discomfort

Post-surgery pain is expected, but it’s manageable. Dr. Sharma may prescribe pain medication. It’s crucial to follow the dosage instructions and communicate with him and your care team if the pain feels unmanageable. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also be recommended, but always consult with your surgeon before taking any additional medications.

Scar Care and Hygiene

Proper wound care is vital for preventing infection and achieving smooth, less noticeable scars. Keep your incisions clean and dry, and follow Dr. Sharma’s instructions for showering and applying topical products. Contact us immediately if you notice any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling or discharge.

Compression Garments: A Key to Recovery

Wearing a compression garment is essential after body contouring procedures that remove fat or skin. These garments reduce swelling, provide support and help your body adapt to its new contours. Wear them as directed, and don’t underestimate their importance in your recovery.

Diet and Hydration: Fueling Healing

A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and protein supports your body’s healing process. Avoid inflammatory foods like excess red meat, salty or spicy foods, and grains and vegetables that can cause gas and bloating. 

Hydration is equally important; drinking plenty of water helps reduce swelling and flushes out toxins, aiding in a smoother recovery.

Activity and Exercise: A Balanced Approach

While rest is essential, gentle movement is also beneficial. Start with short, light walks to promote blood circulation, reducing the risk of blood clots. Gradually increase your activity level based on your comfort and Dr. Sharma’s advice. Avoid strenuous exercises until he gives you the green light.

Follow-up Care: Your Path to Optimal Results

Attending follow-up appointments with Dr. Sharma is critical. These check-ups allow him to monitor your healing process and address any concerns. If you have any questions or notice anything unusual during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact your care team at Plastic Surgery Austin.

Procedure-Specific Recovery Tips

Liposuction and VASER Liposuction

These procedures remove excess fat from specific areas of the body, reshaping them to achieve a more slender appearance.

Recovery Tips:

  • ​​Manage swelling with a gentle lymphatic massage with support from a licensed massage therapist. A light rolling massage can also improve lymphatic support, as recommended by Dr. Sharma.
  • Gradually reintroduce specific exercises targeting non-treated areas to maintain your overall fitness while allowing treated areas to heal.

View our liposuction before and after photo gallery

Tummy Tuck

Also known as abdominoplasty, this surgery removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and restores weakened or separated muscles.

Recovery Tips:

  • Rest in a slightly bent position to reduce strain or tension on your lower abdominal incision.
  • Carefully monitor your abdominal area for any signs of fluid accumulation (seroma), as this complication is more common with abdominoplasty.

View our tummy tuck before and after photo gallery

Body Lift

This procedure or combination of procedures is designed to remove loose skin and is commonly performed for patients who have achieved significant weight loss. The various techniques involved can address the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, breasts, arms and/or face to improve the shape and tone of the skin and underlying tissue in your areas of concern.

Recovery Tips:

  • Pay special attention to your body posture and alignment when standing or sitting to avoid stress on the surgical sites.
  • Expect significant swelling (edema) after skin and loose tissue removal; use prescribed methods such as elevation or gentle massage with support from a licensed massage therapist to manage it effectively. The use of foam rollers can also help reduce edema and improve lymphatic drainage.

Arm Lift

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, reduces excess skin and tissue in the upper portion of the arm. 

Recovery Tips:

  • Keep your arms elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. Using special arm supports or pillows can help maintain an elevated arm position while you sleep.
  • Avoid rapid arm movements or stretching that may impact the healing incisions.

Butt Augmentation (Brazilian Butt Lift or Butt Implants)

This procedure enhances the size and shape of the buttocks, often involving fat grafting or implants.

Recovery Tips:

  • Avoid direct sitting on your buttocks for the prescribed period. Using specially designed cushions when sitting can help distribute your weight evenly and avoid direct pressure on the treated area.

Mommy Makeover

This combination of breast and body procedures is tailored to restore your pre-pregnancy shape.

Recovery Tips:

  • Arrange help with childcare and household tasks to ensure adequate rest and recovery time. 
  • Take it slow in resuming daily activities, especially those that involve lifting or straining (like picking up your kids), to prevent stress on the surgical areas.

View our mommy makeover before and after photo gallery

Get Customized Care — Your Recovery Is Our Priority at Plastic Surgery Austin

Remember that your recovery is as crucial as your body contouring surgery itself. By following these guidelines, you’re not just nurturing your body; you’re helping it heal correctly and adapt well to the changes made during surgery to achieve the best and safest possible outcome.

If you’re considering a body contouring procedure, schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Sharma, to receive for more information and personalized advice.

Call Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-838-3658 or reach out online now!


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.