While some plastic surgery procedures require a long list of post-op instructions, SmartLipo's recovery process is much simpler. The heat from the laser's energy results in significantly reduced side effects and lessens the risk of complications after surgery. The laser used in SmartLipo seals the open blood vessels and lymphatic channels as it goes through the fat and melts it. This reduces blood loss and lymphatic leaking during the procedure as well as the magnitude of bruising and swelling after.
As soon as the Smartlipo procedure is over, the body will begin healing itself. Regardless of being done under general or local anesthesia, patients can leave the facility where the procedure was performed as the anesthetic wears off. Patients will go home with compression garments applied. This could be a wrap-around abdominal binder, a compression girdle, ace wraps on the arms, or a neck strap, depending upon the area treated. These compression garments have no magical properties and are not singularly responsible for the cosmetic outcome. But they do help with pain and comfort as they hold the area tight and prevent the areas treated from moving around excessively...and painfully. The very small incisions where the laser probe and cannulas were introduced will drain a little and that is perfectly OK. Sometimes these will be left open so that drainage can occur. This drainage will usually stop in a day or so. There is no care required of these small incisions. (i.e., no need for antibiotic creams)
With traditional liposuction, the recovery period can be weeks or even months. Extensive swelling and bruising was normal and the pain was significant. With Smartlipo, the recovery is definitely quicker with less pain. Many patients can resume their regular work and social activities within the first few days. Smartlipo still does have some swelling but with less pain, activities and exercise can resume sooner which increases circulation to the treated areas. As circulation is increased with greater postoperative activities, the swelling that does develop will go away quicker.
As Smartlipo is often done with other cosmetic face and body procedures, the amount of recovery will be extended as the operation and trauma to the body increases. But when done as a stand alone procedure, Smartlipo offers some real recovery advantages over traditional liposuction.