Are there any post-operative knee liposuction recommendations?

Tags:woman 250-269 lbs excess knee fat recovery massive weight loss

I recently had knee liposuction to remove the excess fat around my knees. I was once over 250 lbs and have lost a significant amount of weight. My doctor told me that it was going to take a few weeks to fully recover from the surgery. Does anyone have any recommendations on what I should be doing to make my recovery go as smooth as possible?


F, 43, Virginia

After my knee liposuction plastic surgery, I wanted to make sure I did everything possible to ensure that I got good results. I was given compression garments to wear on the knees, and I wore them around the clock. I made sure to massage my knees every morning and night. For the first few weeks, I was careful to avoid excessive exercise so I did not irritate the area. My board certified plastic surgeon had me come back about two weeks after the procedure so he could make sure it was healing properly. It is important not to miss or delay this appointment. I also kept my legs elevated whenever I could. Keeping the swelling down really helped my knees look smoother after the liposuction was over.

I was concerned about being able to bounce back from my knee liposuction procedure as quickly as possible. After the procedure I wanted to know what I could do to help facilitate a speedy recovery. My doctor gave me some advice post-op that I should treat the area as instructed to prevent infections. Even though it is small incisions that are made and a small cannula is used to remove the fatty deposits you still need to follow strict recovery rules.

The incision sites could be quite bruised and swell up but massaging the area helps a lot. I tried to keep my knees as elevated as possible so that I didn't put too much pressure on them and to avoid swelling. I found that massaging the area helped as well. I made sure to go to all my follow up appointments so my doctor could make sure I was on the right track to a healthy recovery. My doctor also told me that there are other things that affect post-op recovery that aren't as much in my control such as how old I am and my general level of health.

Thinking that the recovery period would be minimal and I'd be back on my feet doing my normal activities within a few days post tumescent knee liposuction, I was surprised when my surgeon told me otherwise. I'd never been one to sit around, as I'm always on the go and keeping busy, and so the thought of having to take a few solid weeks recovery time and just rest up was really unappealing to me. Although, I knew that if I wanted to have more normal and proportioned looking knees, then I really didn't have a choice.

After having the procedure done, I was limited to bed rest for the first couple of days, making sure to elevate my legs to keep the blood pumping and the knee area healing. A pillow works great for this! Keeping the bandages and wrappings clean and changing them regularly is also a must, as is wearing compression garments to help control swelling and compress the skin. Light massage to the area, as well as non-strenuous regular exercise (calf raises, heel lifts) also helps. Just be careful not to overdo it!

The recovery period is determined by some factors.

  • Your health status will determine how quick you will recover.
  • The technique used will determine the healing process.

To recover faster, the following postoperative care should be observed:

  • Keeping the treated area clean and dry at all times helps prevent infections. Always dress the treated area regularly and change the bandages.
  • Avoid straining the knees, bending knees, running, and any other vigorous workouts on the lower body.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods, as this will worsen the swelling.
  • Always wear an elastic compression costume as it reduces bruises and swelling on the knees.
  • Massage the treated area regularly to stimulate circulatory and lymphatic systems.
  • Ensure you visit your surgeon regularly to monitor the progress.

Generally, your knee should take three or four weeks to recover from the liposuction. However, healing may be prolonged depending on the following factors:

• Your health and general well-being. The healthier you are, the faster you are likely to heal.
• The liposuction technique used during the surgery. These techniques impact the body differently. The one you choose may ensure faster or slower healing.

To ensure that you recover faster, I recommend you observe the following post-operative care:

• You need to change your bandages regularly. Significant drainage for the first two days after surgery is common. Changing the bandages frequently keeps the treated area clean and dry. This will also help you avoid other infections.
• Do not strain your knees. Avoid deep knee-bends, running or strenuous exercise on the lower body. 
• Neither sit nor stand for long. Sitting or standing for long periods will worsen the swelling.
• Maintain wearing a compression garment. This is especially important for minimizing bruising or swelling on your knees. 
• Perform regular gentle self-massage. Massage will stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems and reduce swelling.

It is important to visit your surgeon frequently after the surgery so that your progress is monitored closely. As suggested above, however, you can accelerate your recovery by taking precautions. This will help you recover without complications.