Recovery is an important part of any body contouring procedure, and the total healing timeframe is unique to every patient.
That’s why Sono Bello procedures have been specifically designed to minimize pain and discomfort for patients during recovery and why Sono Bello’s surgeons choose the latest and most effective tools and techniques to make the healing process as smooth as possible.
Most patients who receive liposuction complete their recovery and see their final results within about 6 months post-procedure. However, healing times will vary from patient to patient and may be extended with the addition of excess skin removal.
Here’s a closer look at everything a patient needs to know about the recovery process after a Sono Bello liposuction, excess skin removal, or other body contouring procedure.
The amount of time it takes to recover from a Sono Bello body contouring procedure (including liposuction and excess skin removal) will vary from patient to patient.
Generally the recovery process for most patients spans about 6 months to see final results, and the healing process breaks down into a few key phases:
Immediate post-procedure recovery. Within the first 1-2 days (roughly 48 hours) after a Sono Bello procedure is performed, the very first stages of healing take place. The patient will be instructed by their surgeon to rest for the first 24 hours after their procedure and to resume light physical activity (like walking) within the first 48 hours.
During this period, the tumescent fluid used during a liposuction procedure—an IV solution containing lidocaine for anesthesia and the vasoconstrictor epinephrine—will drain from the incision sites and will require patients to change their dressing frequently. It is critical that patients wear their early acute high compression garment during this time to help fluid drain completely and help express the acute inflammatory exudate from surgery.
For most patients, this fluid drainage will be complete by day 4 post-procedure.
Healing of incisions. After the tumescent fluid has drained, the incision sites where the surgeon inserted micro cannulas to suction fat out of the body will begin to heal. Because Sono Bello surgeons use small cannulas and specialize in minimally invasive liposuction, most patients see their liposuction incisions heal within the first 14 days after their procedure.
During this phase of recovery, patients may transition to their second, more comfortable compression garment. A 1-week post-operative checkup with the Sono Bello medical team will be scheduled during this time to evaluate the patient’s healing process.
For patients who also had excess skin removed during a procedure like AbEX, which combines liposuction with excess skin removal, will require longer healing times (up to 6-12 months for the incision sites to fully heal). These patients will also have an additional 1-month post-procedure checkup with their surgeon to review the healing progress after the excess skin removal procedure.
Decrease in swelling & bruising. Within about 24 hours after a Sono Bello procedure, the patient will begin to experience some swelling and bruising in the treated areas. This is normal and will begin to gradually decrease over the following days and weeks. Most patients feel the swelling start to decrease in as little as 2-3 days post-procedure, with visible reduction in swelling around the 6-week mark. By 3 months post-procedure, most swelling will be gone for most patients.
To encourage reduction in swelling, patients will be instructed to wear their compression garments: first, the early acute high compression garment for the first week, then transitioning to the less constrictive secondary garment for the next 3-6 weeks, or as long as is directed by the surgeon.
Skin tightening. As swelling subsides and the patient continues their healing process, the skin near the treated area will tighten and the patient’s body will begin to assume the final desired shape. The heat generated by laser liposuction itself can help to stimulate collagen and promote skin tightening, but activities like regular exercise and massaging the treated area can help the process.
Modern liposuction has evolved and improved to the point where it is now a relatively painless procedure. Because Sono Bello specializes in liposuction, Sono Bello surgeons are skilled in performing body contouring procedures with minimal pain during the procedure itself and only minimal discomfort during the recovery process.
However, it is still possible for patients to experience some discomfort during recovery, especially soreness in treated areas as swelling and bruising decrease.
For this reason, some patients opt for pain relief medication during the recovery period. Sono Bello surgeons usually recommend a patient start with non-narcotic pain medications like Ibuprofen and Tylenol. These can help minimize pain while helping patients stay active during recovery, which can help speed the healing process and lead to better results.
For patients who feel more discomfort, narcotic analgesic medication may be prescribed by the Sono Bello surgeon to help control the pain in the early post-operative period
Swelling may kick in within around 24 hours and last for at least 6 weeks—but a lot of this swelling will go down within 2-3 days. For most liposuction patients, swelling will be completely gone by about 3 months post-procedure.
The compression garments worn by patients after their Sono Bello procedure serves several important purposes:
Wearing the compression garment according to a Sono Bello surgeon’s instructions is an important part of achieving a patient’s ideal appearance after a liposuction or excess skin removal procedure.
Patients should expect to wear a compression garment for around 3-6 weeks or as long as directed by their surgeon.
Sono Bello provides patients with two stages of garments: one for the immediate period (around 7 days post-procedure) and a second stage garment which is less constrictive and can be worn for the duration of their surgeon-directed recovery process.
It is very important that every Sono Bello patient have a responsible adult over the age of 18 available to drive them home after the procedure. Sono Bello also requires that this caregiver remain with the patient for the first 24 hours after surgery to provide additional support.
Most Sono Bello patients do not require special care immediately after their procedure, but many feel drowsy after their procedure and may choose to sleep.
All Sono Bello patients have a 1 week post operative appointment with the Sono Bello medical team to check on the progress of swelling and wound healing, as well as to address any issues around infection or retention of fluid. AbEX patients also have a 1-month post-operative appointment with the Sono Bello medical team to check on the progress of incision healing.
Sono Bello surgeons do not offer any restrictions on resting positions after a liposuction or excess skin removal procedure, but it is generally best to avoid putting too much pressure on the incision sites.
Most patients usually choose whichever position is most comfortable for them, whether that be sitting or lying down on their back, side or stomach.
Sono Bello surgeons strongly recommend that a patient keep hydrated after surgery, as it is easy to get dehydrated during the immediate recovery process. Patients should frequently drink small amounts of fluid during the early phases of recovery and keep their hydration up as the healing progresses.
For food, most Sono Bello patients start with a soft diet immediately after surgery and advance back to a normal diet shortly thereafter. Patients should monitor how they feel and consult with their primary care physician regarding any dietary concerns.
Generally, Sono Bello patients require a relatively high number of calories during recovery to help fuel the healing process. It’s also very important to keep hydrated and drink plenty of liquid, so choosing foods low in sugar and sodium may also help promote recovery.
Patients should consult with their primary care physician or nutritionist one month after surgery to better understand any specific diet recommendations.
After a Sono Bello procedure, it’s usually best for patients to wear clothing that is loose-fitting and comfortable and large enough to accommodate the compression garment worn underneath.
The only effects Sono Bello patients feel after their procedure are the temporary swelling and bruising caused by the procedure itself.
Sono Bello’s many years spent specializing in proven, safe body contouring methods and technologies have helped thousands of satisfied patients without side effects, as demonstrated by the over 24,500 five-star reviews online about their experience and shared their stories for others considering similar procedures.
Individual healing times and recovery periods tend to vary from patient to patient, but most patients see noticeable results almost immediately—usually within several days to weeks.
Almost all patients see the final results from their Sono Bello procedure within 6 months.
A patient’s skin will tighten after a liposuction procedure and this is a natural part of the healing process. The heat transferred to the dermis during a micro-laser liposuction like TriSculpt may even help to stimulate collagen, which can aid in skin tightening during recovery.
Lymphatic massage on and around the treated body areas can help to drain fluid from the incision sites during the patient’s initial recovery period and continued massages can also help to promote skin tightening throughout the remainder of the healing process.
Because Sono Bello procedures like liposuction permanently remove fat cells from the body, the actual fat in those body areas will not come back. Fat cells do not appear or disappear when a person loses weight; rather, they shrink and grow as that person’s weight changes.
That said, the remaining fat cells in a patient’s body may still expand if they gain weight in the future and this can impact their final appearance even after a liposuction procedure. For this reason, Sono Bello medical team recommends that all patients follow a healthy diet and exercise routine post procedure to ensure optimal results from your TriSculpt or AbEX procedure.
For patients who choose Sono Bello liposuction, the size of the incisions made during the liposuction procedure are usually straight lines no more than 3 to 4 mm in size—smaller than the tip on a patient’s pinky finger. These heal normally after all fluid has been drained and with the help of scar tape and massaging most Sono Bello patients see only minimal to no scarring a few months after their procedure.
Because excess skin removal procedures tend to require a larger hip-to-hip incision, many patients can expect well-healed scarring at the surgical that may fade over a period of up to two years. Keeping the incision site clean and protected, as instructed by a Sono Bello surgeon, can help to achieve a favorable scar.
Dr. Christopher Chung, Sono Bello’s Chief Medical Officer, recommends that patients should return to normal activities right away after their liposuction procedure—usually within 2-3 days after their procedure—as this will help to facilitate the healing process. These can include walking and working a relatively sedentary job, even if there is some soreness for the first few days or weeks,
Patients are not encouraged to exercise until directed so by their surgeon, but for most patients 3-4 weeks post-procedure is usually when they get back to light exercise like walking or light jogging.
More strenuous activities like lifting weights or running should not begin until they are cleared by a surgeon and most patients do not reach this until 4 or more weeks beyond their procedure date.
All recovery is patient dependent, so all patients should consult with their surgeon when determining their recovery plan and when it is safe to return to regular exercise. For patients who choose excess skin removal procedures like AbEX, recovery time may be longer than for procedures like liposuction.
Sono Bello patients are not permitted to drive themselves home after their procedure and an adult over the age of 18 must be available to sign them out and drive them home.
Sono Bello recommends all patients taking pain medication avoid driving. Only resume regular driving when you have stopped taking pain medication and when you are comfortable enough to do so.
Sono Bello recommends waiting 3-5 days for flights within the United States and 7-10 days for international traveling after a procedure. Patients generally wait until their incisions are healed and swelling has decreased before choosing to fly.
Any of Sono Bello’s 185+ Board Certified surgeons across the country will tell you that the recovery process is actually one of the most important parts of any body contouring procedure.
How a patient takes care of their body during the healing process has a great impact on their final results and following the recovery plan set by their surgeon is crucial to achieving their desired look.
It’s how more than 300,000 satisfied Sono Bello patients have found success and with a little preparation and patience every future patient can find the same.