How Can I Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Body Lift Surgery

Body Lift

Methods to Reduce Swelling and Bruising after Body Lift

Body lift surgery is a procedure that aims to reshape and tighten areas of the body that may have excess skin folds due to age, weight loss, or other factors. After the surgery, taking care of yourself is key. This is where post-operative care comes in. It’s about ensuring that your body heals well, and you get the best results from your surgery. Proper care can help reduce complications, like swelling and bruising after body lift, and help you get back to your normal routine faster. Remember, the surgery is just one step; how you look after yourself afterwards plays a big role in your overall results.

Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Carmen Munteanu guides you through understanding how to reduce swelling and bruising after body lift procedure.

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Body Lift – the Post-Operative Phase

After undergoing body lift surgery, it’s natural to wonder how your body will recover. Let’s break it down:

  • How the body reacts to surgery: When you have surgery, your body recognises it as a form of injury, even if it’s a planned and positive change. As a result, you might notice redness, warmth, and swelling around the surgical area. This is your body’s way of sending more blood and nutrients to the area to start the healing process. It’s a sign that your body is doing its job and working to repair the affected tissues
  • The stages of healing: Healing isn’t an overnight process; it happens in stages. Initially, you’ll be in the inflammatory phase, where the area might be red and swollen. This typically lasts a few days. Next, you’ll move into the proliferative phase, where your body starts rebuilding tissues. This can last a few weeks. Finally, there’s the remodelling phase, where everything tightens up and settles into its new shape. This can take several months. Throughout these stages, it’s essential to follow Dr Carmen’s advice and give your body the time it needs to heal properly

Why Swelling and Bruising Occur

Swelling and bruising are common after surgery, but have you ever wondered why?

  • The body’s natural response to trauma: As mentioned earlier, surgery is a form of trauma to the body. When tissues are cut or disturbed, blood vessels can break, leading to bruising. At the same time, your body sends fluid to the area as part of the inflammatory response, leading to swelling. Both are natural parts of the healing process and are signs that your body is working to repair itself
  • These are big procedures that interfere with the anatomy: especially the drainage of the fluid- some of the normal avenues of drainage will be impaired with surgery, and the body will build up new ones through a healing process, which can take time
  • Factors that can exacerbate swelling and bruising: While some swelling and bruising are to be expected, certain things can make them worse. Not following post-operative instructions, like lifting heavy objects or not wearing compression garments, can increase swelling. Some medications or supplements can also thin the blood, leading to more bruising. It’s essential to be aware of these factors and discuss any concerns with Dr Carmen

The post-operative phase is a time of healing and recovery. By understanding what’s happening in your body and why, you can better navigate this period and ensure the best possible results from your body lift surgery.

Download Dr Carmen’s Guide to Excess Skin Reduction Surgery

Guide Excess Skin Reduction

How to Reduce Swelling and Bruising after Body Lift

After body lift surgery, there are several strategies that can assist in your recovery. These aim to manage pain, reduce swelling, and ensure that your body heals in the best way possible. Let’s explore them in detail:


  • Pain relievers: After surgery, it’s common to experience some pain. Pain relievers, often prescribed by your plastic surgeon, can help manage this discomfort. They work by blocking the pain signals sent to your brain. While they’re beneficial, it’s essential to use them as directed. Overuse can lead to side effects like stomach upset or dependency. Always follow Dr Carmen’s advice and let her know if the pain continues or worsens
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Swelling is a natural response after surgery. Anti-inflammatory drugs, like celebrex, can help reduce this swelling. They work by limiting the body’s inflammatory response. Not only do they help with swelling, but they can also manage pain. However, it’s essential to check with Dr Carmen before taking any medication, as they can sometimes interfere with other drugs or have side effects

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

  • What it is and how it helps: Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle massage technique that helps move lymph fluid through your body. After surgery, fluid can build up in the tissues, leading to swelling. This massage helps to push this fluid towards lymph nodes where it can be processed and removed from the body. It’s a natural way to reduce swelling and can also be quite relaxing
  • Dr Carmen will give you some more instructions: As assessed if necessary, Dr Carmen will provide you with instructions on how to improve your own lymphatic drainage, which you can perform daily
  • Finding a certified therapist: If you’re considering lymphatic drainage massage, it’s essential to find a certified therapist. They’ll have the training and expertise to ensure the massage is effective and safe. Ask Dr Carmen for recommendations or check with professional massage therapy associations in your area

Compression Garments

  • What is compression therapy: Compression garments are tight-fitting pieces of clothing that apply pressure to a specific area. After surgery, these garments can help reduce swelling by preventing fluid build-up. They also support the surgical area, helping tissues heal in their new shape
  • Choosing the right garment: It’s essential to choose a compression garment that fits well and is designed for post-surgical recovery. Dr Carmen will provide you with specific type or brand. Ensure it is snug but not too tight, and wear it as directed. Remember, these garments play a role in your recovery, so it’s worth investing in a good one

These methods play a significant role in your post-surgery recovery. By understanding their benefits and using them correctly, you can ensure a smoother, more comfortable healing process.

Natural Remedies and Home Care

Recovery from body lift surgery doesn’t just rely on these strategies. There are natural remedies and home care techniques that can reduce swelling and bruising. Let’s explore some of these methods:

Cold Compress

  • What is cold therapy: Applying cold to an injured area, like where you’ve had surgery, can help reduce swelling and pain. Cold causes blood vessels to constrict, which reduces blood flow to the area and, in turn, minimises swelling. It also numbs the area, providing relief from pain
  • How and when to use it: For the best results, start using a cold compress soon after your surgery. Wrap a cold pack or a bag of frozen peas in a thin cloth and place it on the swollen area. Keep it there for about 20 minutes, then give your skin a break for at least 20 minutes before reapplying. Remember not to place the cold pack directly on your skin, as it can cause frostbite


  • Why elevating the surgical area helps: Elevating the operated area above the level of your heart helps reduce swelling. It works by using gravity to prevent fluid build-up in the surgical area, promoting the drainage of excess fluid back into the bloodstream
  • Tips for comfortable elevation: If your legs or lower body were operated on, prop them up with pillows when lying down. If it’s an upper body area, use cushions to support and raise the area when sitting or resting. Aim to keep the area elevated as much as possible, especially in the first few days after surgery

Herbal Supplements and Foods

  • Arnica Montana: Arnica Montana is a herb often used to reduce bruising and swelling. Available in creams, gels, and oral supplements, it’s believed to work by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. Always follow the recommended dosage and consult with Dr Carmen before starting any new supplement
  • Bromelain: Found in pineapples, bromelain is an enzyme that can help reduce inflammation and bruising. It’s available in supplement form and can be a natural way to support your recovery. As with any supplement, check with Dr Carmen before taking bromelain, especially if you’re on other medications
  • Foods that promote healing: Eating a balanced diet can support your body’s healing process. Focus on protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, and legumes, as protein is essential for tissue repair. Also, include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they provide vitamins and minerals that can aid in recovery

While medical care is essential after body lift surgery, don’t underestimate the power of natural remedies and home care. By incorporating these methods into your recovery plan, you can support your body’s healing process and get back to feeling like yourself sooner.

What to Avoid

Recovery from body lift surgery is as much about what you shouldn’t do as it is about what you should. Certain activities, movements, and lifestyle choices can hinder your healing process. Let’s discuss some of the things you’d be wise to steer clear of during your recovery:

Activities and Movements

  • Exercises to avoid: While staying active is generally good for health, there are specific exercises you should avoid post-surgery. High-impact activities like running, jumping, or any form of strenuous aerobic exercise can strain your surgical sites. Weightlifting or any exercise that puts pressure on the operated area should also be avoided. Always consult with Dr Carmen about when it’s safe to resume these activities
  • Movements that can exacerbate swelling: Quick or jerky movements can cause more harm than good. Bending over repeatedly or lifting heavy objects can increase blood flow to the surgical area, leading to more swelling. It’s best to move slowly and deliberately, especially in the first few weeks after surgery

Dietary and Lifestyle Factors

  • Foods and drinks that can increase swelling: Salt is a major culprit when it comes to swelling. Consuming high-sodium foods can cause your body to retain water, leading to increased swelling. Processed foods, canned soups, and certain takeaway meals are often high in salt. It’s a good idea to read food labels and opt for low-sodium versions. Additionally, caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you, so it’s best to limit them and drink plenty of water instead
  • The impact of smoking and alcohol: Smoking restricts blood flow, which can slow down the healing process. It’s recommended to avoid smoking for several weeks before and after surgery. Alcohol, on the other hand, can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding. It can also interfere with medications you might be taking. It’s wise to limit alcohol consumption during your recovery

FAQs about Swelling and Bruising after Body Lift

FAQs Dr Carmen

How long does it take to fully recover from a body lift surgery?

  • Recovery time varies for each individual, but most patients can return to light activities within 2-3 weeks. It may take several months for the surgical areas to fully heal and for the final results to become apparent. Always consult with Dr Carmen for a personalised recovery timeline.

Will there be visible scars after the surgery?

  • All surgeries leave scars, but skilled surgeons use techniques to minimise and strategically place incisions to reduce visibility. Over time, with proper care, scars will fade, but they will not disappear completely.

Can I combine body lift surgery with other cosmetic procedures?

  • Yes, many patients choose to combine body lift surgery with other procedures, such as liposuction or breast augmentation, to achieve their desired results. Discussing your goals with Dr Carmen will help determine the best approach for you.

What are the potential risks or complications of body lift surgery?

  • As with any surgery, there are potential risks, including infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, and changes in skin sensation. It’s essential to choose a qualified plastic surgeon and follow post-operative care instructions to minimise these risks.

How can I ensure the best results from my body lift surgery?

  • Following Dr Carmen’s pre-operative and post-operative instructions is key. This includes adhering to activity restrictions, taking prescribed medications, attending follow-up appointments, and maintaining a stable weight.

Further Reading about Body Procedures with Dr Carmen

Medical References about Body Lift Surgery

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Dr Carmen Munteanu – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

She is one of Melbourne’s most experienced and sought-after female Plastic Surgeons who offers aesthetic breast surgery and body contouring. That includes Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Implant Surgery and Body Surgery.

With over 25 years of surgical experience in Plastic Surgery, Dr Carmen firmly believes that a good surgeon is first a good doctor. She will always take into consideration all the health aspects and personal circumstances of each patient.

A dedicated Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Carmen is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

About Dr Carmen

What to do next

Conduct Research:

Get a Medical Referral before your consultation with Dr Carmen

  • A GP referral is now essential to see Dr Carmen for any type of surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Carmen – Car parking is available on-site in Mitcham.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Photos will be taken as part of your consultation, please try and wear black underwear.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book your Consultation with Dr Carmen

  • You can book your consultation with Dr Carmen Munteanu by paying the $300 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

‘Your Goal is my Priority’
– Dr Carmen Munteanu

M.D. FRACS(Plas) Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon

Contact Dr Carmen

Call 1300 652 468 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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