I went in today for a follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon post eyelid revision and liposuction. I had posted a couple of times about the huge amount of swelling I had the last few days. Basically as of 3 or 4 days ago, I was up 7 pounds! Yes, I know that some of it (from a pound to pound and a half) is actual weight gain. I was sick for about 10 days and didn’t move much during that period and ate differently and ate more. So, yes, some gain was normal.
But, on Monday I noticed that I seemed to have huge upper abdominal swelling. At the worst my waist line up almost 4 inches from what it was last week. Since then, I went back to wearing the medical grade compression garment and some of the swelling has gone down. I’m down 3 1/2 pounds from Monday.
But, I was eager to discuss this with my surgeon. At the absolute worst moment, I had this fear that I had overeaten and that I had new fat in my upper abdomen and didn’t have swelling. In my worst thoughts, I worried I had totally undone the liposuction by overeating that week I was sick.
Now, logic, made all that unlikely. At worst, I gained a pound and a half of real weight since my last weigh in during June. But, at the worst of the swelling I was up 7 pounds. No way that was all fat. Second, when you have liposuction in an area even if you do gain fat somewhere in your body, you are often less likely to gain it in the area of the liposuction. So, if I did gain a pound or so of fat, it would likely be distributed over my body and wouldn’t all concentrate in my abdomen. Third, you don’t basically gain several pounds of fat overnight. So, no, this wasn’t all because I overate.
Despite the darkness of those thoughts, by today, I was feeling better. My waist line this morning was 3 inches smaller than it had been on Monday. I had lost several pounds. The visible swelling in my upper abdomen was down a lot. It wasn’t where it had been two weeks ago, but was much better than it had been 3 days ago.
Thankfully, my discussion with the surgeon relieved my anxiety. This is swelling and not fat. He felt the area of the liposuction and said he didn’t feel any fat there. He did ask me about what was different right before I started having all the swelling. I explained to him about being sick, not being active, not eating normally, etc.
The answer he gave me was interesting. I knew that part of this could reflect increased sodium intake while I was sick. Part of this was because I was not eating as much fresh foods since I was eating for convenience and was eating more processed foods since I didn’t feel like cooking anything. And, part was just increased food intake. So, he did point out that there can be increased swelling with increased sodium intake.
The part that was really interesting was that he attributed most of the swelling to the fact I had been sick. He said that when sick the body often tends to retain more water and also does things to promote healing. He said that since I had had surgery the body will basically send swelling to the area of the surgery. In this case, it all went to my abdomen since that was where I had surgery. It did that rather than being spread out over the body. He indicated that I can have this kind of swelling for the first 4 months or so after surgery. The main way for me to reduce the swelling is to limit sodium and wear a compression garment to reduce the swelling in that area.
So, this all made me feel much better. I can chalk most of the 7 pounds up to swelling due to being sick and increased sodium intake. To be sure, I do have some real weight gain of up to a pound and a half. And, I was eating higher carb than usual the last two weeks so some of the gain is likely due to that. That will come down some as I got back to my more low moderate carb intake.
The main thing is to not be demoralized at seeing that big number (in the low 150s) on the scale. And, to recognize that over the next few months, this may happen again.
I am also totally sure that I will have to pay at my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday. While I am down 3 1/2 pounds from Monday, I am not down enough that I will weigh 148 or lower. I expect to still be over that by a few pounds by Saturday. Now, that I realize how the swelling ties in with being sick I feel much better about it. This week has been a good week on eating and I just need to continue with this and I should be fine by the time of the August weigh in.