BBL Recovery – Fajas and Massage
Massages are real great for a couple of reasons. Number one, the early massages, which I always recommend having the next day beginning the day after surgery, are really good for removing the fluid that your body produces, and some of the fluid that’s left behind from the liposuction. That’s why I leave all of the incisions open after I do a BBL or liposuction. After surgery, yourmassage therapist will go through and they’ll express the fluid from your abdomen, back and sides. That technique helps get rid of the layer that’s between your underlying skin and your fascia, which is the covering over your muscle. When that fluid is expressed, it will help that skin and the bit of fat remaining underneath the skin to stick down.
I recommend starting these massages the day after your surgery – some people begin the day of their surgery, but I don’t recommend that. I always suggest at least a minimum of 10 massages, but those early massages you want to have those done every day. I usually also recommend patients that are not from Miami or from the South Florida area to stay in area for a week after surgery. Usually, patients will have four or five massages here before they go back home, and once they’ve returned home, they’ll want to continue on and complete at least ten massages.
The second reason that massages are really helpful is that they help to soften the tissue that’s left behind. Remember when you have liposuction, you’re going to get a lot of inflammations, which is normal. We’re led to believe that inflammation is always a bad thing, and so many of us take medication to stop it, but inflammation is actually a normal response to healing, and we want it to happen.
However, the inflammation after liposuction can lead to some fibrosis and hardening of the tissue left behind - so you’ll want to make sure to begin your massages and continuing with them, to decrease the chances of bad fibrosis.
The faja, or compression garment, is a really important part of recovery for liposuction or BBL. It was developed in Colombia, and a lot of that influence from South America is here in the Miami area. However, it may not be as well known to some other patients who consider it more of a simple compression garment. But the faja is more than just a compression garment – in fact, it does a whole list of important things. after liposuction or BBL to help you heal.
The faja is different throughout your whole recovery process. So, let’s break it down and talk about how it works in the very beginning. The faja gets put on you after your surgery while you’re still asleep, and it will be tight when you wake. We always want the faja to be snug, but not too tight because its initial role is to simply apply compression. It’s very strong elastic that creates firm compression and limits your bleeding. It is essential for you to wear your faja from the moment you leave after surgery until you come in the next day for your post-operative appointment. During this time, the nursing staff is going to help you open it, change your dressings and addressing other post-surgical things
The first use of the faja provides compression, which limits bleeding, but to a certain extent, it will limit swelling. After surgery, when the fluid forms between your muscle and that overlying skin, the faja will apply compression to reduce that dead space that’s created once the fat is removed. So, it will not only apply compression and reduce bleeding, but it also limits the amount swelling because it reduces the amount of fluid that can accumulate in that dead space.
Another reason the faja is important is because it provides a great deal of comfort to patients. Think about when you bang your elbow or get injured – your first instinct is to grab the area in pain and apply some pressure because it provides comfort and security when you’re in pain.
As time goes on during the first week, your body is going to change dramatically. Originally, you’re going to swell for those first few days, and then you’re going to start to get rid of that fluid and your body is going to shrink. Remember, your body is going to shrink in different ways – if you had a BBL that fat is going to shrink slower than the skin that’s going to shrink and re-drape over your abdomen.
You’re going to find that at one week your faja is not going to fit you properly. It’s probably going to be a little bit loose in the butt, but it’s going to be very loose in the waist. It’s at this time that we recommend that you see a tailor or seamstress, and have your faja altered. Getting your faja altered is really the most affordable way to get a custom faja. Getting your faja alter also ensures that it always fits properly.
However, if you find that you’re shrinking so much that you need a smaller size, than please, purchase a smaller faja that fits you more appropriately.
I always recommend that patients will stay in the faja for three months. The first six weeks they’re going to be in it 24/7, and the last six weeks they will be in it for half the day - usually just during the day and then not at night.
I don’t believe that there is a such thing as a stage 2 faja. I don’t think you should be going into a lighter compression faja. Patients should be staying in the same garment and getting it altered - that way it’s always fitting correctly – snug but comfortable. You can actually apply too much compression and get some areas (usually on the side) where there’s too much compression, and it can injure the blood supply. So please pay mind to how tight your garment is fitting.
There will also be other things that are going to go inside the faja - boards and foams. We’re not going to put you in that right after surgery. Instead, patients need to wait until after the first few days to start wearing the foams. They are generally placed on the sides, and our staff and yourmassage therapist can certainly help.
Then, you’re also going to want to use a board, which is a like a table or Mesa. It’s going to go in the front, and apply more compression. As mentioned, all of these additional measures are used to decrease the amount of dead space so that we get good adherence of the skin and the fat.
Please do not wear a waist trainer with a faja. Waist trainers can create too much compression, and I’ve seen problems from that. I’m not a big proponent of a waist trainer personally, but if you want to wear a waist trainer later – after the three months - that’s fine.
After the first three month, your faja has done its job and you need to discontinue use. It is not beneficial to continue wearing it after the three months, and it can actually cause harm.
Imagine if you have planted a brand-new tree, and a landscaper places 2x4s around the tree to support it while the roots grow strong. That’s the way I envisioned the faja working at the beginning. A faja will support you in the beginning when you need help, but you don’t want to stay in it so long that you begin to depend on it. If you start to rely on the faja to keep your form, you’re not relying on your own muscles, and they need to work, strengthen and tone.
Finally, I love making hips – in fact it’s a huge part of the Ogee, but I often hear that patientsaren’t wearing their faja because they don’t want their hips to go away. As I mentioned, the fajais going to help the fat on your hips to survive. Please don’t skip the faja thinking that it will help you retain more fat in the hips - what actually causes fat loss on that area is pressure from your own skin and soft tissue if your skin is very tight.