When augmentation of the hips has been unsuccessful by fat injections or the patient has insufficient fat to harvest, hip implants are the sole alternative. Such hip implants are usually deigned custom for each patient. Placed in a deep subcutaneous pocket on top of the TFL fascia, hip implants are introduced through a small incision superiorly at the level of the iliac crest. Here are my after surgery instructions for aesthetic hip implant surgery.
1. A compression garment (above the knee girdle) will be applied at the end of surgery. This is to remain in place as much as possible for the first 7 to 10 days after surgery.
2. You may sleep or lay in any position that feels comfortable. You will not hurt the implants or their positioning by so doing.
3. There will be a drain placed into the hip implantation sites. This will remain in place for one week after surgery to remove fluid buildups that naturally occur. You will be instructed in how to empty the drains. You do not need to record how much the drain its out each day as is often done.
4. There will be brown tapes to cover the incisions through which the implant was placed. They are glued on and will not easily come off. You may shower and get them wet without any concerns. The tapes can be removed 10 days after surgery.
5. You may shower the next day after surgery. Getting the tapes or drain tube wet poses no increased infection risk.
6. Your activity level should be what feels good. Do routine activities of daily living as tolerated. Strenuous exercise and excessive walking, however, should not be resumed for 3 to 4 weeks are surgery to lower the risk of seroma (fluid) buildup.
7. The skin over the entire hip area around the chin area will be numb right after surgery. This will go completely go away by 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
8. You may resume driving when you are off pain medications and can think and react clearly and quickly.
9. It takes 4 to 6 weeks for most of the hip/thigh swelling to subside and the final result to be seen clearly. There is usually some but not a lot of bruising which will resolve much quicker than the swelling.
10. Be on the lookout for buildups of fluid (seroma) that can occur as late as 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. Such collections usually need to be removed by needle aspiration.
Dr. Barry Eppley