For many considering cosmetic surgery, the procedure may be considered the final step in achieving the body of their dreams. Don’t be fooled, recovery from cosmetic surgery is a process and should be taken seriously. However, by following a few simple tips, you can help your dream body bounce back with minimal pain or discomfort.
Discuss all aspects of recovery with your surgeon – before the procedure.
Be up front about your medical history, lifestyle, allergies and anything else that may impact your recovery. Even vitamins and natural supplements can have adverse effects on the recovery process so be up front about everything you take while discussing your procedure. Any surprises encountered during a plastic surgery could impact your surgeon’s plan and keep you under anesthesia longer than necessary. While you’ve long recovered from your childhood tonsillectomy, you should still let your surgeon know about it and any other procedures large or small.
Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly.
Each patient and each surgery are different. Your doctor is the best source of information for how to have the best recovery possible. Recovery from a tummy tuck can be drastically different than from a breast augmentation, for example, so even if you’ve had surgery before or know someone who has, you should still follow the plan created for your specific procedure. Additionally, some patients can take over the counter pain medication while others should stick to doctor-prescribed medication. Discussing your options thoroughly with your doctor will clear up any confusion.
Don’t neglect the basics.
While every recovery plan differs, there are some tried and true standards that you can expect any time you undergo surgery. For starters, the incision site should be iced and elevated to reduce swelling. Drink plenty of water and take the medication prescribed or recommended by your doctor on the schedule he or she outlines. Any incision sites, including those with staples, stitches or drainage tubes should be routinely cleaned with mild soap and water. Some patients attempt to scrub surgery sites or remove scabs – this is unnecessary and can sometimes extend recovery time. Also, frequently change gauze or dressings, your clothes and bedding to prevent infections.
Movement in moderation.
Rest is an important component of recovery, but too much rest can be a bad thing. Following cosmetic surgery, you should not attempt any strenuous activity, but don’t be afraid to move around. Regular stretching and light walking help maintain blood circulation and aid in healing. Patients with active lifestyles are often eager to get back to their routine but rushing into intense physical activity too soon can have a detrimental impact on your recovery. Do your best to relish in the downtime – your body will thank you for it!
Adopt healthy habits.
Cooking healthy meals for yourself and your family can be a great way to achieve low-impact movement. It’s a hobby that provides your healing body with nourishment and keeps your brain occupied during periods of extended downtime. Eating well, light exercise, getting plenty of sleep and drinking lots of water will all help your recovery and will help you continue to look and feel your best well after your surgery. Smoking, drinking and any form of drug use inhibits the body’s natural healing abilities so it’s best to avoid all three during recovery and limit them in the future. Consider ending bad habits before surgery so it’s easier to maintain your healthier lifestyle post-op.
If you’re considering a plastic surgery procedure, give us a call to discuss your goals. With a trusted surgeon and a solid plan, you can achieve incredible results with limited recovery time. Our friendly staff is ready to help you achieve your dream body and feel your best for years to come!