5 Important Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips

by Wendy Travis

5 Important Plastic Surgery Recovery Tips

One of the greatest factors in the success of a cosmetic procedure is the patient's ability to recover fully afterward. The recovery time and level of discomfort varies greatly from procedure to procedure and patient to patient, but a few tips can make the recovery period more successful in nearly any situation. Check out these five pointers for recovering from your next surgical procedure to ensure you get through the post-operative time without unnecessary pain or complications.

Start Healthy
The best way to ensure a good outcome after your cosmetic surgery is to go into the procedure in the healthiest state possible. Some doctors advise patients to:

  • Quit smoking many weeks before surgery
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your body strong and at an optimal weight
  • Get a thorough checkup to ensure your body is healthy enough for surgery
  • Eliminate caffeine and alcohol prior to the procedure
  • Organize your home life as much as possible prior to surgery so you can focus on recovery afterward

By preparing your mind, body and environment for the recovery period ahead, you will be more likely to focus on helping your body heal quickly and successfully after the procedure.

Get Support
Most doctors want patients to have assistance at home for 24-72 hours after a surgical procedure. This allows you to rest and recuperate, while someone else is responsible for preparing your food and keeping you comfortable during the immediate recovery time. Many patients also experience a level of depression after cosmetic surgery, partly because of the pain, swelling and bruising that is typical immediately after the procedure. It is important to have support during this time to help you focus on your recovery, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your efforts once your body has completely healed.

Follow Instructions
Doctors provide patients with complete post-operative instructions after plastic surgery, and these directions should be followed as closely as possible for best results. Instructions may include pain medication that can be taken as needed, the use of ice to control swelling and restrictions on your physical activity. Doctors also offer advice on keeping the surgical area clean and promoting healing of the incision. When possible, stock up on necessary supplies and fill prescriptions prior to surgery, so you are fully prepared to carry out post-operative instructions as soon as you get home after your procedure.

Be Realistic
The truth is that when you undergo plastic surgery of any kind, you are bound to look worse before you look better. Swelling and bruising is not uncommon after these procedures, which can make you feel uncomfortable about going out in public or heading back to your office. If possible, take a few weeks off work to allow your body time to fully recover. Don't spend time worrying about what you look like right after surgery, since it will take time for your body to heal and experience the results of the procedure. Check incision sites regularly, and call your doctor if you notice signs of infection or other symptoms that might indicate the area of the surgery is not healing properly.

Protect Your Skin
Once you begin venturing outdoors after surgery, it is very important to properly protect your skin from the damaging UV rays of the sun. Use a sunscreen that contains a minimum SPF of 15 and wear a hat whenever possible. Never leave your house without adequate protection and try to avoid sun exposure during the hottest periods of the day. Sun exposure can make scars more visible and hinder the healing process.

Ensuring a full recovery after plastic surgery involves taking the time to care for yourself and follow your doctor's directions to the letter. With sufficient rest and care, your cosmetic procedure is much more likely to be comfortable and successful.

To learn more, or to schedule your private consultation with a leading plastic surgeon near you, contact us today.

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