Nine Tips for a Healthy Recovery from Plastic Surgery
It is important to understand that the recovery process following plastic surgery differs from patient to patient, and just as importantly, the type and number of procedures you undergo.
Procedure(s) aside, it is important to consider that the physical and emotional issues that can occur during recovery. As your surgeon will tell you, it is important to not rush the recovery process as allowing your body to properly heal will lead to more rewarding results. Below are some hints for a healthy, satisfying recovery:
1. If you undergo any type of surgery to the face, including a face lift, nose surgery or blepharoplasty, it is important to apply ice according to your surgeon's advice. Even if your surgeon has bandaged the surgical area, you may need to periodically ice the area. Be sure to ask your surgeon for his or her advice on how long you should do this.
2. Plan your recovery time. Depending upon the surgery, recovery time could range from a few days to a few weeks. Keep this in mind as it affects your work, family, and social schedules after surgery.
3. Be realistic in your expectations. Let's face it, you're going to look worse before getting better. Just about all types of cosmetic surgery procedures involve bruising and swelling. Your real results won't reveal themselves for a few days (or longer) so don't panic! Let the natural healing process take place. If you suspect a problem see your surgeon immediately.
4. Follow your surgeon's guidelines. Whether it's taking prescribed medication or when to resume regular exercise, or hygiene instructions, your surgeon can provide the best advice for a safe and healthy recovery.
5. Arrange for care for the initial 48 to 72 hours after surgery. Even though you may believe you can resume your normal routines, having someone there to assist you will bring peace of mind and allow the healing process to occur normally and with less disruption.
6. Rehydrate your body often. Surgery of any kind can reduce fluids in your body. Drinking water frequently will help replenish these lost body fluids. Also, eat lightly for the first few days and only food that is easy to swallow and digest.
7. If you have had surgery to the head or neck, such as a brow lift or neck lift, it is important to keep the area elevated for several days following your surgery. By doing this, it will help reduce the swelling and increase the recovery process without compromising the results.
8. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Use sunblock with proper UV protection to protect your skin.
9. Don't take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications. These might interfere with medications prescribed by your doctor and increase your tummy tuck risks or liposuction risks. Be sure to check with your doctor about which over-the-counter and prescription medicines you should avoid during recovery.
Erwin J. Bulan, MD
Bulan Plastic Surgery
75 Main Street
Millburn, NJ 07041
Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS
Cosmetic Surgery Associates of New York
166 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Nikesh K. Patel, MD
New Reflections Plastic Surgery
1001 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728