Are you planning to have plastic surgery? While the procedure itself may go smoothly, recovery is also an important part of the process. Following proper aftercare steps can promote healing and help you get back on your feet faster. The following are some useful tips for a smooth plastic surgery recovery, and the doctor will have others.
Get Plenty of Rest
Resting is crucial during the initial days after your plastic surgery procedure. Getting adequate sleep will allow your body and mind to fully dedicate energy toward healing. Consider asking friends and family to assist with daily chores while you focus on providing your body the downtime it requires to bounce back from the operation. Many published and peer-reviewed articles state this is one of the most important tips for a smooth plastic surgery recovery.
Follow Post-Op Instructions
Closely adhere to any instructions from your plastic surgeon regarding wound care, medication, compression garments, and more. This helps minimize complications and optimizes healing. For example, your surgeon may recommend using cold compresses or gel packs on the area for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day to help ease swelling.
Drink plenty of water and fluids like juice or broth during recovery. Proper hydration prevents dehydration, replenishes lost fluids, and helps medications digest. You want your urine to be a pale-yellow color. This indicates you are well-hydrated.
Manage any Discomfort
Use medications as directed by your doctor to help control pain and discomfort. Ice packs can also help reduce localized pain, swelling, and inflammation. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein supports the healing process.
Keep the Area Clean
Gently clean the incision sites daily with mild soap and water, and be very delicate when toweling dry. Look out for excess redness, swelling, or pus, which are signs of a potential infection, and let your surgeon know right away if any arise. Avoid soaking stitches and bandages.
Wear Compression Garments if Recommended
Your surgeon may advise wearing a compression garment or bandages over the operated area. This minimizes swelling and helps the affected skin conform into place. Ensure compression garments have the proper fit.
Avoid Straining Your Incisions
When showering, washing, or moving about, take care not to stretch or strain your incision site. Over-stretching can impede proper healing. Move slowly when changing positions, and avoid lifting heavy objects. Consider asking someone to assist with tasks during recovery.
Know When to Call the Doctor
Look out for signs of infection like worsening redness, drainage, fever, or chills, and contact your doctor right away. Excessive bleeding that soaks through dressings is also a cause for concern. If swelling seems severe or prolonged, fluid may be building up under wounds.
Other reasons to call your plastic surgeon’s office include rashes, no improvement in pain, numbness or changes in nipple/breast sensation if applicable, or any worries about your progress. Frequent follow-up visits will help your doctor monitor you so problems can be caught early. Call the office with any questions or issues.
The above tips can promote a smooth, relatively pain-free plastic surgery recovery, allowing you to heal and ease back into your routine. Always consult your plastic surgeon if concerns arise during your aftercare process. With diligent self-care and close adherence to post-op instructions, you will ideally achieve the results you want.