6 important post-plastic surgery recovery rules

Plastic surgery is a transformational journey, and your recovery is a fundamental part of that experience. In order to arrive at your desired destination it is critical for all patients to follow the post-operative instructions that they are given by their plastic surgeon. When recovery guidelines are not followed complications can arise, such as, infections, opening of incisions, and increased swelling. If you are considering plastic surgery, it is important that you commit to the time and personal care needed to recover, before agreeing to the procedure. Below is a list of general recovery rules to follow to help guide you.

Recovery Rule #1: Take the Time. It is always better to schedule more recovery time than you think you’ll need, especially if your job or daily activities are physically strenuous. Certain procedures will require more time off than others before returning to light activities. For example, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, and post-weight loss makeover (body lift) will require 3-4 weeks time for healing. Meanwhile, facelift, neck lift, and eye surgery require 1-2 weeks for recovery. Breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, liposuction, and brachioplasty (arm lift) require 1 week for proper healing.  

Recovery Rule #2: Rest. While recovering at home can make performing household chores seem tempting, must resist the urge. Taking the time to heal means getting plenty of rest in bed, with as little activity as possible. Stick to your doctor’s recommendations for positioning, walk time and applying ice. This is the best way to reduce swelling and bruising. It is recommended to have a family member, or friend help you to get around, go to the bathroom, prepare meals, and assist with medications, for the first 24 to 48 hours after plastic surgery.  

Recovery Rule #3: No Smoking. Not only is smoking unhealthy, but it also presents a much higher risk for dangerous complications from plastic surgery. Smoking inhibits your body’s ability to heal, increasing the risk of bleeding, infection and may cause unfavorable results. If you smoke, it is important to quit well before surgery.

Recovery Rule #4: Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Ibuprofen, aspirin, fish oil, and Vitamin E may interfere with the healing process. If you plan to take these medications, be sure to inform your doctor of the same so that they can suggest the appropriate dosage for a safe progression in the healing process.

Recovery Rule #5: Use Recovery Garments. Surgeries, such as, breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, liposuction, tummy tuck, all require the use of special undergarments to be worn after surgery in order to minimize swelling and promote a shorter recovery time. Wearing these undergarments for the recommended amount of time is critical for optimal results.

Recovery Rule #6: Follow-Up. After surgery your plastic surgeon will need to see you in order to check on the progress of your recovery and for the removal of stitches or bandages, if necessary. The timing of follow-up with your doctor is also important. If your post-operative instructive include that you should not drive within this timeframe, be sure to arrange for a ride to your doctor’s office in advance.

It is no secret that plastic surgery can be expensive. Adhering to the recommended time and care required for recovery is one of the best ways for you to get the greatest return on your investment. Post-operative instructions are your physician’s way of standing by your side even after you leave the operating room, and following those instructions is the best way that you can help yourself achieve the best results. Dr. Frank Madda is happy to answer all of your post-operative recovery questions you might have because the best decisions are informed decisions. Contact us today to schedule your free plastic surgery consultation.