Recovering from Plastic Surgery

Most patients are excited to have plastic surgery and are even more eager to recover and enjoy their results. Whether it’s a facelift, a breast augmentation, or a tummy tuck, the anticipation can be almost overwhelming, and understandably so.

If you are like most patients, you cannot wait to return to your normal routine. From playing with your children, to going back to work, to resuming exercise, to enjoying a day in the sun, you’ll probably be anxious to enjoy your normal life again, but you don’t want to rush it.

Cosmetic surgery patients play a key role in the recovery process. The actions they take following a procedure can either delay or accelerate their healing. One of the most important and beneficial things that you can do after a procedure is follow your plastic surgeon’s advice.

If you jump back into your normal routine too quickly and your body does not have enough time to heal, it can result in adverse consequences, for example, surgical wounds can open, you can bleed, and it can lead to additional scarring, which you don’t want.

Here are some tips to help you accelerate the recovery process after plastic surgery:

1. Don’t overexert yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the things that you have to do, such as household chores, but remember, you just had surgery. Your body needs time to heal. If you overexert yourself, it can lead to bleeding, your stiches can come open, and the pain can worsen, delaying the recovery time.

2. Stay clear of over-the-counter medicines.

For at least two weeks following the procedure, avoid over-the-counter supplements and medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and certain herbal supplements as these can affect blood clotting. If you want to take something, be sure to run it by your surgeon first.

3. Get your body moving.

While it’s important that you rest in the first few days following the surgery, it’s also important that you don’t lay in bed all day and night either.

Get up, walk around the house or go outside for a gentle walk and some fresh air. Moving increases circulation, reduces constipation, which is common with pain medication, and improves mood.

4. Follow your doctor’s orders regarding compression garments.

Depending on the procedure, your surgeon may have told you to wear compression garments, which help control bruising and swelling. Usually, we recommend compression garments following a breast augmentation, liposuction, and a tummy tuck.

Not only do compression garments help the body reabsorb the edema fluid, they prevent skin wrinkling and promote skin retraction. The compression garments also help scars heal so they are softer, and less noticeable.

5. Return to exercise slowly.

You may be a self-proclaimed “gym rat,” but it’s critical that you don’t return to your workouts too soon at the expense of your surgery results. When patients jump back into their exercise routines too soon after surgery, they can experience serious complications, for example, their incisions can re-open, resulting in delayed healing and worse scars.

6. Do not smoke.

We advise clients to refrain from smoking for at least 8 weeks since smoking delays healing and recovery, and can lead to serious, adverse complications, such as blood clots.

The healing and recovery process depends on the procedure, the patient’s individual medical history and overall health. If you are considering cosmetic surgery, contact us to schedule a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Yuly Gorodisky.

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