If you are facing an upcoming surgery soon, you’re probably concerned with how to recover as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Plastic surgery is no different than any other surgery: you’ll be going “under the knife,” as they say, and most of us worry about how we’ll feel after we wake up, and how long it’ll be until we feel like our normal selves again. Everybody is different and individuals heal at different rates, but there are some things you can do to promote faster healing.
Follow the tips below for post plastic surgery care so you’ll be back on your feet in no time at all.
How to Make Plastic Surgery Post-Op Easier | Post Plastic Surgery Care Tips
1. Doctor Knows Best
The hospital discharges you with a full list of instructions to follow once you are home. These are not merely a list of suggestions, but actual directions on how you need to take care of yourself. Many recoveries are prolonged because people don’t follow the doctor’s orders. Don’t be that person. If your doctor puts limitations on what you can lift, or says no bathing or swimming for a week, take heed. Even if you think it’s silly. They have reasons behind their instructions.
2. Pain Control
Keep up with your schedule of prescribed pain medications. Recovering from surgery is painful, especially in the days immediately following the procedure. You don’t want to let your pain meds lapse and suffer while you’re waiting for another one to “kick in”. Keeping your pain manageable is about more than just your comfort, although that is a biggie. You’ll be able to sleep more easily if your pain is controlled – and your body needs sleep to recover.
Also, doctors want you up and moving as soon as you’re able to promote healing. You won’t want to move much if you’ve let your pain reach high levels. In addition to your prescribed painkillers, a plastic surgery recovery kit is a natural supplement that can be helpful as you continue to heal.
If you’re ordered to be on bed rest as you heal, it might be helpful to invest in a special pillow that allows you to sleep comfortably or ice packs to rotate off and on to reduce swelling.
3. Take Care of Your Incision
You may not want to, especially if blood makes you squeamish, but it’s important to check your incision more than once daily. You want to make sure it’s healing properly. Check to make sure stitches or staples are intact, if there is drainage, or if it is red. It’s the only way you’ll be able to tell if it’s getting infected or healing as it should. Washing your hands thoroughly before touching your incision is super important! It’s the easiest way to prevent infection.
4. Get Moving
You want to get up and moving as soon as you can post-op. It can be tempting to want to stay in bed and rest all the time while you recover. Your body does need rest, but it also needs to move. Movement prevents blood clots, pneumonia, and other complications, as well as speeds up your body’s healing process.
It also helps with an annoying side effect of pain medications – constipation. Moving get things, well, moving. Take it slow and just walk a little bit every few hours, and gradually increase frequency and duration as you start feeling better. Just wait for your doctor to clear you before doing anything too strenuous.
5. Eat, Drink and Practice Self-Care
Many people don’t feel much like eating or drinking after surgery. You may feel nauseated, constipated, or you just don’t have an appetite. It’s important, though, to keep hydrated, and your body needs proper fuel to heal. Start with liquids and mild, healthy foods and eventually your normal appetite will return.
Post-surgery can be a stressful time so it’s important to take time to really take care of yourself. And who can say no to a little extra pampering? Maybe try a skin treatment or facial. Listen to quiet music or light some candles. These small things can give you a little boost mentally if you’re struggling with recovery.
6. Follow Up Appointments
This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many patients skip their follow up appointments. Even if you feel 100 percent back to normal and your incision site looks to be healed, you still need to keep your appointment with your doctor. They’ll want to see for themselves how you’re doing, and look for signs of infection or run labs to be sure everything is as it should be.
The follow-up appointment is also appointment because your doctor can give you permission to get back to regular activity if you were restricted before. So, don’t see it as a waste of time – instead, treat it as confirmation that you are completely healthy and ready to resume life as you knew it pre-surgery.
Recovering from surgery doesn’t need to be complicated. Just a little time, patience, and effort on your part will have you feeling great post-op.