Happy Healing, Downtime Post-Plastic Surgery

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Happy Healing, Downtime Post-Plastic Surgery
June 19
13:57 2016

Downtime post-plastic surgery is a crucial part of your road to healing.

If you take it seriously, your journey to recovery will be a smooth one – and you will ultimately reap the benefits of an operation gone well. However, if you don’t heed the advice of your physician and decide to make your own rules for recovery, your path may very well be a bumpy one.

After undergoing any surgery, it is important that you give time for your body to rest and closely follow your doctor’s instructions, as not doing so can lead to such complications as an increased risk of infection, stitches reopening and inflammation.

The first few days after the procedure set the stage for your recovery and are the most important in ensuring the pain is properly managed and complications are avoided. Moreover, the type of rest that your body needs will vary from operation to operation, but as a general rule, it is imperative to not exert yourself and to ease off from doing strenuous physical activities afterwards.

Let’s take the tummy tuck procedure as a case in point. Patients that get this procedure done should follow a number of steps to ensure a safe and sound healing process, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

This includes avoiding heavy lifting (such as picking up laundry or children), taking medications at certain times as prescribed by a doctor, not smoking before and afterwards and not drinking alcohol for five days after surgery or while you are taking pain medication, and avoiding strenuous exercise for four to six weeks, because it can trigger such complications as

“unnecessary fluid retention in the treated areas.”

Now, if you decide to smoke some cigarettes after your operation, have your usual glass of wine (gulped down with your pain medication) after dinner and resume your normal running and weight lifting routine three days after the procedure, would you be very surprised that you didn’t heal as quickly or well as you expected?

What about another procedure, a breast lift surgery, for example? The ASAPS notes that a doctor may instruct a patient to wear a support bra for a few weeks, “until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish.” Since you put all this effort into planning this surgery and going through with it, it would just make sense to meticulously follow the aftercare routine that your doctor outlines.

Before undergoing any procedure, it is important to realize that complete healing doesn’t happen overnight and could take some time. A recovery from a tummy tuck procedure can occur over six months or more.

If you get more than one procedure done at the same time, the healing process will inevitably take longer. Also, everyone’s body heals differently and no two people heal at the same pace, so have patience.

Lastly, never self-prescribe yourself medication or play doctor. If your doctor tells you not to take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medication for the first few days after your surgery, don’t. Even if you think it won’t hurt, it’s not worth the risk. Inform your doctor about all medications you are taking (both pre and post-procedure) and keep them in the loop through every step of the decision-making process.

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