For many people the deciding factor on whether to have cosmetic surgery is the recovery period. We are often asked how long will it take to get back to routine. The following tips will assist with the healing process to get back into your normal routine as soon as possible.
1. Take care of your basic health.
Overall good health means you will bounce back faster after surgery. Don't stress too much in the lead up to your surgery. Its ok to be nervous but make sure there is also a measure of excitement. Stay away from alcohol, smoking and drugs.
2. Prepare everything you need for the surgery.
Make sure your surgeon and the anaesthesiologist know about any medications or medical conditions you have. Set up where you will recover with everything you might need after your surgery, including pillows, comfy clothes, books, and lip balm. If you wear glasses, make sure your visionary aid is figured out. After eye surgery, sunglasses are necessary, and after nose surgery we recommend Doctor CO Eyewear.
Organize someone to collect you from the hospital and stay with you until you are able to fully care for yourself. Organize someone to look after any pets or children during your first few days of recovery.
3. Get a good night's rest and follow the surgeon's pre-operative instructions.
1. Carefully follow the directions given by your surgeon.
Your surgeon knows what is best and right for you. If you have any questions, give them a call. Most surgeons issue post surgery instructions. Check this document as you might find the answer to any questions you may have.
2. Have patience.
The body takes time to heal, and healing times are not an exact science, as each person recovers differently based on environment, lifestyle and genetics. You may not heal as well as the next person, or you may even heal faster than the next person.
Swelling, bruising and skin discoloration from cosmetic surgery can last for weeks. It often takes months to recover completely. The lifecycle of a scar is 12 months. Soft tissue takes time to settle. Inflammation has to subside before you can see the final results. Talk to your surgeon about your concerns, and give your body time to heal.
Stress does not speed up healing and can take a toll. Your recovery period should be stress free, a time to really look after yourself.
Take this time to care for you. Consider reading, listening to relaxing music, aromatherapy, massages, or meditation to help bring down stress levels.
Research has shown that people who live near trees and parks have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, than those who live in a concrete jungle. A study from Scotland showed that a stroll through a leafy park could ease brain fatigue. You might find a walk in the park relaxing, but remember to shield your wounds from the elements. Pop sunglasses on when you go out if you are recovering from eyelid surgery.
4. Protect yourself from the sun and the elements.
Protect your wounds from the sun, wind, dust, and other pollutants. Exposure to the sun will cause skin damage, inflammation or discoloration at the incision site, resulting in a bad scar. Wear sunglasses, hats or other protection. Limit the time you spend outside, and when you do go outside, apply a strong sunscreen. Avoid swimming, hiking, running, or other high risk activities that could expose your wounds.
5. Avoid strenuous exercise and work tasks.
Avoid strenuous activities for 4-6 weeks after surgery, depending on what your doctor recommends. These include activities that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. It is important to avoid these as some of the blood vessels that have sealed can be forced open, causing bleeding and bruising.
Be careful around pets and kids. After a tummy tuck or a mummy makeover, lifting a toddler or a heavy handbag could hamper recovery.
Before you return to work or vigorous exercise, be sure to tell your surgeon what your job and exercise routine involves. What you do will influence when it’s safe to return to normal daily life, and how your recovery progresses will also be a factor.
6. Diet well.
Healing requires extra protein and calories. Bump up your protein intake, and eat foods rich in vitamins A and C. Check with your surgeon before using health food supplements, as some contain elements that can harm you and slow the healing process.
7. Drink lots of water
Water helps cleanse the body and keep it healthy. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
8. Stay away from alcohol, drugs and tobacco
These slow down the healing process and cause unnecessary complications. Alcohol suppresses your immune system and makes healing more difficult. It has a dehydrating effect, which can lead to bleeding. Don't smoke, and avoid exposure to second hand smoke as well. Tobacco smoke limits the oxygen that reaches your body's cells. Your cells need oxygen to heal.
Avoid recreational and prescription drugs; even some prescription drugs and supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. Recreational drugs can increase your need for pain medications, and steroids can affect how your incisions heal.
Follow these steps after cosmetic or plastic surgery to ensure a speedy and uneventful recovery.
As always, no procedure is without risk. A discussion of all potential benefits and complications should be held during consultation with a certified specialist.
If you have any other questions or concerns about plastic surgery, or how to maintain your health post-op, send an inquiry to us, and we will do our best to help.