After months of research, debate, and consultations with plastic surgeons, you finally decided to go through with the plastic surgery of your choice. Your surgeon answered all of your questions and gave you pre-op instructions to follow before your surgery. Now, it is after surgery, and time for the surgeon to examine the results of his work, and give you, the patient his recommendations and post-surgery (post-op) instructions. This tends to be the time when patients become most nervous because they don’t know what to expect, and certainly don’t want to make mistakes that could deter an optimal recovery.
After surgery, you realize how much of the recovery process is in your hands. While your surgeon will provide detailed instructions and guidelines for the postoperative period, what you as the patient do afterward is entirely up to you. It is recommended that you as the patient follow all of the plastic surgeon’s instructions pre- and post-op to a tee. This will ensure an optimal and successful outcome, and most importantly, the results that you desired will be there. Not following post-surgery instructions will only prolong the recovery process, often resulting in risks and complications ranging from pain, to implant leakage, bleeding, and infection. Here are some tips from Atlantic Center for Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery for patients to follow post-surgery:
1. Yes, you just had surgery, listen to your body
When you are ready to leave the recovery room after surgery, you are ready to be driven home by your chosen chaperone. Plastic surgeons recommend that whether you are on the bed or couch, everything you need should be within reach. Don’t feel bad about laying around and recovering, especially if you feel crummy; you just had surgery!
As any drugs given to you at the surgery center begin to wear off, you may feel some pain and general discomfort. Before you take the pain medications that your plastic surgeon prescribed, try to get something in your stomach. We recommend bland, soft foods that are low in sodium. Taking pain medications on an empty stomach can result in nausea. If you underwent general anesthesia, it is completely normal to feel nauseous. Most importantly, listen to your body and get some rest.
2. There will be bruising and swelling, which is annoying, but part of the process:
After your surgery, bruising and swelling are part of your body’s way of healing. Again, you just had surgery. If you underwent a rhinoplasty (nose job), you will see discoloration in the form of purple or black bruising on your face and neck, commonly under the eyes. Don’t worry, the bruising is 100 percent normal and will go away in about seven to ten days. If you follow instructions, nearly eighty percent of the swelling should go down in the following weeks after your plastic surgery. Ice the surgical area, as it is crucial to reduce swelling and inflammation.
3. Pay attention to the incision site
You play an important role in keeping the incision site clean, which will determine how well it heals. Keep the incision clean and moist, by gently using half-strength hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment.
Post-op care highly revolves around the incision site. Light bleeding along with clear or blood-tinged discharge is completely normal. A pink incision line is the sign that it is healing nicely. Look out for a warm, hot, and yellow pus-like discharge, which are all symptoms that may indicate an infection or that something may be wrong. Call your plastic surgeon at the first sight or sign of any concerns.
4. The recovery process is a journey, not a rush or race
We all want instant results and gratification nowadays. However, with plastic surgery things will take time if you want success and the desired results you asked for. We want patients to know that the recovery from any plastic surgery is a journey, not a race. The body’s healing process is complex and unique to each person. That’s why it is so important to just be patient with yourself and the process. Your plastic surgeon can help alleviate your fears by working with you to make sure you have the best post-op recovery possible.
From surgery to recovery and afterwards, don’t be afraid to reach out to your surgeon. Your plastic surgeon is board certified, and takes pride in patient care and giving the best treatment, for what will likely be the best possible outcome.
To get some more tips for your post-surgery recovery, call Atlantic Center Surgery to request an appointment with Dr. Steknicki at (954) 983-1899, or request an appointment online.