Preparing for a cosmetic procedure can be an exciting yet anxiety-inducing experience. Even though it’s now more common, with doctors performing over a million procedures in the past years, you can’t help but have mixed feelings. Nonetheless, you’ve probably spent days dreaming of your improved features and how you can’t wait to show them off with new confidence. However, it would be best if you remembered that it’s going to take time before you can get the look you want. That’s because life after plastic surgery involves a lot of healing designed to ensure that you are strong and healthy. Here are some helpful recovery tips after cosmetic surgery.
1. Consult your doctor before making any medical decisions
Your time with your doctor does not end when you return home to recover after surgery. They are there to attend to your wellbeing post-surgery. If you are unsure of anything, including your medication or whether you are well enough to perform certain tasks, ensure that you consult your doctor. Whether you feel your questions are silly or not, try to run them by your doctors to get their professional opinion. You might be tempted to check the internet for quicker answers, but it would be best not to do so in such situations. For example, if you feel you are strong enough to head back to the gym or dip into the pool earlier than your full recovery date, you must ask your doctor if that is okay. While the internet has a wealth of information that is usually helpful, you must remember that every person heals differently. So, someone’s advice or suggestions might not necessarily apply to you. Your doctor, on the other hand, understands your condition and knows your health history. With this information, they can create more tailored advice or solutions that align with your condition. So, before you make any crucial decisions while healing, check with your doctor before moving forward. The last thing you would need is your wound reopening or developing any life-threatening post-surgery conditions.
2. Don’t use any natural remedies without your doctor’s permission
This point doesn’t mean natural or home remedies aren’t good. But sometimes, even the safest products can harm a person healing after plastic surgery. Natural remedies like turmeric, green tea, and other anti-inflammatory substances increase bleeding after surgery. Other herbs, too, are known to cause serious health issues when introduced to anesthesia or other pain medications.
During your consultation, ask your cosmetic surgeon to provide a list of items to avoid while recovering. Most surgeons suggest avoiding these substances two weeks before and after your surgery. You must also avoid smoking before and after your surgery. Undergoing surgery with nicotine in your system is a dangerous combination. While recovering, nicotine can slow down the entire process and affect your results.
3. Set realistic expectations for your healing process
Preparing for cosmetic surgery can stir up a mixture of feelings within you. At one point, you’re excited about changing a feature on your body to improve your confidence. But on the other hand, you are anxious or scared about the thought of going under the knife. Either way, you are likely to have unrealistic expectations, especially if it is your first time. This includes expecting a shorter healing period or expecting to look good the minute you’re off the table.
The truth is that recovery can take weeks and sometimes months. Additionally, this period may not be ideal for showing off your improvements. This is because the procedures you undergo may cause bruising, cuts, and swelling. Therefore, you would need to take some time to have these heal for you to see the much-anticipated changes. You must also realize that you might have to be immobile a few days after your surgery. When you set these realistic expectations, you will be less taken aback by your recovery process, and you can plan better. Ask a family member or friend to help around the house for a few days while you get back on your feet.
4. Eat healthy throughout the recovery
Eating healthy is crucial to making your recovery process much smoother. Your meals must include all the important vitamins and nutrients your body needs to make your body heal faster. Vitamins E, A, D, and C are vital to repairing your skin. Other nutrients like iron, protein, zinc, and fiber support muscle growth and healing. Before your surgery, ensure that you meet with a nutritionist to help you develop a recovery menu.
5. Attend your follow-up visits after surgery
Just because you’re home from the hospital doesn’t mean you no longer have to see your doctor. These post-surgery appointments are very important, as it helps your surgeon know if you are healing as they’d expected or if there are any potential complications. They also use this period to take out any stitches to speed up the healing process. Also, some patients get easily overwhelmed at having to change their bandages or treat their wounds. Your doctor will show you how to manage these tasks while recovering at home. Regardless of whether it’s 3 weeks after liposuction or two days after a breast augmentation, be sure to attend all follow-up sessions.
They are also the perfect opportunity to ask questions concerning your recovery and if you have any worries or want advice. Always remember that after-care is a significant part of your surgery.
6. Don’t become a couch potato
Many patients think they need to be bedridden throughout their recovery process. But that’s not usually the case. Depending on your surgery, most surgeons encourage patients to move gently around the house. You can try taking short-distance walks in the house or practice leg stretches in bed. Spending all your days tucked in bed, even when you’re not in severe pain, does not promote good blood circulation. Instead, it can create blood clots and muscle stiffness and stifle healing. It could also lead to weight gain.
These tips can go a long way in helping you bounce back from your surgery. But remember to consult your doctor if you’re unsure about any aspect of your recovery and be patient during this phase.