Recovering From Plastic Surgery the Right Way

As with any other surgical procedure, plastic surgery requires a significant recovery time with many specific guidelines for the patient to follow. You’ll want to plan to take time off of work, schedule friends and family to provide meals or do housework, and plan on nothing more than resting during the days immediately following your procedure. Once your doctor says it is okay, you can slowly ease back into your daily routine.

Here are some common tips to follow during your recovery:

Plan to regularly apply ice to your surgical site. Your doctor will let you know how often to put an ice pack on the site and how long to leave it there. You’ll want to have plenty of ice in your freezer or several store-bought ice packs waiting in the freezer.

Adjust your schedule to accommodate plenty of recovery time. Your surgeon can advise you on how much time you should take off work. It’s best to take as much time as possible up front since you can always come back early if you recover faster than you originally thought! In addition to taking time off work, you’ll to adjust family and social engagements in order to accommodate the rest you’ll need.

You should arrange to have a friend or family member stay with you during the first 48 to 72 hours following surgery. Even though you may feel up to performing your normal activities, it’s best to take it easy and let someone else handle the housework for a few days as your body recovers.

While you sleep or rest, you should keep your head and neck elevated to avoid unnecessary swelling. Keep your head and shoulders propped up on pillows as you sleep or recline both during the day and at night.

Plastic surgery places extra strain on your body, so you’ll want to take it easy on activity and diet. Your body often loses fluid during surgery and recovery, so rehydrate it often by drinking plenty of water. You’ll also want to plan on light meals during the first couple days of recovery. Choose foods that are easy for you to swallow and for your body to digest.

Avoid going out into the sun. If you must go out, use a sunblock with plenty of UV protection.

Don’t take aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medication until your doctor says it’s okay. Your surgeon will provide you with prescription pain relievers and other medications that are designed to work well together. Some over-the-counter medications may interfere with these prescriptions and cause problems that can make your recovery time longer. Before your plastic surgery, your doctor will also evaluate current prescription medications you may be taking for other medical conditions. He’ll let you know which ones are safe to continue during recovery.