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POST SURGICAL RECOVERY TIPS

 

                               

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Tips for preparing for your procedure:

  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications as they can thin the blood.

  • If you smoke, stop smoking for at least 2 weeks pre-op (smoking greatly increases your risk of complications including necrosis).

  • Obtain a copy of your doctor's post operative instructions.

  • Arrange to have someone drive you to and from surgery.

  • Arrange for someone to care for you the first 24-72 hours after surgery.

  • Fill prescriptions before surgery.

  • Purchase thermometer, antibacterial soap, dressings, gauze, etc.

  • Set up home recovery area: lots of pillows, blankets, magazines and books, journal to note your recovery, television, CD player, IPOD, remote controls, videos, etc.

  • Whistle or a bell, cell phone, walkie-talkie or intercom system for requesting help.
    Prepare meals before time and freeze them.

  • Healthy snacks to have on hand: Gatorade, protein shakes, soup, applesauce, jell-O, frozen dinners, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, juice.

  • Consider speaking to your physician about low-sodium foods to reduce swelling.

  • Prepare ice packs (frozen packs of fruit, gel packs, etc.) to reduce post-op swelling - or you can make your own ice packs using 1 part alcohol, 3 parts water in baggies. This formulation of alcohol and water works great, as it makes a slush, so the ice pack will mold to your surgical area.

  • Purchase moisturizers for your skin, scar reducing creams for later on in the recovery. (Topical ointments/scar remedies should not be used on incisions that are open).

  • Laxatives (pain medication can cause constipation – Colace, Diosate Sodium with Cassanthal, etc. can help tremendously.)

  • Eye Drops (after any surgery, eyes can become very dry).

  • Consider hand-held shower head and bathroom chair.

  • On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing that is easy to get off and on after surgery (hooded sweatshirt that zips up the front, button down shirt, sweat pants).


     

 

 

 

Recovery timeline after your procedure:

  • Apply ice packs or compresses to minimize swelling.

  • Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications (your doctor can provide you with a list of over the counter medications to avoid).

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

  • Use a sun-block (minimum 30 SPF) to protect your skin.

  • Go to follow up appointments to reduce complications.

  • Do not smoke or be exposed to secondary smoke during recovery.
     

 

 

 

 

First post operative visit: Bandages are usually removed. Stitches that are not absorbable will be removed after three to ten days following surgery.

Return to work: Three days to three weeks

Exercise: Generally four to six weeks
These are general guidelines. Your own plastic surgeon will tell you his guidelines on exercise.

Depression: Depression is common following cosmetic surgery.

 

 

 

 

There are several factors that contribute to post-operative depression, including:

  • Anticipation and stress

  • The medications, anesthesia and trauma of the surgery have physical effects that will affect your emotional well-being.

  • Stress and fear regarding complications and disfigurement

  • Refraining from exercise can make you feel tired, and out of sorts.

  • Adjusting to your new look

  • Dealing with family and friends reactions to your surgery

  • Feeling guilty about having the procedure


It is perfectly normal to have post operative depression. Take time for yourself; to get yourself back on track, with making sure you relax and try not to overdue. Having support from your family and friends helps tremendously when recovering from elective surgery.