Going under the knife can be a scary experience, even if it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time. The road to recovery starts as soon as your procedure ends. While your discomfort, bruising and swelling vary based on your specific operation, there are universal tips to speed up your healing.
Don’t Skimp on Follow-Up Care
Follow your surgeon’s instructions for follow-up appointments and wound care. Dr. Joel Aronowitz recommends seeing your plastic surgeon one week after surgery. They’ll assess your progress and address any concerns. You may need repeated visits in the months after to monitor results.
Stay On Top of Medications
Your doctor may prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to help manage post-op pain and prevent infection. Be diligent about taking these medications on schedule, especially in the first 72 hours. Don’t try to tough it out, or you may set back your recovery.
Get Plenty of Rest
Take it from a professional like Joel Aronowitz MD: plastic surgery takes a toll on your body. Take time off work and avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks. Listen to your body and rest when you feel tired. Sleeping allows your body to direct energy towards healing.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
What you eat impacts how quickly you recover from surgery. Focus on nutritious whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. Stay hydrated and avoid processed foods high in sugar and salt.
Wear Compression Garments
Your doctor may have you wear a compression garment or bandages to minimize swelling. Though not necessarily comfortable, these garments serve an important purpose. Keep them on as directed, but remove them temporarily for bathing and showering.
While you shouldn’t do anything strenuous, gentle movement helps with circulation and healing. Take short walks around your house as you feel up for it. Avoid activities that involve using your chest or abdominal muscles. Move slowly and stop if you feel pain.
Listen to Your Surgeon
Your doctor tailors advice and instructions to your specific surgery and needs. Follow discharge instructions closely and call their office with any worrying symptoms like high fever, excessive swelling/bleeding or unmanaged pain.
Patience Is Key
It takes time for your body to recover after invasive surgical procedures. Be patient with yourself as you heal. Talk to your surgeon if you’re concerned about your cosmetic results, as swelling and bruising can temporarily distort appearances.
With proper self-care in recovery, you can get back to your routine and enjoy the benefits of your plastic surgery. Trust your doctor’s guidance, take it easy on yourself and let your body heal at its own pace.