So, you have had plastic surgery! Congratulations! Now that the anesthesia has worn off, you may be wondering what to do next. Every patient’s surgery is different and the recovery period will vary, but there are a few common guidelines that will help you have an uneventful recuperation. Your recovery will be a vital part in the success of your procedure, especially your results. Too much stress, beginning an activity before you are supposed to and smoking can lengthen your recovery by days, or even weeks. While nothing replaces the advice given to you by your surgeon, we have compiled our top four tips to help you have a successful recovery:
Follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions
There is a lot of information on the internet about recovering from surgery. This information is a good starting point, but it does not replace the specific instructions given to you by your surgeon. Every surgical case is different; therefore, your surgeon will have a recovery plan tailored to your needs. It is important to have someone who will be assisting you with your recovery after surgery. He or she will be more likely to remember instructions and ask pertinent questions than you due to your anesthesia. If you were unable to have someone to assist you with the instructions, you should request a written copy of your instructions for future reference. *Note: Even if you have had surgery several days ago, your surgeon should be able to give you a copy of your instructions. *
Rest is at the top of the to-do list for recovery. The body NEEDS rest to repair itself after surgery. Too much activity causes the natural process to slow down, which can lead to infection and other problems. This doesn’t mean you have to be bedridden. In fact, most surgeons will advise that you get up and walk around for a few minutes every couple of hours to prevent blood clots, but strenuous activity must be avoided until you are cleared by your surgeon.
Initiate whole body healing
Let your mind and emotions heal alongside your body. Depression is a common side effect of surgery. It is just as important to monitor your mental health as it is to monitor your physical recovery. For some people, plastic surgery is the result of years of feeling insecure about their bodies. During recovery, when the swelling and bruising are at their worst, you may begin to have “buyer’s remorse,” meaning you begin to wonder why in the world you had this procedure. You may not be able to see the results you want right away. Be patient. It can take several weeks and even up to a year after your surgery before all of your swelling subsides.
Know when to call your surgeon
You will have several post-op appointments after surgery to monitor your progress. This does not mean that you have to wait until your scheduled appointment to address concerns and problems. In fact, you should call your surgeon if:
- You have an area in the incision that looks or feels different from the rest of the incision.
- Your pain is increasing instead of decreasing.
- Your swelling is increasing.
- You cannot remember specific aftercare instructions.
- You are having problems with your drains.
*You should immediately call your surgeon if:
- You see a discharge coming from your incision.
- You have an area that is red or hot.
- You have a fever.
- You have severe pain, even if it is not in the area of your incision.
- You have shortness of breath.
If you have had a surgical procedure with Dr. Huddleston or you are considering a plastic surgery procedure, contact our office today with any questions or concerns you may have. Our caring staff is available to schedule a consultation or after-care appointment with Dr. Huddleston. We also know that things pop up after the normal business hours, so we provide our patients with an after-hours phone service. Simply call the number, leave your information with the operator and Dr. Huddleston or another member of the staff will call you back soon. We have been proudly serving East Tennessee for over twenty years, and we look forward to helping you on your journey, from your first consultation to celebrating your fantastic results! So, don’t wait another minute to change your life! Call us today!