Cosmetic surgery is popular and offers patients an improvement in their appearance which often involves a rejuvenation to turn back the years or to amend a compromising facial feature that dominates a person’s appearance. An important aspect of cosmetic surgery is recovery after surgery, patients want to have minimal downtime, with fast recovery and so they may return to both personal and professional commitments.
There are several aspects to a fast recovery after cosmetic surgery, these include aspects before surgery, the surgery itself and after surgery. Our surgeons provide every patient with detailed before and after instructions to improve patient healing and downtime after surgery.
Avoid medications or herbal medicine products that thin your blood for 2-weeks before and after surgery. Common medications include aspirin, NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) and fish oils, there are many others, Your surgeon will provide you with a comprehensive list of medications to avoid.
Smoking delays healing, reduces the benefits of cosmetic surgery and increases the risk of complications. Our surgeons advise all patients to stop smoking a minimum of 6-weeks before surgery and for some procedures he will advise against the surgery in smokers.
In advance of the surgery date, fill the prescriptions. In addition purchase vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that improves healing, and arnica, which reduces bruising.
Prepare ice in a suitable covering (or frozen peas) or even a facial gel pack. Their use for three days after surgery reduces swelling and speeds up recovery.
Follow your surgeon’s directions carefully, Your surgeon will provide specific instructions based on the type of surgery you are undergoing.
Centre for Surgery surgeons use surgical techniques that minimise tissue trauma and where possible will use more conservative techniques or surgical innovations to reduce bruising and swelling after surgery and improve recovery times. Our surgeons are advocates for using agents that reduce bleeding that include the use of fibrin tissue adhesives. With eyelid, nose and facelift techniques, Our surgeons favours conservative surgery that reduced downtime and speeds up recovery. The face has unique properties and small measurements in the face can make substantial differences to the surgical results.
One of the most important things that a person can do after cosmetic surgery is rest. Rest is what the body needs the most of because it is what expedites the healing process. A person also should avoid any and all vigorous activities and spend most of his or her time relaxing. Increased activity result in changes in blood pressure that can result in increased bruising and swelling. Our surgeons advise resting at home for at least a week after a cosmetic procedure, although the exact length of time is dependent on the procedure.
Using ice on treated body areas has a beneficial effect on reducing swelling. With the use of ice packs for ten minutes every hour while awake for the first three days, reduces swelling. Ice packs can be ice or frozen peas wrapped in a towel.
When sleeping, keep your head elevated with 2 or 3 pillows. This is important as gravity fluid tends to redistribute when you are sleeping, and if your head is at the same level as your body, this will encourage swelling in your face. Sleeping with 2 to 3 pillows is important for 4-6 weeks for most types of cosmetic surgery but especially facial procedures.
A person should also make sure that he or she is getting at least 8 hours a sleep every night. Our surgeons often supply medication to help with sleeping during the first couple of nights.
Some patients have a reduced appetite for a few days following surgery so it is best to eat soft foods. Eating soft foods also allows a person to recover more quickly because it gives the digestive system a break. Porridge, rice, pudding and bananas are great foods to eat during that time. It is important that a person drink lots of fluids during the recovery process because it is very easy to become dehydrated. The best types of fluids to drink are water and juice. Tea, coffee, caffeine-containing beverages and alcoholic drinks should be avoided as these cause dehydration.
Do not start any new medications or herbal and alternative treatments during your recovery period without your doctor’s approval. Some may interfere with the healing process or even cause other complications.
Do not exercise before your doctor allows you to. Exercise increases your blood pressure and may encourage further bleeding and swelling as well as interfere with healing. Your surgeon will give you advice regarding restarting exercise after surgery which is tailored to your specific surgery.
After facial cosmetic surgery, the location of the incision and surrounding skin is more sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. It is important to take precautions to shield your face from the sun. This includes the use of hats and high quality sun block (a minimum of SPF 30) to protect your skin during the healing process, this is important for 12-months after surgery. Sunlight and ultraviolet rays influences the healing skin and scar and may cause darkening of the scar
For some patients, the period after surgery can be emotional and one of the most effective aids for a faster recovery is a positive mental attitude, given the right environment the human body has great capacity to heal.
MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) has a role in reducing swelling in the soft tissues after many cosmetic surgery procedures. Centre for Surgery has an MLD expert who offers this specialist massage to aid lymphatic drainage from the face.
After certain facial procedures, you may be advised to wear a supportive or compression garment for some of the time, this will aid in the recovery process by helping to support the healing face and reduce swelling. Following your surgeon’s directions carefully is important. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions based on the type of surgery you are undergoing.