Plastic Surgery Recovery & Preparation
Most patients who have plastic surgery are worried about post-operative swelling and how they can minimize this unsettling symptom. As swelling can remain for days, weeks or longer, being prepared and knowing the key recovery tips will greatly help to minimize swelling.
Below is a must-have proactive list for anyone having plastic surgery who wants to take the air out of swelling:
Chill Out: 20 Minutes On, 40 Minutes Off
Many patients ice constantly (day & night) during the initial days of post-op. Apply a cold compress for 20 minutes on swollen area, then 40 minutes off, repeating hourly. Don’t put a cold compress directly on skin, as you should put a paper towel or thin, soft cloth on the swollen area to protect it. You can use specialized cold therapy compresses, frozen peas or blueberries in ziplock bags, or gauze pads soaked in water and ice.
Slip Into A Medical Compression Garment
Following liposuction, tummy tuck, breast surgery (augmentation, reduction, lift), facelift, upper or lower body procedures, or other surgeries, wearing a medical compression garment becomes crucial to your healing. A compression garment accelerates the healing process and allows you to return to daily life sooner by minimizing swelling, improving blood circulation, providing support and comfort to surgical areas, and by flushing the body out of potentially harmful fluids. By applying pressure, a garment helps the skin fit better to its new body shape with less likelihood of skin sagging. It is important that the garment be made specifically for plastic surgery recovery.
Depending on the doctor, you may need to wear both a Stage One garment for the first 1-2 weeks of post-op (garment is designed to be less tight and bigger due to your swelling and has zippers for ease) and then switch to wearing a Stage Two garment (smaller and tighter since you have less swelling) during 2-8 weeks post-op or longer. Wearing garments for both stages gives you continuous compression, which speeds recovery. Some doctors may ask you to wear one garment.
Choosing the right garment can have a significant impact on your healing. It is not recommended to sacrifice your cosmetic results by wearing a non-medical garment from your local store that is not specifically made for a cosmetic medical procedure (such as over-the-counter girdles, athletic shorts, body suits, tights, shapewear, sports bras) because they are not designed for continuous wear during recovery. Wearing a non-medical garment can be bad for healing, as you can slow down your recovery, worsen your swelling and other symptoms, and increase your post-op discomfort.
The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies
Bromelain is a natural pineapple enzyme that helps reduce post-op swelling and pain, and accelerates healing. Taken a week to several days before surgery and up to 1-2 weeks post-op.
Healing Multivitamins designed specifically for recovery are popular with patients, as they enable you to get all the essential healing vitamins, supplements, and minerals in one product.
Rest and sleep on your back continuously in a 30-45 degree angle for the initial days of post-op or as long as major swelling remains. Resting in elevation enables optimal blood circulation and helps reduce swelling. You can achieve elevation by using specialized pillows such as a wedge pillow with an incline design, or by propping yourself above 3-4 pillows, or by sleeping on a recliner.
Avoid Hot Showers
During the initial weeks of post-op, the water in the shower should be moderately warm because hot or steamy water can worsen swelling. Avoid having the water stream come down directly on fragile surgical areas.
As salt (sodium) can worsen swelling, avoid foods and drinks containing salt during recovery.
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