Surgical procedures, plastic surgery, in particular, can be an exciting experience for most patients as it promises to bring a positive change in your life. Once the surgery is done, individuals are eager or more anxious to return to their normal, daily routine.
Many patients want to accelerate their recovery process so that they can enjoy the changes. However, to do so, patients need to follow the advice of their doctor and skin care professional religiously.
It is important to understand that a surgical recovery process differs from person to person. The physical and emotional issues that occur post-operation can either make or break your spirit. It is, therefore, important not to rush the recovery of your body and mind, and give time for positive results.
Mentioned below are some of the things you can adopt for a healthy, satisfying surgical experience.
1. Time is your ally
In most surgical cases, the results are not obvious immediately after the operation. As the scars and tissues improve with time, minimising the swelling, thus the positive results start becoming apparent until it is finally a permanent part of your being.
No matter how curious you are to pick at your peeling skin and face plaster to check the difference after the surgery – don’t. Let the wounds heal. Honing your patience will make for a pleasurable recovery; without the likelihood of infection or scarring.
2. Don’t fight the pain
Many patients attempt to be strong and prefer ‘enduring’ the pain after the procedure, but this will only cause more harm such as an increase in blood pressure and delay recovery time as a result. It is important to take the medicines suggested by your physician, and not let the pain catch up to you.
Moreover, make sure to avoid over-the-counter pills, such as vitamin E supplements, aspirin and Motrin, which could affect necessary blood clotting for the next two weeks after surgery. Tylenol is a safe alternative; however, it is always better to consult your doctor before taking any substitute pill. Painkillers can cause constipation, so it is important to stay hydrated and keep your body moving.
3. Follow doctor’s guidelines
Doctors’ post-operative instructions after plastic surgery should be followed as closely as possible for a seemingly gratifying recovery. A physician’s guidelines usually include pain medication that is taken whenever needed, the frequent use of ice to control swelling and certain restrictions on physical activity. To promote healing of the incision, doctors offer advice on keeping the surgical area free of environmental contamination.
You will be suggested to stock up on the necessary supplies and medical prescriptions before surgery so that you become fully equipped to carry out post-operative health instructions right after the procedure is done.
4. Arrange for initial care
Arrange for initial care after surgery. You may think you’re perfectly capable of taking care of yourself alone. However, having someone there to assist you during the initial 48-72 hours post-operative procedures will not only bring you peace of mind but would aid the healing immensely; normal and with less disruption.
5. Take care of your skin
Dermatologist Ellen Marmur tells WebMD, “To optimize your results, you want to heal without any discoloration. If your skin is red, you want to baby it after surgery to prevent pigmentation.” You must make sure to use mild, hypoallergenic products like fragrance-free moisturizers and non-soap cleansers to protect your skin from blotching. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and be generous with UV protection sunblock. Unprotected exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles and unwanted tinting.
6. Get up and move
While resting up during the initial hours of post-surgery is essential, don’t continuously lie around doing nothing. If you don’t feel like going for a walk, take a few rounds inside the house or stand outside to inhale the fresh air. Moving helps the body heal in ways you can’t decipher. It may also help reduce pain and odds of constipation which is a common side effect of prescribed pain medications.
For weight lifting buffs: Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 10 pounds. Starting post-operative day, you can lift up to 20 pounds with low-impact aerobic exercises such the stationary bike or elliptical. However, if you have had a facelift, avoid lifting or sharply turning your head for six weeks.
7. Keep hydrated
Surgery of any kind can reduce fluids in your body. Keep drinking water to help replenish the lost bodily fluids. It is also recommended to eat lightly during the first few days and only food that is easy to digest and swallow. Irrespective if it was a minor surgery or an all-out procedure, consuming 8-10 glasses of water a day is a must, along with a few cups of herbal teas to keep the mind unclogged and relieve the body from all kinds of toxins.
8. Get Support from Family and Friends
During the initial stage of healing, your close friends and family can be important sources of moral support. Since the positive results of surgery are not seen immediately as desired, you may experience potential feelings of disappointment, making you unable to do regular tasks around the house. Plastic surgery tends to look worse before it starts to look better so not only your body but your mind, too, needs support to heal.
Day to day tasks: Depending on the kind of surgery you underwent, you might receive certain movement restrictions from your doctor. In this case, your family and friends can help you with the daily house tasks that you may be unable to do.
Be pampered: Your family can also pamper you by cooking your favourite meals and make you feel loved during the challenging period.
As mentioned before, every surgical recovery process differs from patient to patient. It is customized according to their health and reaction to surgery. It is a must for you to thoroughly follow your doctor’s guidelines and other tips highlighted in this article to allow a speedy healing, providing your body with ultimate results.