With all of the information available on-line about plastic surgery from health sites and social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and a bit confused. That’s why, when you are considering undergoing any plastic surgery procedure, it is always a good idea to do your homework. Prospective patients often spend months or even years reading plastic surgery reviews, checking board certification, and carefully examining pictures of previous patients, just to make sure they have chosen the plastic surgeon that is right for them. While taking the necessary time to thoroughly research all of your options and carefully make an educated choice is one of the best ways to avoid any unfortunate mishaps down the line, it is not the only thing that you can do. Here are five relatively simple steps that you can take to help ensure that your recovery proceeds as smoothly and as quickly as possible and that you achieve the best possible plastic surgery results.
Start off Healthy
Ironically, the road to a smooth recovery often starts before the procedure even begins. Any surgery is going to place a good deal of stress on the body, and being in the best physical condition possible beforehand makes bouncing back from that stress easier. Patients who are overweight, underweight, or who have preexisting health conditions like high blood pressure are often at increased risk for post-surgical complications. Before surgery, work towards getting as close to your ideal weight as possible by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly.
Make your doctor aware of all your pertinent medical details, from your general activity level to any supplements and vitamins you plan to take, so that they can develop a plan specifically suited to your needs. Then follow that plan, scrupulously! Make sure that you attend all post-operative appointments without fail so that any potential problems can be addressed before they become serious. Take advantage of your surgeon’s knowledge and expertise by keeping the lines of communication open.
Mind Your Medication
Many drugs and herbal supplements can interact in unexpected ways, so work with your surgeon to arrive at a post-surgical medication plan that will work for you. Patients can have very different levels of pain tolerance, so don’t feel anxious about taking your prescribed pain medication. In fact, pain triggers the body’s natural stress response, increasing the blood pressure, and this increase could potentially increase bruising and exacerbate the appearance of scars. Don’t forget to take all of your prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection and follow your doctor’s guidelines regarding any other medications and herbal supplements.
Smoking is never good for you, but it can be particularly dangerous before and immediately after major surgery. Smoking compromises lung function and blood flow, effectively delaying the healing process. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, and any other products that can adversely affect blood clotting, like Motrin, Vitamin E, and many herbal supplements, as these can also have adverse effects on your recovery. Your surgeon will provide you with a complete list of substances that can impede your recovery.
Get Up and Get Moving
Although you should avoid any rigorous exercise after surgery, as increasing your heart rate will also increase your blood pressure, there is no reason to lie around doing nothing. Short walks around the house or even outside to get some fresh air can be tremendously beneficial and help you to get over the constipation that can be a side effect of anesthesia, prescription pain relievers, and overall changes to your body.
If you have any questions about whether or not a particular activity is advisable, it is important to consult with your surgeon at one of your post-operative sessions. By maintaining an open line of communication, you can go a long way towards ensuring that your recovery is ultimately successful. If you are interested in learning more about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures we perform, or about how the variety of financing options, including Alphaeon® and CareCredit®, that we provide can help you, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices.