The 7 Best Things You Can Do to Rock Your Recovery After Cosmetic Surgery
Each of our Las Vegas cosmetic surgery patients comes to us with their own unique concerns, personalities, and goals for their appearance. But if there’s one thing we feel confident saying they all have in common, it’s wanting as fast and smooth a recovery as possible.
Choosing a highly experienced, qualified cosmetic surgeon is the most important step you can take to ensure a swift recovery and great results. But after your procedure is done, the recovery ball is largely in your court. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to facilitate the healing process and rock your results ASAP, starting with these cosmetic surgery recovery tips we give to all of our patients.
1. Listen to your doctor, not the internet
If you’re looking for advice on scar care after cosmetic surgery or wondering if you really need to stay out of the hot tub when you’re already 3 weeks post-op (spoiler alert: you do), you might be tempted to go by what RealSelf has to say. Don’t be: even fairly trustworthy online sources of cosmetic surgery information should not replace instructions from your own cosmetic surgeon, who knows your medical history and all the details of your actual procedure. Call your cosmetic surgeon with any concerns or questions you have, and follow the advice they provide.
2. Don’t take any herbs, supplements or medications without your doctor’s permission
Many normally safe products can be dangerous or inhibit healing after cosmetic surgery. For example, ibuprofen (Advil), green tea, tumeric, and other everyday anti-inflammatory substances can increase risk for bleeding after surgery. Other herbs and medications may interact with anesthesia or pain medications. Your cosmetic surgeon will give you a list of items to avoid. The general rule is to avoid “banned substances” for at least 2 weeks before surgery and 2 weeks after, but follow your surgeon’s protocol.
3. No smoking or vaping!
We can’t stress this point enough: nicotine use and cosmetic surgery are a dangerous combination. Nicotine slows healing and increases risk for complications that can leave a lasting negative impact on your health and your results. If you’re a smoker, you must quit a minimum of 4 weeks before surgery, and don’t smoke at all for at least 4 weeks after. Even one slip-up can raise the risk for complications.
4. Don’t become a complete couch potato
A common misconception among patients is that they’ll be completely bedridden for days after cosmetic surgery. This is almost never the case. In fact, we encourage patients to get up and move gently (i.e., walking, gentle leg stretches, etc.) and frequently as soon as possible after their procedures to promote good circulation, prevent blood clots, and ease stiffness and discomfort after surgery.
5. But do take it easy
Doing too much, too soon is a common mistake patients make after cosmetic surgery. It’s normal to feel impatient and restless at some point, and you may be tempted to jump back into more vigorous tasks. However, your body is still healing for several weeks after you feel “normal” again; in fact, feeling great early in the process is a sign your recovery is going well, and that you are giving your body the rest it needs. You’ll likely be able to resume daily activities a few weeks after most procedures, and the short required time away from the gym is not going to significantly impact your long-term fitness.
6. Ask for—and accept—help from others
Asking for help with tasks you are normally perfectly capable of doing yourself—such as carrying groceries, reaching up to grab a coffee mug, or cooking dinner—can be tough. But you’ll need to swallow your pride and let others do the heavy lifting for a few weeks. Your incision sites need time to heal internally and externally, and straining them too soon can cause scars to stretch or even lead to bleeding.
Make it easier on yourself (and your ego) by preparing before your procedure. Set your home up to allow you easy access to items you use frequently, and outsource tasks such as meal preparation, shopping, childcare, and cleaning to friends, family, or paid services.
7. Go to your follow-up visits after surgery
Although we always enjoy seeing our patients, we don’t schedule post-op visits just for the fun of it. These appointments are very important to ensure you are healing as expected, and that your results are settling in nicely. This is also an excellent time to ask questions and express any recovery concerns you may have. Also, it’s at these appointments that your cosmetic surgeon can give you the green light to resume exercise, take a dip in the pool in your new bikini-ready body, or shop for new bras after breast augmentation.
Following the above tips can go a long way toward helping you bounce back quickly after cosmetic surgery. But remember, any advice you find online, even from us, is no substitute for advice from your surgeon! If you are looking for an experienced cosmetic surgeon you can trust to deliver outstanding care and excellent results, contact our office for a personal consultation with Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon Dr. Samir Pancholi.