When your surgeon closes up the last incision and you are moved out of the operating room, so begins your journey of recovery from your plastic surgery.
Depending on the nature of your procedure, you may be kept at the hospital or clinic overnight for observation and released from care the following day. Or you may be able to go home right after your surgery. Whether you are getting a facelift, rhinoplasty, or eyelid surgery, post-care is important to maintain successful results.
From this point onward, you get to take a more active role in your own care and the outcome of your surgery. It’s a good idea to make your healing a priority since a good recovery is essential to good results that you’ll be happy with.
Planning your recovery from surgery
Plan to devote the first several days after your surgery to resting at home. The more time you invest in healing in the early part of your recovery, the better. Trying to do too much too soon can actually end up prolonging your overall recovery time. When you do begin to resume your normal activities, take it slowly, gradually increasing your activity level bit by bit each day.
Your doctor will typically have you in for weekly check-ups to monitor your recovery and tailor your care to your specific situation. The follow-up appointments give your doctor the ability to notice and address any complications or abnormalities, such as visible scarring, in your healing process as early as possible. After about two months, if all goes well, your procedure will be considered complete and any follow-up appointments will be scheduled at your and your doctor’s discretion.
How to care for yourself following your surgery
In addition to attending all of your follow-ups and keeping your doctor fully informed about your physical condition, here are some important ways you can ensure the best possible recovery and outcome for your surgery:
Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate diet to eat in the days immediately following your surgery, which will likely include soft, easy-to-digest foods. Once you’re back to your normal eating habits, it’s a good idea to focus on vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins to give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to heal effectively.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is another crucial part of your recovery. Water nourishes the cells in your body, supports your metabolism, and is a necessary part of any wellness regimen. Be sure to drink the daily recommended amount of water.
Get enough rest
Sleep is when our bodies go into “repair mode,” so getting enough sleep will be an absolutely essential component of your recovery. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep at night and schedule time in the day for a nap in case you feel the need for one.
Tobacco products should be avoided by anyone who wants to enjoy good health, but it’s particularly important for people who are recovering from surgery. Smoking increases the risks of complications because it impacts the flow of oxygen through the lungs and has an adverse effect on the body’s immune system.