Recovery from a cosmetic surgical procedure may be quick and easy for some patients, but for most of us here in New England, a full and successful recovery will take a little more time and effort. It is important to understand that the recovery process following plastic surgery will be different for every patient. What will you need to know about recovery? Are there risks you should know about? Keep reading, and you’ll learn those answers.

WHAT HAS TO BE CONSIDERED AFTER A SURGICAL PROCEDURE?

It is imperative for any patient who is considering any surgical procedure to take into account the physical and emotional issues that may emerge in the recovery process. Take your time, do not rush your recovery and allow yourself to heal naturally, properly and completely.

Offered here are some suggestions for a healthy and full recovery:

Plan your period of recuperation. It may be several days or several weeks hinging upon the exact nature of the surgery. Your recovery will impact your work, your family, and every aspect of your life. Be prepared.

Make your expectations realistic. If you’ve had facial rejuvenation surgery, you’ll look worse for a few days before you look better. Relax. You will heal quickly and naturally. If you any problems, suspicions, or concerns arise, speak with your surgeon.

Adhere to your surgeon’s recommendations. Whether it’s about post-surgical hygiene, medications, or any other aspect of your recovery, your doctor offers good and necessary advice.

After most surgical procedures, you should have someone who can stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours. You might feel fine, but with someone to help, you will ensure that nothing unexpected disrupts your recuperation.

After any type of facial rejuvenation surgery – facelifts, nose surgeries, or blepharoplasties – it is imperative to use ice as your surgeon directs. Even a bandaged area may occasionally need ice.

Surgery reduces fluids in the body, so be sure that you drink plenty of water while you recover. After any surgery, eat only light meals for the first several days, and only eat food that is easy to chew and swallow.

Head and neck surgery is a particular concern. After any head or neck surgery, keep that area elevated for the first several days. Elevation will help you reduce any swelling you might be experiencing.

After any facial rejuvenation surgery, avoid exposure to direct sunlight for at least two weeks, and always use sunblock with proper UV protection.

Do not use aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medicines as you recover. These could interfere with the medicines your doctor has prescribed for your recovery. In fact, discuss with your doctor what over-the-counter products you should avoid during recovery.

Be sure that you understand all of your surgeon’s recommendations, and do not hesitate to ask questions or have your physician address any concerns. After the inconvenience of a surgical procedure, you deserve peace of mind.

WHAT ABOUT RECOVERING AFTER LIPOSUCTION OR BLEPHAROPLASTY?

If you are recovering from liposuction, the first three days will be the most difficult. After that, recovery should be easier. Some patients fully recover from liposuction in as little as one week, but the more extensive your liposuction is, the longer it will take to recover fully. Try to be patient and remember that every patient is different.

After an eyelid lift procedure – a blepharoplasty – you may be given lubricating ointment and pain prescriptions as well as prescriptions for preventing infections. You may experience dry eyes, tenderness, or irritation for several days, and these are expected, but fever or excessive pain is not normal and should be reported at once to your plastic surgeon.

ARE THERE SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR RECOVERY AFTER A FACELIFT?

After a facelift, your face may feel “tight.” That’s expected. You may also experience swelling and some mild-to-moderate pain for the first several days after a facelift. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to help you prevent any potential infection. Many facelift patients fully recover in about a week to ten days, but everyone’s recovery will be different.

For at least a week after a facelift, elevate your head when you sleep. This helps to minimize any swelling. Avoid consuming aspirin, alcohol, and any supplements containing niacinamide or niacin. Get some mild exercise like walking – to increase your circulation and aid the healing process – but avoid contact sports or vigorous exercise for at least two weeks.

Recovery from breast augmentation surgery can be a little bit more complicated. A recovering breast augmentation patient must adhere strictly to every detail of the doctor’s orders. You will be instructed regarding cleaning and bandaging your breasts. You may be prescribed pain medications and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Most breast augmentation patients will be told to wear a support bra – for basically 24 hours a day – until the follow-up visit. After breast augmentation surgery, there is no lifting of any objects over 15 or 20 pounds, no contact sports or vigorous exercise, and no “sweeping” motions – sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or raking – for about two weeks.

WHAT MAKES A SURGICAL PROCEDURE SUCCESSFUL?

It cannot be stressed enough that after any surgical procedure, you must follow your doctor’s orders. A good and successful surgery depends on a good and successful recovery. If any concerns or questions arise during your recovery, do not depend on a friend’s advice or something you’ve read on the internet. Speak directly to your doctor.

Several factors determine how long your recovery will take, including the type of surgery and your age, gender, and general overall health. Don’t worry if your recovery lasts a little longer than someone else’s. Expect some minor pain, some swelling and maybe a bit of depression as a result of being isolated and inactive, but any pain, swelling, or depression should fade away in just a few days.

Helping patients to a speedy and full recovery from a cosmetic surgical procedure is one of the top goals of your Massachusetts plastic surgeon. Surgery is a partnership, so stay in touch with your doctor throughout your recovery, and do not miss any follow-up appointments. If you faithfully follow your surgeon’s directions, in just several weeks you’ll be looking and feeling great again and enjoying the benefits of your cosmetic surgery and your new, youthful look.