Plastic surgery Frequently Asked Questions

You should avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements especially those containing green tea, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba which are found to increase bleeding during the surgery and recovery. These medications should be stopped at least two weeks before your plastic surgery procedure. Just to be on the safe side, you should tell your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking.

Your doctor will prescribe all necessary medications (antibiotic, pain medications, etc.), medical garments, proper clothing, ice-packs, and other supplies that you will need during your recovery. In addition, you should purchase easy-to-prepare foods such as soup, yogurt, oatmeal, frozen dinners, cottage cheese, crackers, and protein shakes..

Since the length of recovery will depend on the extensiveness of the procedure and your body’s healing ability, you should ask your doctor on when is the best time to return work. Typically, most patients take 1-2 weeks off of work.

Yes. It is important to arrange aftercare for the first 24-72 hours after surgery. You will need a capable adult to pick you up after surgery and someone to care for you for the first few days.

Most plastic surgery procedures are performed as outpatient; however in some instances patients will require their procedure to be performed in the hospital and may require an overnight stay.

The length of your recovery will largely depend on the treated area, extensiveness of the procedure, type of plastic surgery, and your body’s healing capability. In general, immediate recovery lasts about 1-2 weeks. Patients are usually able to return to normal activities (working out, heavy lifting, etc.) after 4-6 weeks. Although it takes a full year for a scar to fade and flatten after plastic surgery, patients will see favorable results much sooner.

If you remain in bed for a long period of time, you are at risk of developing blood clots in your legs and lungs and other serious complications. Ideally, you should take a short, gentle walk as soon as you can in order to promote a good blood circulation.

It is normal to experience swelling, bruising, tenderness, soreness, pain and discomfort and temporary numbness in the treated area,. Some patients experience nausea as the anesthesia wears off. Most of these symptom ease after the first week of recovery. In case that there is no improvement within a week, you should immediately visit your plastic surgeon to determine if you are experiencing delayed healing and other complications.

Swelling is common amongst most plastic surgery procedures. Several tips to minimize swelling include:

  • Taking Bromelain (an over the counter supplement) before and after surgery
  • Sleep at an elevated level for the first week (use 3 pillows to prop you up - particularly for face lift and rhinoplasty patients)
  • Wear your compression garment

The nicotine can inhibit normal blood circulation, thus significantly increasingly your risk of developing skin necrosis or death of skin tissue, a complication that often leads to delayed healing and unnecessary scarring.

Because your body will need to repair itself after a surgical procedure, your diet should be high in protein. However, you should watch your sodium intake since too much of this may aggravate swelling.

If you undergo breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, liposuction, face-lift, body lift, tummy tuck or most other plastic surgery procedures, your doctor will require you to wear a compression garment for a certain period of time in order to provide support to the new contour and minimize swelling.

You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of the following: abnormal heart rate, swelling and bruising which do not subside after a week, delayed healing, and other conditions which are “out of ordinary.”

Particularly during the first 12 months following you plastic surgery procedure, it is important to avoid sun exposure on the incision sites. Direct sun exposure may cause unfavorable scarring, including hyper-pigmentation. If you must be in the sun, be sure to use a minimum SPF of 40. Silicone-based scar gels, such as BioCorneum, promote favorable healing and are recommended for use for the two to twelve weeks following plastic surgery. Laser resurfacing can also improve the appearance of scars. This can be performed as early as one month after surgery.

The results of plastic surgery are permanent, however it does not stop the aging process. Because of this, patient may choose to undergo an additional procedure at another point in time. Breast implant manufacturers recommend re-augmentation after 10 years, whether you have saline of silicone breast implants. It is important to discuss of these questions with your plastic surgeon before your surgery.

For procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift or liposuction, patients are usually advised to shower beginning 3 days after surgery. After a tummy tuck, patients may generally shower beginning at 5 days and after 7 days for a face or neck lift after sutures are removed.

It is not advised to have sun exposure after plastic surgery because it can cause unfavorable scarring, including hyperpigmentation.

It is advised to wear a post-surgical compression garment for a minimum of one month after surgery. Post-surgical bras can be purchased when you schedule your breast augmentation, breast lift or breast reduction. It is also advised to purchase additional sports bras that zip up in the front. It is important to select a bra that is firm and provides adequate compression.

Flying or traveling long distances after surgery may increase the chance of DVT and significantly increases swelling. It is advised to wait at least two weeks after surgery before traveling. Be sure to follow all of your surgeons instructions after surgery and to return for all of your post-operative appointments.

Drains are used after plastic surgery procedures in order to rid of excess fluid that may otherwise collect in the body causing a seroma. Drains are usually used after abdominoplasty or revision breast surgery and may be removed once the daily output is under 25CCs. This may be after a few days or after a week.

You should begin taking your medication after surgery. Be sure to bring your prescriptions with you to the surgery center and follow the directions as indicated on the labels.

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