Recovering from your cosmetic or reconstructive procedure isn’t always the most pleasant time. Dealing with swelling, inabilities to move certain parts of your body and managing pain as the affected areas recover will often be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience.
“The doctors and staff want to make sure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible as you await for your procedure’s results,” said Dr. Douglas Hargrave, MD. “While we will work to prevent complications at our office during your procedure and follow-up appointments, there are a number of things you can do at home to remain happy and healthy in order to heal well.”
As soon as you are considering surgery, begin or continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you enter a surgical procedure with a healthy history free of smoking, alcohol and unhealthy foods, your immune system and entire body will be more prepared to deal with the healing process. Healthy sleeping and exercise patterns will keep your body strong ahead of surgery and less susceptible to infection.
Prepare ahead of surgery for the recovery process. Understand how much time you will need to take off work. If needed, secure a driver to take you home after your procedure and have someone on call or available at home (depending on requirements of your specific procedure) to assist in making your meals, administering any prescribed pain medication or to be available in case of complication. Avoid making plans to do any unnecessary work or errands during the initial stage of recovery, even if this means working extra ahead of your surgery.
Avoid drugs such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin. In the days prior to surgery and immediately after, these drugs may cause increased bleeding due to their interference with blood clotting.
Stay hydrated and rested. Both water and sleep help your body repair the cells impacted by surgical procedures. When recovering, drink plenty of water throughout the day and do not force unnecessary physical activity.
Follow directions. Some complications, such as higher levels of pain or poorly healed scars, can be due to not following post-recovery instructions or misunderstanding instructions not properly explained to you. Prior to your particular surgery, ensure you understand what you can do to make your recovery go smoothly. This may mean asking for detailed explanations or demonstrations of how to change bandages or clean incisions, proper skin care treatments to perform or how to limit your affected areas to sunlight exposure. It is your doctor and nurse’s responsibility to address each of these tasks with you, but please make sure to ask questions if you have any at all.
While the recovery process can be different for everyone, doctors and nurses are trained and prepared to make it as comfortable as possible for each individual. We are always available for questions with regard to the healing process, and would be happy to speak with you about it during a free consultation with you. If you’d like to schedule to speak to one of our plastic surgeons in Albany about a procedure you are interested in, contact us today.