What to Expect with Cosmetic Surgery

b2ap3_thumbnail_haiavy-and-tower-2_20151105-193711_1.jpgMany people are under the impression that cosmetic surgery is not really surgery. I often have patients that are surprised to hear that they will need to take time off from work and that they may need help in the initial days following surgery. I recently had a scheduled tummy tuck patient ask me if she could go camping three days after surgery! These misconceptions regarding cosmetic surgery are common. Even though there are some procedures that do have shorter recovery times, it is still important to give your body the proper environment to heal and have a successful outcome. Successful outcomes are dependent on a number of factors. Yes, it is important that the surgeon chooses the best procedure for you, but what you do as a patient following the actual procedure is just as critical. There are a few key steps to help you prepare in order to have a smooth recovery.


Ask a Lot of Questions

As a surgeon, I thoroughly go over recovery times for different procedures, discussing limitations and restrictions with my patients. I always ask about the patient’s work and home responsibilities to help them understand that they may need to take time off or have additional help around the house. If your surgeon does not go over these things, don’t hesitate to ask. It is important to plan ahead so that your recovery is restful and stress-free.


Follow the Directions

This applies to medications prescribed, medications you may be asked to stop before surgery, activity restrictions, diet and fluid recommendations, and wound care instructions. Many patients forget to stop their herbal medications or blood thinning medications and can have excessive bleeding or bruising after surgery. Other patients feel they can resume strenuous exercise or sexual activity soon after surgery and this can cause incisions to open or cause excessive bleeding. Removing surgical dressings and garments too soon or using home remedies on the incisions can also adversely affect the outcome.

Your surgeon and their staff will give you post-op care instructions to help you have a good outcome. It is your responsibility as the patient to follow the instructions to have proper healing. Healing also varies for each patient, and your surgeon may give you general ranges of time. He or she may adjust their initial recommendations according to your own personal progress as seen at your post-operative checkups.


Your Experience is Unique

Even though cosmetic surgery is elective, it is still invasive, and your body will experience a certain amount of trauma from the procedure. You cannot base your experience off your friends or families because everyone is different. You should feel comfortable enough with the surgeon and their staff to call at any time to ask for clarification if needed. Your surgeon wants the best outcome for you, and you should want the same. Realize that what happens during recovery time is crucial in terms of creating the best final outcome.