Advances in modern medicine have made cosmetic surgery safer and more affordable than ever, however, the necessity for proper pre- and post-operative care remains as vital as before. While the natural rate of healing and type of procedure are still the two main factors determining how you’ll recover, there are a host of things that can be done to expedite the process. With operations differing from patient to doctor – even if they’re both the same – a set of general guidelines pertinent to recovery exists, regardless of specifics.
CRS is dedicated to providing a speedy recovery free of complications to all our patients and we institute every possible measure to ensure satisfaction. With that said, there’s a role you’ll have to play in your recovery to accelerate healing. So, to help you out here’s a few things you can do to take some initiative in your rehabilitation.
In the end, it’s your body, so the person most qualified to prevent problems and asses any irregularities is yourself.
Prior to surgery
Doctors recommend abstinence from all blood thinners as well as most herbal supplements and vitamins 1-2 weeks prior to the scheduled operation. Known to cause fatal complications, blood thinners will live up to their name on the operating table, possibly leading to tragic results. If you suffer from any aches and pains in the time leading to your procedure stick to Tylenol or some other type of treatment for relief approved by your physician.
Make sure to discuss any medications you’re taking with all health care professionals involved in your well-being before you go under the knife. Some treatments need to be discontinued for a short period of time, but this can cause different problems, so it’s wise to inform your doctors of your complete medical history. Also, refill all prescriptions ahead of time so you don’t run out while you’re physically incapacitated.
And, as with all surgeries,your will be provided with specific pre-surgical instructions by your surgeon.
48 Hours after surgery
When monitoring the recuperation of any patient, the first 48 hours after anesthesia is the most critical. Comprehend and adhere to the specific instructions laid out by your surgeon, anesthesiologist and care nurse.
Following a surgical procedure, it’s imperative that you remain under the supervision of a responsible adult. A trusted individual vigilant of your vitals is invaluable during this period and can help maintain your scheduled medication, hygiene, food, drain outputs,etc.to avoid post-surgery problems. This caretaker will essentially enable the bedrest required for recuperation by aiding in the tasks you should avoid, such as cooking, lifting or simply ambulating with assistance.
Take your medication in a timely manner and as planned. You will likely be prescribed antibiotics, pain killers, or some form of drugs to assist rehabilitation. It’s instructed that some pills be taken on a full stomach while the opposite is done for others, so know how to medicate yourself. Don’t take anything more than you’ve been told or mix prescriptions. Drink a lot of water and eat soft foods to avoid nausea and dizziness. And, without exception, do not consume alcohol of any kind during this period as it will affect the chemistry of certain drugs as well as hinder the healing process in various ways.
Most importantly, however, is knowing when to contact your doctor to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation. If you experience excessive pain, bleeding, drainage, redness, heat, chills, temperatures of 101 degrees or above, you could be suffering from an infection that requires immediate medical attention. In this case, it is imperative you contact your surgeon’s office or go to the nearest emergency room if after hours.
Continued post-surgery aftercare
The most important thing to focus on in the wake of the first two days is wound care. You will need to maintain proper hygiene to prevent anything from getting septic. This consists of cleaning the surgical site with sterilization solutions, drying it well, and dressing any lesions with fresh gauze if instructed to do so.
When bathing, take extra precaution to prevent your wound from being immersed in water. Baths are not recommended and change any gauze that becomes wet as soon as possible. If you will have drains in place, it is important the drain sites remain dry. Sponge baths may be more appropriate.
During this time, it’s important to stay on the lookout for redness, swelling, heat, purulence, or other signs of infection. You may still be fitted with a drainage tube at this point that must be emptied a few times daily, so be prepared for this process. But be aware that you should not have to do this on more than 5 occasions per day. Anything more may be a cause for concern.
Likewise, remember to wear your compression garments 3-4 hours a week or as instructed by your doctor.
Common side-effects to consider
Invasive surgery is a serious process that brings worrisome concerns. However, a few are to be expected and can be worked through with the adequate foresight. If you’re prone to infections, constipation, nausea, dizziness, or similar recurring issues on a regular basis, these can be aggravated by the procedure and medications. Tell your doctor if you suffer from these before and after the operation so that you’re both prepared to take the steps required to circumvent these nuisances.
The professionals at CRS specialize in sculpting the perfect you. If you or a loved one are considering a procedure, schedule your free consultation today by filling out this form or call (954) 533-8029 and a representative will be in contact shortly.
Plastic surgery is not recommended for everyone.