American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Can you speed up your recovery after plastic surgery?


speed up your recovery after plastic surgery

One of the biggest concerns people have when planning their surgical procedure is how long their recovery will take and when they can expect to return to work and other activities. While recovery times can vary from person to person and will depend on the procedure performed, here are some general tips you can follow to help speed up your plastic surgery recovery.

Follow your doctor's aftercare guidelines

Don't get too caught up in asking "Dr. Google" a million questions after your breast augmentation, tummy tuck or other plastic surgery procedures. Instead, rely primarily on your plastic surgeon's aftercare instructions to help make your recovery as smooth as possible and your results the best that they can be.

Your plastic surgeon's specific aftercare instructions will include guidelines on things such as which medications and supplements are okay to take and which are not, when and how long to wear a compression garment, how to properly clean incisions and when to reintroduce your body to exercise. Your instructions will depend on your procedure and other factors specific to your unique situation, so follow your plastic surgeon's orders to a T.

Get daily movement

While you will need to give your body plenty of time to rest and recover, that does not mean you will need to sit on the couch 24/7 after having plastic surgery. In fact, getting up and moving throughout the day – even if only for a walk around the house or a light walk outside – can help to promote healthy circulation, reduce swelling and speed up your plastic surgery recovery.

Of course, you do not want to overdo your movement after plastic surgery. Instead, listen to your body and take it easy when you need to, and check with your plastic surgeon before introducing any type of strenuous exercise or movement into your routine.

Ask for help

In the first few days after your plastic surgery procedure, expect to need a little extra help around the house. If you can, arrange for help with childcare, pet care, household chores and errands before your surgery so you know that everything is taken care of and you have nothing to worry about when you get home. You will also need to make sure you have someone to drive you to and from your appointment on the day of your procedure.

Even as you continue to recover, if someone offers their help, take it! There's no shame in getting a helping hand now so you can be back on your feet faster after plastic surgery.

Don't smoke or vape

Many people who use tobacco products find that getting plastic surgery is the push they need to kick the habit for good. You already put the hard work and effort into quitting smoking or vaping prior to your procedure, so do not be tempted to pick the habit back up again just because the surgery part is over. Tobacco use can still inhibit your body's ability to properly heal and can lead to complications during the recovery phase.

Eat healthy and drink plenty of water

It might sound simple, but don't discount the power of eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying properly hydrated when it comes to optimizing your body's natural healing process. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, and be sure to drink enough water throughout the day.

Stay away from processed foods, sugary drinks and sweets and salty foods, as these can have the opposite effect and hinder your body's recovery. It is also recommended to limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol while recovering from plastic surgery.

Set a reminder for your follow-up visit

It is very important that you do not miss follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon as you recover from your procedure. During these appointments, your plastic surgeon, or someone from his or her team, will make sure you are healing as expected and that there are no signs of complications along the way. This is also the perfect time to discuss your recovery timeline and whether or not you are ready to resume exercise and other more strenuous activities.

However, it is important that you do not wait for your follow-up appointment to get in touch with your plastic surgeon if you have questions or concerns at any point during your recovery. He or she is your go-to resource throughout your plastic surgery journey and will be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have at any time.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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