What should I expect during my microsurgery recovery?
Following your microsurgery procedure, gauze dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or compression garment may minimize swelling and support the donor site as it heals following surgery.
Close monitoring of blood flow is always required following a microsurgical procedure, preferably in a hospital setting with dedicated staff who are familiar with caring for patients who have undergone microsurgery. Free flap monitoring depends on the operation and surgeon preference.
Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- Certain activity restrictions
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Will there be drains? For how long?
- When can I bathe or shower?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.