Welcome back to our Real Life Recovery series. This must-read article calls out some common pitfalls that can hinder your plastic surgery recovery and results.
Are beautiful results and a safe, smooth recovery on your plastic surgery must-have list? Of course they are! While there’s plenty you can do to help ensure a satisfying result, like choosing an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, it’s equally important to know what to avoid.
Some common products and habits can compromise your results or even worse, risk your health. So if you’re considering cosmetic surgery any time soon, make sure you don’t do the following:
Bad enough as it is, smoking is just about the worst thing you can do for your recovery. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, so your incisions don’t get the blood supply they need to heal properly. Being a smoker also increases your risk of complications from anesthesia. If you smoke, quit now, or at the bare minimum 4 weeks before your surgery date, and don’t light up again for at least a month after surgery. If you’re a non-smoker, do your best to stay away from secondhand smoke.
2. Take ibuprofen or drink green tea too close to your surgery date
Common over-the-counter products like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Vitamin E can cause bleeding during and after surgery. Even things that are usually considered healthy, like drinking green tea, can have similar effects. Herbal dietary supplements are also off-limits, as they can have adverse effects with anesthesia and surgery. Expect to do without these products for about 2 weeks in preparation for cosmetic surgery, and another 2 weeks or so after your procedure. Don’t worry about memorizing what’s on the contraband list, though. Your surgeon should give you a detailed, personalized list of the items to avoid before your surgery.
3. Sneak back to the gym too early after surgery
It’s important to keep your blood pressure at a moderate level during the early weeks of recovery. Even if you feel up to it, elevated blood pressure can put undue stress on healing incisions, increasing the risk of internal bleeding and possibly causing scars to stretch. Wait for your surgeon to give you the go-ahead before resuming any exercise. We know it’ll be tough, but this downtime after plastic surgery will be over in just a few weeks!
4. Play the hero
Sure, you’re one tough cookie, but your recovery isn’t the time to prove it. Take your pain medication as prescribed. Even if you don’t like taking medicine as a rule, there’s no need to suffer unnecessarily. We usually recommend taking prescribed meds for at least the first couple of days after surgery; after that, you can switch to Tylenol so long as you are comfortable. Also, don’t hesitate to accept help from others. You’ll likely need to refrain from lifting for a few weeks. Set aside your pride and let someone else carry the groceries.
These are just a few of the common things you’ll need to avoid if you’re having surgery. Your surgeon will be able to give you specific instructions based on your personal needs and medical history—make sure you follow those instructions to a T.
Want to learn more about what you can do to prepare for a smooth, quick recovery from plastic surgery? Then contact us! Our board certified plastic surgeons will be happy to answer your questions at a personal consultation.