8 Tips for Recovering After Plastic Surgery


Undergoing plastic surgery can yield incredible results, but many patients figure that the operation is the only major facet of the cosmetic procedure.

When it comes to recovering from any type of facial or body plastic surgery, it is essential that every patient practice TLC or tender loving care for a few weeks. When the skin has been open and there’s a wound, you need time, patience and proper care to heal from surgery.

1. Pamper, Pamper, Pamper.

Be gentle to the area of skin where the procedure took place. Baby yourself, and be careful what you’re applying to the skin. Refrain from using harsh soaps or skin care products with fragrances, and do not take herbal products or those like Vitamin E, ibuprofen and aspirin that can cause clotting.

Your surgeon can recommend a list of dos and don’ts, so your blood platelets can return to normal function and skin stays calm from unnecessary irritation.

2. Adhere to a Healthy Diet.

Hydration is key for any aspect of plastic surgery healing, say the experts at WebMD. Plenty of fluids like water and fruit juices are beneficial, according to plastic surgeon Robert Kotler, MD.

Eat a healthy abundance of whole foods with protein and carbohydrates, and try to avoid processed foods.

Smoking is a huge no, prolongs healing and compromises lung function.

Alcohol is also not advised.

3. Watch Your Blood Pressure.

Elevated blood pressure is never a good thing when the patient is trying to recover following a plastic surgery procedure.

Doctors recommend moving around and taking a walk after a couple of days. Going to the gym and getting back to your active routine, however, is not advised because that gets the heart rate and blood pressure rising. That can lead to bruising, swelling and bleeding.

Wait at least 10 days before returning to the gym.

4. Avoid Sun Exposure Problems.

The hot UVA/UVB rays might seem harmless, but the sun can cause damage to a healing plastic surgery patient, including possible scarring.

Skin care experts recommend avoiding the sun for about four to six months post-surgery. When a surgical wound is exposed to the sun, the scar tissue will darken, and hyperpigmentation can result.

Always wear a good sunscreen, and cover up the surgical site if you have to be out.

5. Restful Sleep/Comfy Position.

The first few days require rest, and if you can, eight hours of sleep is advised. Pillows become important, and it’s best to keep your head elevated with two or three pillows. When sleeping, gravity fluid will redistribute, and if your head is at the same level as your body, this will cause swelling in the face.

Doctors also recommend sleeping on the back for several weeks and avoiding side sleeping positions because this can lead to extra pressure on the face or body with healing incisions.

6. Don’t Skip Compression Garments.

For those patients who have had liposuction or a tummy tuck or breast augmentation, doctors will require you to wear compression garments. These garments serve a key purpose to control swelling and bruising and force the body to reabsorb edema fluid.

In addition, compression garments are excellent at softening the appearance of scars and making them less visible.

7. Taking Selfies – Modern Healing.

It might sound bizarre, but a recent report in beauty magazine Allure claims that a patient who takes selfies is quickly on the road to recovery.

A recent study conducted in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that 96.2 percent of post plastic surgery patients who sent in selfies came away with an overall better after-procedure. The surgeon also could detect early complications.

8. De-Stressing and Being Prepared.

Before heading home following plastic surgery, the patient should have groceries already stocked, bills paid, a comfy bed set up, etc. These small steps can make a difference.

Every patient’s recovery is unique; healing is never a race of time.

If there’s a question of any kind, your plastic surgeon’s office is always ready to help.