“Post Plastic Surgery Guide” by Dr. Ronald Bush
by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ronald Bush
Everyone has a different rate of healing and pain threshold. It is important to exercise proper guidelines so that recovery from cosmetic surgery will be quick and smooth. Moreover, a good recovery lessens the chance for a corrective cosmetic surgery which doesn’t come for free in most cases. Undergoing cosmetic surgery requires a downtime that ranges from 1 to 6 months in order to fully heal. Here are a few important post-operative guidelines to follow.
- One of the primary concerns of plastic surgery patients is scarring. Do not apply any creams on the fresh stitched wound. As long as it is bandaged, do not interfere with the healing just yet. Your physician will suggest when the best time to remove the bandages, dressings and stitches is. In some cases, they will give you an antibiotic cream to fight off infection. To minimize scarring, apply anti-scar gels and preparations such as Contractubex on the wound area. Never apply these ointments on fresh and open wounds. Wait for the wound to close and for a thin layer of scab to form. Apply them for 3 months. Emu oil also works in minimizing the scarring.
- Some people have a genetic disposition to produce keloids. Inform your physician if you are a keloid former so they can prescribe special anti-keloid cream or patches. In some cases, they may schedule you for a keloid removal operation.
- Skin discoloration is part of the scarring process. To minimize dark scars, always apply a sunblock with at least SPF 30 and avoid direct sun exposure or artificial UV tanning. Avoid picking your scabs or scratching the wound area.
- Swelling, bruising, mood swings and nausea are normal after plastic surgery. Rest for around 1 to 2 weeks at work or at school after the surgery.
- Narcotic pain medications cause forgetfulness. Always have a trusted adult accommodate you at home for 2 weeks. Write down the medicines you have taken.
- Right after the surgery, rest at home. Do not lift heavy objects, engage in strenuous activities (exercise), do chores or travel. Apply ice pack on the wounded site to reduce swelling. If you have children, hire a baby sitter or a responsible adult to take care of them.
- Maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to speed up healing. Avoid smoking because it slows down your body’s rate of healing. Smoking also increases your risk for infection.