Whether you are undergoing a facelift or a tummy tuck, your recovery will be a critical period in ensuring a safe and successful procedure. Preparing for your recovery is just as important as getting ready for your surgery. To help you plan for that important healing process, we have a few tips you should know now about what to expect after your procedure.
Take Sufficient Time
Allowing yourself ample time to recover is the first step to a safe and healthy healing process. Dr. Casso will advise you of the standard amount of time you should take off from work and other activities based on the procedure or procedures you are having and the complexity of your surgery. It is important to schedule that time up front, so you don’t feel pressured to get back into the swing of things before your body is fully ready.
Procedures that typically require at least one week off include:
- Breast enhancement (augmentation, lift and reduction)
- Male breast reduction (gynecomastia treatment)
- Arm lift (brachioplasty)
You probably want to plan two weeks off for the following procedures:
- Brow lift (one week may be sufficient, depending on technique used)
- Facelift (rhytidectomy)
- Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)
More extensive procedures may require three or more weeks of recovery time, including:
- Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
- Mommy makeover (usually combines a tummy tuck and breast enhancement)
- Body lift (often recommended after massive weight loss)
Dos and Don’ts of Medication
The medications you take and don’t take before and after your surgery can also affect your recovery process. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can increase your risk of bleeding, so it is a good idea to stop taking these a couple of weeks before your procedure. In addition to blood-thinning medications, this category also includes aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin E.
At the same time, Dr. Casso will likely prescribe you pain medication and antibiotics to take after your surgery. Antibiotics are essential to prevent infection from setting in after your procedure, which could complicate the healing process. Pain medication will reduce your pain after surgery and the more comfortable you feel, the better you will be able to rest.
Dr. Casso performs most of his plastic surgeries on an outpatient basis, which means you will return home within a matter of hours after your treatment. If you had anesthesia and sedation for your surgery, someone else would need to drive you home from your procedure. It is also helpful to have a person at your house for the first 24-72 hours to address your needs so you can focus on your rest and recovery.
If you have small children or pets that require care, you may also need to enlist the help of a friend, family member or neighbor to tend to them during the early days of your recovery. This person can handle the tasks you cannot right away, such as lifting, cooking and cleaning up.
Dr. Casso will send you home with a list of instructions after your procedure that will help to ensure your healing process goes smoothly. Some of those instructions might include a restricted diet, regular icing of the surgical area or avoiding some activities after your surgery. You may be advised to take or avoid certain medications or clean and dress your incision daily. The closer you follow the directions given to you, the more comfortable your recovery process will be with a lower risk for noticeable scarring as well.
Communicate questions or concerns that arise during your recovery process with Dr. Casso and his staff as soon as possible. In addition to addressing potential problems quickly, Dr. Casso and his team will provide you with the peace of mind necessary for a calm, relaxing recovery process.
Watch Out for Sun Exposure
The UV rays of the sun can affect your body’s ability to heal and leave a more visible scar behind. It is best to avoid the sun as much as possible in the weeks following your procedure to prevent these complications from occurring. If you do go out in the sun, use sun protection without fail to guard your incision and your skin against possible damage.
Patients are often disappointed to find that they may look worse after their surgery before they begin to look better. Bruising and swelling are common byproducts of any procedure, and plastic surgery is no exception. Patience is a big advantage during the recovery time as you rest and wait for those final results to develop.
Plastic surgery is an investment of time and money, so you want to be sure you end up with the best results possible. These tips will help to ensure a smooth, comfortable recovery process and the most pleasing outcome from your procedure. To learn more, contact Dr. Daniel Casso today at 281-333-3500.