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Recovering from Plastic Surgery: What to Expect and How to Enhance Healing

Recovering from Plastic Surgery: What to Expect and How to Enhance Healing

If you’re like most people contemplating plastic surgery for reconstructive or aesthetic purposes, one of the biggest concerns you have is the recovery process. At OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare in San Diego, Encinitas, and Temecula, California, we understand. 

Our expert plastic surgeon, James J. Chao, MD, FASC, has extensive experience in multiple areas of plastic surgery. Dr. Chao holds board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery. 

As a dedicated physician focused on patient care, Dr. Chao does everything in his power to minimize your risks and ensure a smooth surgery and recovery. But he can’t be there with you in the weeks following your procedure.  

That’s why you need to understand the recovery process and how you can help boost your healing. To help give you peace of mind, Dr. Chao and the team have created this guide to tell you what you need to know about recovering from plastic surgery and how you can help enhance your healing. 

Expectations when recovering from plastic surgery

Your plastic surgery will take hours to complete, but depending on which procedure(s) you have, recovering from surgery takes weeks and even months. Every patient is different, which means no two procedures or recoveries are exactly the same, making it a highly personal experience. 

It’s also important to understand that “recovery” includes everything from when bruising subsides, when you can get your sutures or splints removed, how long before you can return to work, when you can get back to normal activities, and how long it takes for your incisions to fade and your final results to appear. 

Many patients worry about their ability to tolerate pain after their procedure. Dr. Chao prescribes appropriate pain medications based on your needs and the surgery performed to help minimize any discomfort you may experience. 

By following Dr. Chao’s post-operative instructions carefully and not cutting corners or getting back to your activities too soon, you’ll make a significant impact on your recovery process.  

Tips for enhancing healing after plastic surgery

In addition to following your post-op instructions from Dr. Chao, you can boost your healing after plastic surgery with our top tips:

1. Take your medication as directed

Your blood pressure rises when your pain levels increase, and elevated blood pressure can make bruising and swelling worse. It can even create complications with your recovery process. Stay on top of your pain by taking your medications as directed and making sure you don’t miss a dose. 

2. Rest, but stay active 

Although rest is an important part of your recuperation, many of the medications you receive during your surgery and those that help to manage pain after surgery can cause constipation. In the days following your procedure, be sure to take short walks and drink lots of water to prevent this from happening to you.

3. Ice, ice, ice, and wear post-op garments 

If you have plastic surgery on your face, applying ice is one of the best ways to minimize swelling and enhance your healing. Though it can be tempting to skip the ice packs, follow your post-op instructions, and ice as instructed. 

Some plastic surgeries, like liposuctions, tummy tucks, and breast surgeries, may mean that you need to wear a compression garment for several weeks following your procedure. These garments may not win awards for comfort, but they play a key role in controlling swelling and bruising, plus they help your skin retract and recover, too. 

4. Eat and drink for healing

To help your body recover after plastic surgery, it’s important to fuel it with foods that promote healing. You may crave certain comfort foods, but by centering your meals around fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods, you’ll give your body the nutrients it needs to heal. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, too!

5. Keep your follow-up appointments

Even if you’re feeling great, be sure to go to all of your post-surgery appointments with Dr. Chao. Your providers at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare monitor your progress and look for signs that your body is healing the way it should. They may need to make changes to your post-op care, so never skip an appointment.    

If you’re interested in learning more about plastic surgery or have questions about the recovery and healing process, don’t hesitate to contact the team at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare by calling the office most convenient to you or using our online booking. 

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