What To Expect After Plastic Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide For Post-Op Recovery

In the before and after photos of celebrities and friends, it’s clear that plastic surgery has become more commonplace. But what does that mean for you when you’ve decided to go under the knife? The first few weeks after plastic surgery can be rocky as your body continues to heal. The process isn’t as simple as going home from the hospital and forgetting about it. Ongoing maintenance ensures that everything heals properly, so it’s important to know what to expect after plastic surgery. 

If you have undergone any cosmetic procedures, then you know that they are not exactly painless. In fact, most patients will tell you that they are downright painful! However, there is no getting around the fact that these procedures come with their own recovery time. 

If you’re planning on getting a little nip or tuck anytime soon, here’s what to expect after plastic surgery, so you’re prepared for anything.

What To Expect After Plastic Surgery

What To Expect After Plastic Surgery: The Basics

The first thing to do is understand what type of procedure you’re getting. Depending on that, you’ll likely have different expectations after the surgery. In general, the process of recovering from cosmetic procedures looks something like this.

First, you’ll meet with your doctor to review the procedure and post-op care. Then, you’ll have one last chance to ask questions or voice concerns. After your procedure, you’ll be taken home to heal. You’ll have specific instructions on what to do while you’re recovering. This might include taking certain medications, applying certain ointments, or even using special tools.

Tips For A Smooth Recovery

Often, women choose plastic surgery to boost their self-confidence post-birth. And while all surgeries vary, there are a few golden rules for recovery worth following. No matter what you’ve decided to have done. 

  • Eat Well 

The human body is a self-healing machine but needs the right fuel to function optimally. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to speed up healing. It will also help you stave off any unwanted cravings that could disrupt your post-op healing. 

  • Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is the number one cause of wrinkles. So keeping your skin hydrated with the help of a moisturizer will keep it looking fresh and youthful. 

  • Exercise

The best way to speed up your post-op recovery is to exercise regularly. Physical activity will help you reduce stress, increase your energy, and improve your mood — all of which are essential for a smooth recovery.

  • Look After Your Mind

Getting plastic surgery is taxing on your mind as well as your body. Recovery can be challenging. And seeing ourselves differently can be difficult to process. So take the time to look after yourself mentally by journalling and showing yourself kindness. 

Recovery Time After Plastic Surgery

This is the big question — how long does it take to recover from plastic surgery? Well, every surgical procedure is different. Factors like your age, overall health, and the type of surgery come into play when estimating your recovery time. The look of tummy tuck scars after 5 years will be dramatically different from how they look post-op. That said, here are some guidelines

  • On average, it takes about two weeks for facelifts, but you can expect to stay out of work for the first week. 
  • Liposuction takes two weeks.
  • Breast enlargement takes about three weeks. Although most patients can go back to work in a week. 
  • Mini-facelifts take about one week to recover.
  • Breast reductions take about three weeks.
  • Tummy tucks take four to six weeks.
  • Arm lifts take four to six weeks.
  • Rhinoplasty takes eight to 12 weeks.

Your First Appointment: Check-In And Dressings

With every surgery, you’ll see your doctor soon after to check on your progress. At your first appointment, your doctor will check your incisions and stitches to ensure they are healing correctly. Stitches tend to be removed after about a week, but your doctor will decide during your appointment. Your doctor will likely place various dressings on your incisions to protect them from infection and further damage. Typically, they are changed once a day.

A Word About Swelling

Swelling is a completely normal part of the healing process after surgery. There’s not much you can do about it. But it will go away in a few weeks. To reduce swelling, make sure to rest as much as possible. Drink plenty of water and take frequent ice baths. You can also apply ice packs to the area. Wearing compression garments will also help reduce swelling.

Stitches And Scars

Many women worry about scars post-op. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent scars completely. But there are strategies you can use to make them less visible. We recommend using a scar cream or ointment like Mederma to help the scars naturally blend in with your skin. It’s also essential to keep your skin moisturized so it can stretch more easily.

Discomfort And Recovery Tools

After surgery, you’ll likely experience some level of discomfort. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and use any prescribed medications as directed. Using some over-the-counter painkillers for added support is also a good idea. 

There are plenty of different tools to make your recovery easier. From pillows that can help you sleep in a comfortable position to bandages that can support your incisions. You can even use compression garments to help minimize swelling.

The Importance Of Physical And Mental Therapy After Plastic Surgery

Many plastic surgeons recommend undergoing some form of physical therapy after surgery. It can help you regain your strength before you go back to work. In addition, physical therapy can help you get back to your daily activities faster. It can help improve your strength, flexibility, and endurance. But go at your own pace; you don’t want to do more harm than good. 

Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical after plastic surgery. It will help you cope with any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. And help you prepare for your recovery by setting goals and tracking your progress.

In Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider when you’re recovering from plastic surgery. Always follow your doctor’s instructions, take care of yourself, and be patient throughout the process. The best thing you can do is be prepared. Be sure to ask lots of questions, get as much information as possible, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.

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