How To Speed Up Recovery After Cosmetic Surgery?
Written by Dr. Julian De Silva
Facial cosmetic surgery is popular and offers patients an improvement in their appearance which maybe a rejuvenation to turn back the years or to amend a compromising facial feature that dominates a person’s appearance. An important aspect of facial cosmetic surgery is recovery after surgery, patients want to have the minimal downtime, with fast recovery and so they may return to both social and professional commitments.
There are several aspects to a fast recovery after cosmetic surgery, these include aspects before surgery, the surgery itself and after surgery. Dr. De Silva provides every patient with detailed before and after instructions to improve patients’ healing and downtime after surgery.
Before Cosmetic Surgery
Avoid medications or herbal medicines that thin your blood for 2-weeks before and after surgery. Common medications include aspirin, NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) and fish oils, there are many others, Your surgeon will provide you with a comprehensive list of medications to avoid.
Smoking delays healing, reduces the benefits of cosmetic surgery and increases the risk of complications. Dr. De Silva advises all patients to stop smoking a minimum of 6-weeks before surgery and for some procedures he will advise against the surgery in smokers.
In advance of the surgery date, fill the prescriptions. In addition purchase vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that improves healing, and arnica, which reduces bruising.
Prepare ice in a zip lock bag (or frozen peas) or facial gel pack. Their use for three days after surgery reduces swelling and speeds up recovery.
Follow your surgeons directions carefully, Dr. De Silva provides each patients specific instructions based on the type of surgery they are undergoing.
Dr. De Silva uses surgical techniques that minimise facial trauma and where possible will use more conservative techniques or surgical innovations to reduce bruising and swelling after surgery and improve recovery times. Dr. De Silva is an advocate for using agents that reduce bleeding that include the use of fibrin tissue adhesives. With eyelid, nose and facelift techniques, Dr. De Silva favours conservative surgery that reduced downtime and speeds up recovery. Dr. De Silva is a facial cosmetic surgery expert and does not perform surgery elsewhere on the body. The face has unique properties and small measurements in the face can make substantial differences to the surgical results.
After Cosmetic Surgery
One of the most important things that a person can do after cosmetic surgery is rest. Rest is what the body needs the most of because it is what expedites the healing process. A person also should avoid any and all vigorous activities and spend most of his or her time relaxing. Increased activity result in changes in blood pressure that can result in increased bruising and swelling. Dr. De Silva advises resting at home for at least a week after cosmetic procedure, although the exact length of time is dependent on the facial procedure.
Using ice on the face has a beneficial effect on reducing swelling. With the use of ice packs for ten minutes every hour while awake for the first three days, reduces swelling. Ice packs can be ice or frozen peas in a zip lock bag or the use of a facial gel mask.
When sleeping, keep your head with 2 or 3 pillows. This is important as with gravity fluid tends to redistribute when your sleeping, and if your head is at the same level as your body, this will encourage swelling in your face. Sleeping with 2 to 3 pillows is important for 4-6 weeks for facial cosmetic and plastic surgery.
A person should also make sure that he or she is getting at least 8 hours a sleep every night. Dr. De Silva often gives patients medication to help with sleeping the first couple of nights.
Some patients have a reduced appetite for a few days following surgery so it is best to eat soft foods. Eating soft foods also allows a person to recover more quickly because it gives the digestive system a break. Oatmeal, rice, apple sauce, pudding and bananas are great foods to eat during that time. It is important that a person drink lots of fluids during the recovery process because it is very easy to become dehydrated. The best types of fluids to drink are water and juice. Tea, coffee, caffeine-containing beverages and alcoholic drinks should be avoided as these cause dehydration.
Do not start any new medications or herbal and alternative treatments during your recovery period without your doctor’s approval. Some may interfere with the healing process or even cause other complications.
Do not exercise before your doctor allows you to. Exercise increases your blood pressure and may encourage further bleeding and swelling as well as interfere with healing. Dr. De Silva will give you advise regarding restarting exercise after surgery which is tailored to your specific surgery.
After facial cosmetic surgery, the location of the incision and surrounding skin is more sensitive to the sun and ultraviolet light. It is important to take precautions to shield your face from the sun. This includes the use of hats and high quality sun block (a minimum of SPF 30) to protect your skin during the healing process, this is important for 12-months after surgery. Sunlight and ultraviolet rays influences the healing skin and scar and may cause darkening of the scar
For some patients, the period after surgery can be emotional and one of the most effective aids for a faster recovery is a positive mental attitude, given the right environment the human body has great capacity to heal.
MLD (Manual Lympahatic Drainage) has a role in reducing swelling in the facial soft tissues after certain procedures. Dr. De Silva has an MLD expert who offers this specialist massage to aid lymphatic drainage from the face.
After certain facial procedures, you may be advised to wear a supportive or compression garment for some of the time, this will aid in the recovery process by helping to support the healing face and reduce swelling. Following your surgeons directions carefully is important, Dr. De Silva provides each patients specific instructions based on the type of surgery they are undergoing.
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