After all the preparation has been done and the surgery is complete, the crucial recovery stage lies ahead. The common misconception is that recovery isn’t nearly as important as the first two stages, but in truth it should be approached with the same consideration. If something goes wrong during this time it can ruin everything up until that point. The important factors of a successful recovery after cosmetic surgery will be discussed in the following sections, along with some suggestions to help speed up the process.
The Recovery Experience
This is obviously one of the most anxious stages for any patient. The excitement to see what the end-result looks like combined with healthy caution to let everything heal as they should is somewhat bittersweet. As hard as it may be, it’s best to keep attention on the latter, because it will require discipline and patience. The recovery experience can include some negative things, depending on the amount and nature of the procedures, such as depression and light pain. For those individuals that find it hard to sit still, the recovery experience will be especially difficult.
Always remember that healing takes time and keeping activity to a minimum for at least a couple of weeks will dramatically increase the chances for getting the best results. One of the main concerns should be blood pressure, because high blood pressure directly affects healing and blood flow. In fact, it deters the process and could lead to less satisfying results. Getting worked up, going to the gym and picking up heavy things might tear the wounds or risk making a permanent scar.
A patient might also feel a loss of energy and fatigue, which is why depression isn’t an uncommon side-effect. In terms of pain, the surgeon will prescribe medication for relief and under no circumstances should it be combined with anything else. Unless the surgeon gives approval, stick to what was given. Keep in mind that pain medication can lead to constipation and the best way to handle this is to walk around the house and become as active as safety will allow.
Aiding the Recovery Process
In addition to staying as calm as possible, there are other things that can be done to aid the recovery process. The first step is to avoid smoking and alcohol at all cost. Secondly, increase water intake. Apart from providing vital minerals it increases the speed of recovery. Although a patient doesn’t have much of an appetite a day or two after surgery it is still recommended to eat something. Even if it’s only small snacks or bites, because taking medication on an empty stomach is not healthy.
Before going home the surgeon or nurse will provide information regarding hygiene and how to keep the wounds clean. Follow this advice specifically and don’t break the routine. When hygiene is compromised it can cause infections, which means a reverse in the recovery process. Also check body temperature on a regular basis, seeing as a constant high temperature could be a sign of infection. There will be some swelling, but this is normal. The surgeon might suggest icing certain sections of the wound to control it, but this is better discussed with the surgeon.
Other than staying still, taking only the prescribed medication, increasing water intake and keeping the wounds clean there isn’t much more a patient can do. Letting the body heal at a comfortable pace is ultimately the best way to go about the recovery process. If something doesn’t feel right then don’t hesitate to contact the surgeon and ask for advice on how to proceed. Respecting the recovery stage will greatly enhance the improvements that were made through the cosmetic surgery.