I perform a range of procedures at the Plastic Surgery Center of the South, and each kind of surgery comes with different requirements and instructions. A patient should try to carefully follow each direction from his or her plastic surgeon, but at my Marietta, GA practice, I also give my patients a list of general tips to follow no matter what procedures they get.
Here’s what you can do at home to ensure a speedy recovery:
- Get organized. In the weeks before your surgery, take the time to pay your bills, run errands, and make sure that you have someone lined up to take care of children or pets — or take care of you. You may need someone to drive you home and help you for a day or 2 around the house. The week of your surgery, set aside a day to shop for healthy, prepared foods, magazines and books, and any supplies you’ll need during your recovery. If you prepared well in advance, you’ll find your recovery much less stressful.
- Review your medications. It’s important to make sure that you tell your surgeon about any medications or supplements that you’re taking before your procedure, even over-the-counter medications. Some products can cause excessive bleeding or hinder the healing process. To prevent this, it’s important to avoid these products for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Your doctor will also provide you with a detailed list of medications that you should or shouldn’t take during your recovery. Certain pain relievers will be recommended or prescribed; follow your instructions carefully.
- Focus on aftercare. After surgery, your body needs to focus its energy on healing. You can support the healing process by avoiding any activities that increase your heart rate and blood pressure, such as trying to exercise too early. You should begin walking soon after your procedure to promote healing and prevent blood clots, and you should not smoke. Also, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and keep a positive attitude. An upbeat outlook and enthusiasm about seeing surgical results helps most patients bounce back very quickly.