We all want the same thing from our plastic surgery: a short recovery time, excellent results, and little to no discomfort! Following your surgeons post-operative instructions is the easiest way to get all three of those things, but there are certain choices you can make during your recovery that can alter your results for the worse. Here are a few ways to sabotage your recovery, possibly making it longer or altering your results:
1. Working out before your surgeon gives you approval. Being in good shape is important and will help your recovery be easier, but returning to the gym too soon will do more harm than good (or any physically exerting activity). Working out raises your blood pressure and increases circulation, which can put strain on your incisions and increase the risk of internal bleeding during your healing process. This isnt just risky to your health: it can also cause your scars to be larger than they otherwise would. Dont go back to the gym until you have the go-ahead.
2. Smoking. While working out causes too much blood to flow to incision sites, smoking will cause not enough blood to get there. Smoking restricts blood flow and also decreases the oxygen levels in your blood, so the blood that does make it to your surgical sites is doing little to help you heal. Smoking can also increase your risk of complications with the anaesthesia. Dont smoke for at least four weeks after your surgery.
3. Taking over-the-counter blood thinners. Your doctor will give you a list of medicines and herbal supplements that are off-limits during your recovery. These blood thinners (like aspirin) can cause internal bleeding, which can lead to major complications.
4. Eat junk food. Eating healthy foods during your recovery will help support that recovery. Junk food often causes stomach upset when mixed with pain medications, and does nothing to promote fast healing. Ask your surgeon for a list of what foods will best support the recovery from your specific surgery.
Your Board Certified surgeon will be sure to outline exactly what you need to do to have a swift and healthy recovery with little risk of complications. If you have any questions about plastic surgery in Northern Virginia or would like to schedule a consultation, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588.