In recent times, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of cosmetic surgery procedures. Millions of individuals have undergone procedures like breast augmentation
, breast reduction, tummy tucks, facelifts, and more to improve their quality of life.
Although the surgical procedure undeniably helps you achieve aesthetic goals, pre-operative and post-operative care play an equally pivotal role in achieving the best results while minimising potential complications. To truly optimise outcomes and ensure a smooth journey, it's crucial for patients to establish a close relationship with their plastic surgeons and adhere to all pre-operative preparations and post-operative recovery guidelines.
Pre-Operative Care and Planning
In the weeks and days before surgery, patients should follow all their plastic surgeon's instructions, like stopping certain medicines or supplements that could cause problems with anaesthesia or healing. They should also quit smoking for at least two weeks before and after the procedure since nicotine constricts blood vessels and impedes the circulation needed for proper healing.
On the evening prior to their surgery, the surgeon will likely recommend that they abstain from eating or drinking. This fasting period is essential for a safe anaesthesia experience. They'll need someone to drive them home after surgery, and their home should be ready with pillows, ice packs, loose, comfy clothes, and anything else to help them recover. Setting up a quiet space to rest and recover undisturbed is highly recommended.
It's also good to stock the house with healthy foods and drinks to start eating and replenishing the body after surgery. Having easy-to-make meals and snacks will let the patient get good nutrition while taking it easy at home. Having family or friends handle all errands, housework, childcare, and other responsibilities is also key.
The Day of Surgery
It's the big day - after months of consultations and preparation, the patient finally has their plastic surgery procedure done today. The patient arrives at the surgical centre, and their surgeon checks their nerves. A kind nurse brings the patient to the pre-op room and helps in changing the clothes
Soon the surgeon comes by to do some final markings and answer any last-minute questions the patient has. They are wheeling you into the operating room, and the anesthesiologist administers the anaesthesia through the IV.
The next thing to know, the patient is waking up in the recovery room, and the surgery is complete. The nurses monitor you closely as the anesthesia wears off. The patient is still pretty weak and tired. Once you're fully awake and stable, the surgeon comes to check on you.
After a few more hours of recovery, you are discharged to go home with care instructions. The hard part is over now - time to start healing!
Post-Operative Healing and Self-Care
The first 24-48 hours after surgery are focused on rest and only getting up for basic needs. Pain and discomfort are normal, and medication is prescribed to manage swelling, bruising, numbness, and mild bleeding. Cold compresses also help to alleviate swelling and pain. Patients must avoid straining themselves as vigourous activity, heavy lifting, or anything else that could compromise their internal stitches and repairs.
Proper hygiene is also very important after surgery. Keeping the incisions clean and changing bandages regularly prevents infections. Supportive elastic tape, wraps, or athletic wear may be recommended to encourage proper healing and reduce swelling.
As swelling subsides, patients can begin gently resuming daily activities, while still avoiding anything strenuous. Walking around the house and getting adequate hydration and nutrition will help in the healing process. Plastic surgeons typically schedule follow-up appointments within a few weeks after surgery to monitor the patient’s progress and recovery.
Potential risks like excessive bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, and improper healing are minimised when patients adhere closely to pre-and post-operative instructions from their plastic surgeon. While cosmetic procedures
are generally safe thanks to advanced techniques and close medical supervision, the surgery still represents a significant interruption to the body. Respecting this process and allowing adequate recovery helps prevent complications and facilitate the desired rejuvenating effects. Communicating with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon and following recommendations diligently paves the way for success.