Cosmetic surgery can be an exciting experience, especially when you’re undergoing surgery to enhance your physical appearance and emotional well-being. But after surgery, you might feel anxious or impatient about returning to your daily life and showing off your new curves. However, the key to achieving long-lasting results that meet your expectations is to take recovery slowly and seriously, and listen to your surgeon’s instructions to avoid any setbacks.
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If you’re about to have cosmetic surgery, or simply want to accelerate the healing process, here are five behaviors you can practice to recover quickly in the healthiest way possible.
1. Take pain medications after cosmetic surgery, and don’t tough it out
Depending on the type of surgery you have, your post-op pain could last up to several days following your procedure. During this time period, take all pain medications exactly as directed by your surgeon. Don’t try to push through the pain or tough it out without meds, since this could cause your blood pressure to rise and increase the risk for bruising.
Stick to taking the medications prescribed by your surgeon or physician, and avoid taking over-the-counter medicines unless approved by your doctor. Additionally, drink plenty of water to lower the risk for constipation, since this is a common side effect of many types of pain meds.
2. Move around to accelerate the healing process
Getting up and moving around promotes good blood flow and circulation, which accelerates the healing process and helps reduce pain. Get plenty of rest as instructed by your surgeon for the first few days after surgery, then engage in minor physical activity such as walking. When in doubt, ask your surgeon about the types of activities you can do safely in the days and weeks following surgery.
3. If your cosmetic surgery requires compression garments, wear them!
Certain cosmetic surgeries, such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction require you to wear compression garments following surgery. Compression garments help reduce bruising and swelling, minimize scarring, and promote skin retraction so your skin heals smoothly and evenly. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about the amount of time you’ll be expected to wear compression garments, which varies depending on the procedure.
4. Stop smoking at least eight weeks before your cosmetic surgery
Nicotine in cigarettes causes your blood vessels to narrow, which leads to decreased blood flow and circulation, and delays the healing process. Plus, people who smoke are at higher risk for developing blood clots, which can lead to major complications after cosmetic surgery.
Stop smoking at least eight weeks before your surgery, and try not to resume smoking ever again, or at least until your body is fully healed. If you need help quitting, talk to your surgeon or physician about smoking cessation methods that won’t affect your body’s healing process or surgery results.
5. Avoid rigorous exercise immediately after your cosmetic surgery
Engaging in rigorous exercise or intense physical activity increases your blood pressure, as well as the risk for bleeding, bruising, swelling, and inflammation. Rigorous exercise can also cause your incisions to reopen, and could worsen the appearance of scars.
Avoid heavy exercise for at least the first eight weeks after surgery, or until you’ve received approval from your surgeon. After your body is fully healed, exercise is crucial to maintaining the results of your cosmetic procedure for the months and years ahead.
Your cosmetic surgeon should be your go-to contact if you have any questions about healing, aftercare, and recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have concerns, since the behaviors you practice following surgery will affect your final results.
Are you interested in enhancing your body, skin, and overall appearance to look and feel younger, more beautiful, and more vibrant? Schedule a consultation with GLOW Surgical Arts to learn more about cosmetic surgery or facial rejuvenation, and get on your way to looking and feeling your best!