Five Rules to Follow for Your Best Recovery
Posted March 27, 2019
Dr. Antimarino reviews these five tips with each patient prior to surgery to make sure they are on their way to a successful recovery.
Smoking constricts the blood vessels which decreases oxygen to the tissue. Healing requires adequate oxygenation and blood flow, therefore, stop smoking.
No exercise should be done until your surgeon approves it.
Exercise is typically approved by the surgeon approximately three weeks after the surgery date. Swelling is usually resolved by this time and there is enough scar tissue at the incision site to help protect against stretching and over-use. Exercising too soon can cause bleeding, increased swelling and cause tension to the incision site. All of these may result in the opening of the incision or poor healing.
Following a surgical procedure, it is important to slow down and give your body time to heal. For many people, this can be the most difficult post-op instruction given by the surgeon. Returning to work too soon can increase pain, swelling and add tension to the incision site which may result in poor healing. Tackling heavy housework should wait to be done until approximately two weeks after surgery. Repetitive motion such as vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing can cause swelling, pain, and place undue stress on the incision lines. Our bodies need adequate time to heal and recover following any surgical procedure.
Ice, ice, baby…
In most surgeries, ice is beneficial post-operatively as it is used to constrict blood flow which will help reduce or control swelling. However, with a facelift surgery or fat grafting procedure, it can decrease healing and lead to the opening of incisions. In some instances, the blood flow needs to be optimized for the best healing, so the use of ice is actually discouraged. It is important to follow the directions given to you by your surgeon to treat post-operative swelling.
Leave the incisions alone!
The incision site may be gently washed when instructed to do so by the surgeon. Picking at the incision site is discouraged as this can cause an infection, bleeding and it can disrupt the healing process leading to unfavorable healing. Massage can be beneficial in softening scarring, however, if it is done too early in the recovery period, it can cause pain and disrupt the healing process. Leave dressings intact until removed by the surgeon or instructed to do otherwise. Let your doctor know if you notice any changes to the incision site such as increased redness or drainage. Talking with your surgeon can alleviate any anxiety you may have about your recovery process so don’t be afraid to speak up.
If you have questions or would like to find out about procedures offered at Bellissimo Plastic Surgery and Medi Spa, schedule your complimentary consultation online or by calling (844) 496-6647.