Plastic Surgery, It’s the Real Deal
Posted January 26, 2022
Let’s take a minute and talk about plastic “surgery.” The keyword is “surgery.” Patients are often so excited by their desired outcome that they forget about the process required to reach their final
- Time: The time involved to research your surgeon and schedule a consultation, the time it takes to get on the surgical schedule, and the amount of time needed for recovery are key factors surrounding a procedure. We like to remind patients that this is a process and one that requires patience and grace. Giving yourself the grace to slow down and accept that the healing process takes time is an important piece in your recovery. Life continues to move forward, and too often, FOMO (fear of missing out) sets in, so patients need to remind themselves of their results and be patient with the process.
- How Do You See Yourself After Surgery: Recovery is a process, and patients need to remember that they have just had surgery. Some scars need to settle, swelling takes time to resolve, and energy levels need to be replenished. Surgical results may not be apparent for six months to a year. Scars go through a process that involves redness, swelling, and pain. The incisions may not settle and look good for a few months, so patience is key. Try not to worry about the results during the early stages of recovery. Remember that revisions can address any area that does not heal as desired, so maintain your post-op care.
- Lots of Questions: Many questions can and will arise in the post-op period, especially in the first several weeks. This is the time to rely on your surgeon and their staff to answer your questions and alleviate the anxiety that is common during this period. Remember, no one monitors the validity of what is posted on the internet, so relying on “Dr. Google” may lead you astray and cause more anxiety.
- Post-Operative Care: Follow-up appointments are scheduled so the surgeon may see the recovery progress and manage any concerns that should be addressed promptly. Excessive swelling, spitting sutures, or tender, red areas may need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Scheduling your appointments and being present are important parts of the surgical process and should not be ignored.
- Scars: Surgery involves scars and each body heals differently. Some scars may not heal as well as others, and some may take longer to resolve. Some scars may appear wide and thick, while others may be flat, smooth, and fine. Genetics, lifestyle, and diet can all affect how well a scar heals. Scar management can begin as early as 6-8 weeks after surgery and should be monitored by your surgeon. Scars can undergo revisions as early as 4-6 months post-op. This is why it’s important to adhere to your scheduled follow-up appointments.
- Long-Term Investment: Surgery involves time and a commitment to stay the course through recovery. There are no easy fixes. Embracing the time we must take off for healing and accepting that we may not be active for a few weeks as things settle down can be physically and mentally challenging. Many patients have set expectations early on in the surgical process, and anxiety can set in when those are not met. Try to keep an open mind and focus on the fact that you have chosen a board-certified plastic surgeon working to achieve your goals and wants to see you happy.