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Six Ways to Speed Up Your Recovery After Plastic Surgery

Posted October 26, 2023 in Recovery

Contrary to popular belief, your recovery after having plastic surgery doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. In addition to following all of the post-op instructions you receive from Dr. Cohn, here are some tips to help you recover faster after your procedure and minimize your risk of scarring.

Woman sitting up in hospital bed, looking out a sunny window.

1. Take All Medication

No matter how good you may feel or how well you believe you can tolerate pain, take your medicine as directed. Do not miss any doses of your pain medication. Pain increases your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause more bruising and create complications with your recovery.

2. Don’t Lounge Around

Just as you do not want to rush your recovery, you also do not want to be sedentary. You must get on your feet and walk as soon as you can. While you do not want to over-exert your body, you need adequate blood flow to recover. Poor circulation increases your risk of pneumonia and blood clots, which can be life-threatening, especially after an invasive procedure such as a tummy tuck. 

Additionally, many of the medicines and narcotics that you have received during your surgery and are taking during your recovery can cause constipation. To prevent constipation, you need to get up and get moving. Take short walks around the house and increase fluid intake to avoid constipation and complications.

3. Maintain a Healthy Diet

It is expected to experience changes in your appetite after surgery. However, you need to maintain a healthy diet. 

Your diet is medicine for your whole body. Even though you may not feel up to eating or drinking much after your surgery, it is essential that you stay hydrated and get the necessary nutrients. Focus on foods full of protein, vitamins A, C, and B12, zinc, fiber, antioxidants, and bromelain. These nutrients will allow your body to repair connective tissues, form new and healthy cells, boost your immune system, and reduce inflammation.

Eat lots of protein and carbohydrates. You need to feed your body correctly so that it can heal and repair itself to speed up your recovery. If you plan to take any vitamins, let your doctor know before taking them.

Lastly, staying hydrated is a fundamental component of maintaining overall health. Drinking plenty of water keeps the skin moisturized to aid healing.

4. Don’t Smoke

Even though your surgery is over, your body still needs to heal. Do not smoke until you have your surgeon’s approval to do so. Smoking severely impairs the body’s ability to heal, promotes bruising, and can cause other problems with your recovery. 

 It is also vital that patients quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery and do not resume until two weeks after surgery.

5. Don’t Overdo It

Rest is an essential aspect of your recovery. Getting adequate sleep and downtime will allow your body to heal inside and out. Even if you feel pretty good, only start exercising, lifting, or engaging in strenuous activities once you have been cleared to do so by your doctor. It is a good idea to ask for clarification on what you can and can’t do before going home during your recovery.

6. Follow Up Appointments and Instructions

Dr. Cohn will instruct you on caring for yourself and your incisions after your procedure. The instructions are designed to provide you with the best surgical outcome when followed.

Go to all follow-up appointments regardless of how you feel. Dr. Cohn needs to monitor your progress to ensure your body is healing correctly. Adjustments may also need to be made to your post-op care periodically.

The best path to “getting back to normal” is following the doctor’s orders. Following these customized instructions leads to a quicker recovery. Recovery leads to resuming your normal activities.