Healthy Living

What to Expect After a Plastic Surgery

What to Expect After a Plastic Surgery

Key Takeaways

  • Plastic surgery has its own risks and the negative changes that will occur should be carefully managed.
  • Inflammation and redness depend on the body of the patient but they are usually expected to last from a few hours to a couple of days. 
  • Some doctors agree that with today’s equipment and procedures, patients should not expect severe pain. 

A Brief Introduction to Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery involves the surgical alteration of one’s body to make it into a different shape or size according to what you may desire. It is a delicate procedure that should be done by qualified surgeons and should be done only when necessary, although people have different reasons for having plastic surgery done on them.

After a plastic surgery, the patient who underwent the procedure is urged to rest and recover by taking pills and applying scar lotions to make sure nothing drastic or bad happens. The things to expect after a plastic surgery are detailed below.

1. Lots of Rest (Downtime)

After the procedure, most patients will want fast, visible results almost like getting a haircut to immediately get back to their daily activities or work. It is recommended that one avoids this hassle and gets plenty of rest to reduce the pain and inflammation that may occur in places where surgery was performed. Inflammation and redness depend on the body of the patient but they are usually expected to last from a few hours to a couple of days. 

More complex surgeries like body contouring and breast accentuation or enhancement will take more time to recover and go back to normal. This period of rest is recommended mainly to reduce the swelling that is left after the procedure. It will also help avoid the chance of skin tearing along the scar lines or damage that could be potentially nasty.

For procedures such as liposuction or scar removals, the period of recovery is lesser than the other procedures. Usually, it takes a day or two before one can be out and about. However, tummy tucks, breast surgery, and contouring are more delicate procedures that require careful handling. Rest should last for up to two weeks and above, not less.

Some doctors agree that with today’s equipment and procedures, patients should not expect severe pain. However, if an extreme pain does occur, they should get back to their surgeon as it could be a sign of a potential problem or complication.

2. Skin Care

During surgery, the skin suffers and bears the brunt of the cutting work. It is sensitive to the touch due to the underlying nerves. Once the surgery is done, the patient is advised to get plenty of rest and apply soothing balms that will be recommended by the doctor.

It is important to ensure that the creams you use do not have many ingredients. Moreover, if the extracts are not aloe vera-based, one should be cautious. Aloe vera is known to calm the nerves and soothe the skin, which may experience hypersensitivity reactions after the procedure. Changes in temperature alone can cause a variation in pain and one should ensure that the skin is not exposed to stress and damage after the surgery.

You should also avoid the sun as it could harm the cut areas. Apply a daily skin care product (recommended products only) and a sunblock to further protect your skin. Exposure to excess chemicals and sunlight are said to cause redness and a delayed healing. There is also a possibility of having oddly colored patches of skin that would not be pretty.

Any agents that can cause irritation are not good. They include excess heat in baths, saunas, and engaging in vigorous activities. Don’t swim in a chemically-treated water or expose yourself to any chemical agents as the result of these encounters would not be desirable at all.

If you ignore the warnings and still expose yourself to irritants, expect any of the following to happen:

  • scarring
  • delayed healing
  • uneven skin discoloration
  • infections
  • inflammation

None of the above-mentioned results are desirable by anyone who underwent a surgical procedure. It would defeat the purpose of making you better and will only end up ruining everything if you are not careful.

3. Dealing with Irritation and Pain

After a surgical procedure, the patient will feel sensations that are similar to sunburn and redness in the areas where surgery was performed. It is an effect that occurs right after one undergoes a procedure such as a laser treatment. There will be mild bruising during these surgeries and in the case of other procedures such as a vein removal, a certain level of pain is to be expected.

Doctors usually recommend an ice pack or an acetaminophen to help with the pain. These remedies will soothe the painful area and can help lessen irritations and discomforts. You should also avoid scratching the area that was operated on since doing so will only cause more bruising and damage that will lead to unpleasant and painful sensations.

Facial surgery, breast surgery, and liposuction do not cause any pain but only minor irritations that fade very quickly. If the pain persists for a longer time, it is better to take over-the-counter analgesics to help ease it. If analgesics don't work, go back to the surgeon and get the area looked at to stop future complications.

Surgeons have said on medical magazines and journals that the pain should be negligible, and if excessive, the procedure would most likely have gone wrong somewhere.

4. Habits and Lifestyle

Be sure that after the surgery, your diet will have to change to suit the need of your body and its journey towards a full and satisfactory recovery.

One should adopt the habit of drinking plenty of water. Hydration is very important to have a quick recovery. Water will take care of your skin by washing away toxins and helping with other body functions required for a faster and safer recovery.

The foods that are eaten should also be looked at critically. Nourishing foods like whole wheat and fruits are important in keeping the top conditions of the skin during the healing process. When taking foods, ensure that they are not going to harm your skin or affect your healing.

An intake of alcohol, caffeine, and excess fatty foods or junk food is forbidden. Fruits and lean meats together with vegetables are a definite must-have. Eating a healthy diet is necessary to achieve a great recovery.

The Bottom Line

As detailed above, it is expected that changes will occur after plastic surgery. Some will be obvious and to be expected while some will be unprecedented.

Plastic surgery has its own risks and the negative changes that will occur should be carefully managed. However, despite the advancement of technology, surgeons can still make mistakes. You could experience stigma, low self-esteem, and get the exact opposite of what you have expected. Your nerve endings could get damaged. Blood loss, allergic reactions, and intense physical pain can also be experienced.

Don’t rush into plastic surgery for the sake of just doing it. Do your research and make sure that you are committed to undergo such procedure. When you decide to have the surgery, you are taking a risk.

Take the risk safely by knowing what to expect after a plastic surgery.