Top tips for a speedy recovery after cosmetic surgery

By Claire Perry

If cosmetic surgery is on your agenda, you must read RESCU’s 11 tips for a speedy recovery. From managing pain to coping with post-operative depression, we are here to nurse you through your recuperation.

The thought of going under the knife can be daunting. Before surgery, there is a lot of planning to be done to make the experience as smooth and relaxed as possible. Apart from preparing yourself mentally, you will be arranging for time off work, altering social schedules, and making sure your home is well stocked. ??Your main focus following surgery will be recovery. The time this takes ranges from a few days to a few weeks. Recovery time varies from person to person and depends on the type and extent of surgery being performed. ??Recovery should not be rushed, but here are some steps you can take to ensure a healthy recovery:

1. Be realistic in your expectations
You will look worse before you look better due to bruising and swelling, however if you suspect a problem, see a surgeon immediately

2, Apply ice to the wound

Do this periodically to reduce swelling and ask your surgeon how long you should continue with it.

3. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines
Read the information leaflets thoroughly and take the medication as instructed, be diligent with the hygiene routine and resume exercise only when it is safe to do so.

4. Don’t do it alone
Arrange for a relative or friend to care for you for the initial 48 to 72 hours following surgery. This will allow you sufficient rest and peace of mind.

5. Re-hydrate and eat lightly
Surgery reduces body fluids so drink water regularly and eat foods that are easy to swallow and digest.

6. Keep head and neck elevated
If you have had surgery on the head or neck, keep them elevated for a few days to reduce swelling.

7. Stay out of the sun

Avoid direct sunlight and apply sunscreen to protect your skin.

8.  Don’t take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications

Check with your doctor before taking over the counter medications as these may interfere with prescription medications.?

9. Don’t smoke
And stay away from other smokers as exposure to secondary smoke can also increase risk of infection.

10. Attend follow up appointments

This will reduce complications and allow your surgeon to check your progress.

11. Be aware that post-operative depression is common

Several factors contribute to this including the effects of the anesthesia and trauma during surgery; the post operative medications; fear of disfigurement; refraining from exercise; dealing with other people’s reactions to your surgery and adjusting to your new look. Expect to have a downtime, accept it and be kind to yourself.

Make sure you discuss your desire to have cosmetic surgery with your doctor and speak to your surgeon about the risks before going ahead.

And don’t miss the informative blogs by RESCU’s Cosmetic Surgery Specialist, Dr. Mark Kohout.


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