We recently discussed some of the must-haves that our patients should procure before having plastic surgery of any kind. Here, we want to discuss some of the things that patients should do to help their bodies heal as well as they can after a plastic surgery procedure. Regardless of the kind of place surgery a person has, the operation is stressful for the body. A lot of energy goes into healing the skin and adjusting to new contours. While the amount of time it takes to recover can vary based on the procedure, the following actions can be extremely helpful for optimal physical healing.
Here’s an interesting thing about the recommendation to rest after plastic surgery, patients know they should do it but they don’t. We’ll make it more specific to help you understand what to expect after having surgery. If, before your procedure, your normal night of sleep lasts 7 to 8 hours, you can expect to need 9 or more hours while recovering. You may also need naps. It sounds so much easier than it is, which is precisely why you may be rolling your eyes while you read this. Keep that in mind when you find your body begging for more sleep after surgery. Then listen to it. Pushing to return to normal energy levels too soon after surgery could lead to unexpected complications.
Nutrition may be nearly as important as adequate sleep after plastic surgery. When we don’t feel our best, we often crave comfort foods and, in many cases, those aren’t our healthiest options. For tissue repair to occur optimally, the body needs an abundant supply of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Instead of eating Chinese take-out or burgers, we benefit from fresh, leafy greens, smoothies, green juices, fresh fruits, and healthy meats.
Hearing from your surgeon that you should move around after plastic surgery can feel counterintuitive, especially because we listed sleep and rest as the leading tip for a smooth recovery. Expect that your activities will be limited for some time after your procedure. Also know that you should walk every day, even multiple times a day. No power-walking. No other exercise until your follow-up appointment. Just walking. This motion moves blood out of the legs, reducing the risk of blood clots. Circulation improves with walking, which also means that tissues more readily receive the nutrients and oxygen needed for regeneration.
Plastic surgery is an exciting prospect, even with a brief recovery period. Make the most of yours by consulting with an experienced surgeon who sees you through your entire process. Call 305.279.4700 to schedule a consultation at our Miami office.