When you are considering a cosmetic procedure that requires surgery, it is just as important to think about the recovery period as it is the results. Recovering from surgery means having to take time off work or your normal day-to-day activities, possibly having someone help you with cooking and housework while recovering, as well as getting your mind and body used to your new look.
Thinking about how great you’ll look after surgery is a great motivator, but you must also be realistic and think about what will happen the first eight weeks after surgery. There will be swelling, bruising, and scars, but with the proper surgeon these will be minimal.
Directly after surgery, you will have some drainage tubes in your incision sites to drain excess fluids. You will experience some pain during this time, but your doctor will provide you with painkillers to help alleviate it.
Depending on your surgery, you may or may not be able to leave the same day. This also depends on how your surgery went. Before you leave, your drainage tubes will likely be removed. Hospital stays typically last one to three days. When you do leave, your doctor will send you home with precise instructions on how to care for your incisions.
The first week of recovery is always the hardest. You will have to rest a great deal and have someone help you do even light activity such as cooking. You will probably need to continue the pain medications prescribed to you by your doctor. Be sure to use these medications only, and not any others, to decrease the risk of excessive bleeding. After this first week, you’ll start feeling better and will be able to start very light activities again.
Most procedures (except facial) require that you take a full six to eight weeks of recovery before you start more vigorous activity again. After the recovery period, if you have taken proper care, you should feel back to normal. It may take somewhat longer for muscles to get back to their full strength, especially in deep layer procedures with big muscle groups like tummy tucks.
Whatever procedure you are going through, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice, and take care of yourself afterwards for a pleasant and speedy recovery.