Dos and Don’ts of Plastic Surgery

If you’re considering plastic surgery, choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step you should take for a safe surgery and results. It’s equally important to follow the pre-operative and recovery instructions that you’re given.

Most people think that recovery just means healing after your procedure, but you can set yourself up for success even before your surgery by taking care of yourself and creating a good environment for healing.

  • Eat a balanced diet: A healing body needs nutrients, so nourishing your body with quality proteins, vitamins and minerals is crucial.
  • Don’t smoke, vape, or use nicotine: Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, which limits blood supply to incision sites. This slows down healing, which increases risks for infection, blood clots or scarring. It’s best to quit entirely, but you should at least follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendation, which may be to quit 3-6 weeks prior to surgery through 3-6 weeks after.
  • Check your list of prohibited substances before taking any medication, herb, or supplement: Did you know that a lot of normally safe or even healthy substances, like aspirin and green tea, may be risky before surgery? They may act as blood thinners, which increases the risk of bleeding or could even interfere with anesthesia. Your surgeon will provide you with a list of substances to avoid before and after surgery. It’s important that you read through it and follow their directions thoroughly.
  • Make arrangements for home care, child/pet care, and care for yourself: After your surgery, you may need help with things you normally take for granted (getting out of bed, getting dressed, etc). If you have children or pets, you will also need to coordinate help ahead of time so you are not tempted to overdo it.

Some people are used to being on the go, and the post-recovery downtime can be a bit difficult. It may help to view recovery like it’s your job and remember that downtime is temporary. Taking care of yourself now will help lead to longer-lasting results.

  • Do take your medicine: Pain medicine will help you rest comfortably. However, they can also impair your driving. It’s best to get someone to drive you to your follow-up appointments (and any other errands) until you’re off the pain medicine.
  • Drink your water: Staying hydrated will help you feel better sooner. It helps by flushing out the residual effects of anesthesia and helps your body deliver nutrients to help heal incisions.
  • Take care of your incisions: Your plastic surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for how to take care of incisions, but there are some general guidelines. If your incisions are covered with surgical tape, don’t peel it off. Leave it in place as long as possible to help protect your scars from dirt, infection, etc. You also should keep your incisions dry.
  • Don’t do too much too soon: Once you start feeling better, you may be tempted to pick up the pace. However, feeling more like yourself is a sign that recovery is going well, not that it is finished. Wait to resume full activities until you are given the go-ahead by your surgeon.

Questions may come up along the way of your surgery process. It’s best to give your surgeon’s office a call if you have any questions or concerns to make sure your surgery goes smoothly from start to finish. If you’re thinking about plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Poulter today or call our office at (309) 663-1222 or Toll Free at (888) 841-4108 and get on the road to looking and feeling your best!