When cosmetic surgery patients go in to see their surgeon several days before the surgery, they will often be given a set of post surgery instructions to help them heal faster. It may be tempting to ignore these instructions, but they should not be set aside or thrown in the trash. They contain valuable information that will help reduce pain, bruising, and swelling following the surgical procedure, as well as reduce the chances of infection or scarring. Taking just a few minutes of time to read the instructions a day or two before the surgical procedure will go a long way toward having a shorter recovery period with minimal complications. It will also mean that patients will soon be able to show off their new look to friends and family.
Bruising and Swelling
Bruising and swelling are normal following any surgery, whether or not it is a cosmetic procedure. They are part of the body’s natural healing process. However, there are some very important things patients can do in order to shorten both the amount and duration of bruising and swelling.
- Ice: Use of ice or cold compresses is recommended, particularly for any facial procedure. However, it is important to keep any sutures dry until the wounds have completely healed over.
- Compression: Depending upon the type of cosmetic surgical procedure, the surgeon may provide compression garments for patients. These are tight-fitting elastic garments to be worn over the surgical site to reduce bruising and swelling. It is best to wear the garments all the time for the first few weeks following the procedure, depending upon the surgeon’s instructions.
- Arnica Montana: Taking the herb Arnica montana will also help reduce the amount and duration of bruising and swelling. It is best to begin taking the herb two weeks prior to the surgery, so as to be the most effective.
Infection is probably the biggest risk from any surgical procedure. If infection sets it, it can delay healing time, increase chances for scarring, and lead to other, more life-threatening complications.
- Antibiotics: The most important thing patients can do to reduce chances of infection is to take any antibiotic medicine, as prescribed by their surgeon. In some cases, this may start before the day of surgery, in order to help the body build up immunity before the procedure.
- Clean and dry incision site: It is also very important to keep suture sites clean and dry. Wash hands thoroughly with antibiotic soap before changing any dressings or bandages. Do not touch the sutures or incision site as much as possible. Do not let the wound dressing or bandage get wet or dirty. Follow any special instructions regarding showering or bathing following surgery.
The days leading up to a cosmetic surgical procedure can be very overwhelming. It can be very easy to overlook any post-surgery instructions. However, taking the time to read them before the day of surgery will help patients know what items will best aid in their recovery.
Contact Dr. John R. Griffin to schedule a consultation.