Few patients look forward to their recovery from plastic surgery, but the truth is, when you’re prepared, the experience can be enjoyable. We encourage our patients to prep a little in advance so when recovery time comes, they can kick back and relax. Remember, recovery only lasts a couple of weeks, while the results of your procedure will last a lifetime.
What do you need for a successful recovery from breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, or a tummy tuck? Here are our 9 essentials for plastic surgery recovery. Make sure you have these things ready and waiting at home after your procedure.
The first couple of days are the most difficult part of the recovery process and most patients need a little help.
- You’ll need someone to drive you home after surgery. It takes time for the anesthesia effects to fully wear off and you’ll be unable to drive yourself.
- We recommend having a responsible adult at home with you for the first day or two. They’ll be available if you need help and can drive you to your follow-up visits with us.
- If you have small children at home, you’ll probably need help with childcare. For example, after a mommy makeover, patients can’t lift anything heavy for several weeks. If you have babies or toddlers at home, you may need additional support during this time.
While straws have recently become an environmental issue, they can be great to have around after many plastic surgeries. Depending on which surgery you’ve had, lifting your arms may be uncomfortable. A straw can make it easier to stay hydrated in the early days after your procedure when incisions are tender and lifting is challenging. And, if you prefer not to use plastic, there are reusable aluminum options.
Dr. Clinton may prescribe pain medication, antibiotics, and other medications to aid in your recovery. If you can, fill your prescriptions before your procedure and have them waiting at home when you arrive. You will definitely not want to be going to a pharmacy right after your procedure to get your medications. Always use your prescriptions as directed and get in touch if you have questions about what you should take or when.
Convenient, but Healthy Foods
Stock your fridge! After the surgery you’ll want healthy and convenient foods at the ready. Many of our patients prep double when making dinner in the weeks before surgery and fill their freezer with convenient options for healthy food during recovery. If you’ve had facial surgery, you may be more comfortable eating soft foods for a few days following your surgery, so keep that in mind as you are preparing your meals.
Comfort is king after cosmetic surgery in Birmingham, AL. Our favorite clothing pieces for plastic surgery recovery include:
- Button-up or zip-up tops (no pulling over the head)
- Elastic waist pants (pajama bottoms are a popular pick)
- Slip-on shoes (no heels)
Wear comfortable clothing on surgery day when you come in and have a few options at home so you can change as needed without having to do laundry.
Get ready to prop and position. Extra pillows are essential after many cosmetic surgical procedures including rhinoplasty. Pillows help to elevate the head which can reduce swelling. They also help with positioning so you can rest comfortably as you heal.
An Empty Calendar
Clear your schedule. The thing you’ll need most after plastic surgery is time to heal. The amount of time you’ll need depends on the type of surgery you receive. Don’t try to return to work too soon or do too much before you’re ready. Following your post-operative recommendations for activity limitations is critical to your comfort and your ultimate results.
How much downtime will you need? We’ll give detailed information as you prepare for surgery, but here are some basic timelines:
- Breast Augmentation: 1-2 weeks
- Tummy Tuck: 1-2 weeks
- Liposuction: Up to 10 days, less for a small procedure
- Rhinoplasty: 1-2 weeks
- Breast Lift: 2-3 weeks
Prescription pain medication is often needed only for a few days. Dr. Clinton will help you choose over-the-counter options to enhance your comfort when prescription treatments are no longer necessary. And, as with prescription medications, you will want to have these at home waiting for you after surgery.
Binge-worthy TV, Movies, and Books
Not technically a need, but a good show or book will certainly make the plastic surgery recovery process more enjoyable. Fill up your Netflix queue, buy a book that you’ve been wanting to read, and get ready for a binge. It’s not every day that your doctor will tell you to spend some days in bed, so take advantage of this unique opportunity.
After surgery, the only thing standing between you and a new look is recovery. Make your experience as enjoyable as possible with these recovery tips. Call Clinton Plastic Surgery at 205-408-9787 to schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Clinton.