Plastic Surgery Recovery: Ways to Ease the Pain and Swelling Post-Procedure

Pain. It’s one of the major reasons that people hesitate to undergo plastic surgery. Yet, all surgeries, whether minor or major, involve some degree of pain. Fortunately, there are different ways to manage it. Pain medication is one of them, which plastic surgeons will prescribe as part of the post-procedure treatment plan. The dosage, of course, will depend on the patient’s tolerance for pain and the surgery.

Swelling, on the other hand, is the body’s natural reaction to trauma, which surgery is one form. When the body experiences a trauma, such as a surgery, the cells release chemicals to help white blood cells, proteins, and other chemicals flow to the injured area to begin the healing process. This results in inflammation or swelling in the incision site.

Like pain, swelling is also manageable, which Dr. Clinton will discuss with you as part of your pre-surgery instructions.

Pain and Swelling Control

Aside from pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines, many plastic surgery patients find relief from these tricks. If you are scheduled for surgery soon, consider these tips to help ease the discomfort during your recovery:

• Keep the Treated Area Elevated
Part of your recovery is to keep your surgical site elevated, whether it’s the face, breast or stomach. The elevation will help drain the lymph back to the non-injured part of the body. The elevation also prevents the lymph from accumulating in the injured area. As the swelling decreases, the pain will also subside.

• Cold Compress
This helps decrease the swelling, as ice or any cold object can contract the blood vessels, which limits the number of white blood cells to flow to the injured area. The numbing sensation the ice creates can also ease the pain. When you apply a cold compress, be sure to limit it to only 15 minutes to prevent frostbite. Also, apply it in the first 24-72 hours after surgery. Otherwise, a cold compress will lose its effectiveness.

• Massage
Not only does this promote relaxation, a massage can also help with healing. Soft pressure and gentle rubs in the affected area can improve blood flow and normalize the lymphatic blood flow. A gentle massage can also help with the pain.

Pain and swelling is a natural part of healing, and you can manage them with the help of Dr. Clinton. To make your recovery comfortable, be sure to follow Dr. Clinton’s instructions in addition to these tips. For more information about pain control, talk with our surgeon at Clinton Plastic Surgery.