Plastic Surgery Tips: Do This For A Smoother Recovery + Best Results

Written by Cameron Erickson, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on April 2, 2024 No Comments

plastic surgery woman

Considering plastic surgery can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Whether a patient is opting for a minor enhancement or a more significant transformation, the decisions they make leading up to their procedure can significantly impact the results and recovery process. To ensure a patient achieves the best possible outcome, there are several essential steps to take before undergoing plastic surgery.

Get to an Ideal Weight

Before undergoing plastic surgery, it is crucial to strive for your ideal weight. Many procedure, especially body contouring procedures like liposuction or tummy tuck surgery, require patients to be at or below a certain BMI to minimize risks and optimize results. Being at a healthy weight not only reduces the likelihood of complications during surgery but also allows surgeons to sculpt the desired contours more effectively which translates to a better overall result. Additionally, achieving your ideal weight may make the procedure easier, potentially lowering costs. However, it is important to understand that there are limits to how much tissue can be safely removed, so realistic expectations are key.

Stop Smoking

It is essential for smokers to quit before undergoing plastic surgery. Smoking compromises blood circulation, leading to poor incision healing and an increased risk of scarring. The same applies to vaping, as the chemicals in e-cigarettes can also hinder the healing process. By quitting smoking, patients can significantly reduce these risks and promote better outcomes for their procedure.

Enhance Your Diet

Patients should prioritize nourishing their body with a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Consuming ample proteins can aid in the body’s healing process, while fiber can help prevent digestive issues often associated with anesthesia and pain medication. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, and yogurt into one’s diet can also promote regularity and minimize discomfort. Furthermore, limiting sugar and sodium intake can help prevent inflammation and reduce swelling post-surgery. Remember to stay hydrated to support overall bodily functions and facilitate healing.

Boost Physical Activity

Engaging in regular physical activity leading up to the surgery can improve a patient’s overall health and lessen the risk of complications. Whether it is walking, swimming, biking, or any other activity you enjoy, staying active promotes circulation and prepares the body for the upcoming procedure. Post surgery exercising will also be key to maintaining the procedure results.

Get Your Support System Ready

Recovery from plastic surgery can be physically and emotionally demanding, so having a reliable support system in place is crucial. Enlist the help of trusted friends or family members who can assist with household tasks, meal preparation, transportation to follow-up appointments, and providing emotional support during recovery.

Prep Your Household

Set yourself up for a smooth recovery by prepping your home in advance. Having the right supplies on hand after plastic surgery can greatly contribute to a comfortable and smooth recovery process.

Here are some essential supplies to consider having readily available:

  • Medications
  • Incision care supplies
  • Compression garments (if applicable)
  • Ice packs or cold compresses
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Pillows and cushions
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Entertainment and comfort items

Schedule Downtime

Recognize the importance of scheduling adequate downtime following your procedure. Depending on the extent of the surgery, patients may experience physical limitations or visible bruising and swelling. Plan to take time off from work, school, or social commitments to allow your body to rest and heal fully.

Visit Your Primary Care Doctor

Before undergoing plastic surgery, it is essential to consult with your primary care physician. Patients should inform their doctor about their planned procedure and ensure they are medically cleared for surgery. A PCP can provide valuable insights and may advise patients to suspend certain medications or supplements that could interfere with the surgical process or recovery.

Find the Right Plastic Surgeon

Selecting the right plastic surgeon is perhaps the most critical step in achieving your desired results. Look for a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience in the specific procedure you are considering. Take the time to research potential surgeons, review before-and-after photos, read patient testimonials, and ask for referrals. During your consultation, do not hesitate to ask questions and discuss your expectations openly.

Proper preparation is key to a successful plastic surgery experience. By following these tips and taking proactive steps before any procedure, patients can enhance their results and ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery journey.

Cameron Erickson, MD

Dr. Cameron Erickson is a native Texan and board certified plastic surgeon practicing in the Southwest Parkway and Dripping Springs locations. Dr. Erickson specializes in aesthetic procedures including rhinoplasty, brow lifts, eyelid surgery, lip lifts, facelifts, breast augmentation and lifts, breast reduction, body contouring and liposuction, abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), brachioplasty (Arm Lift), 360° liposuction with fat transfer to the buttocks, vaginal rejuvenation, and hormone replacement therapy. In addition, he has had additional training in non-surgical treatments including injectables (Botox/fillers), lasers, and skin resurfacing treatments.

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