Many of those who come to me seeking advice on plastic surgery have questions about post-surgical recovery time. Men and women with busy, fast-paced lives often cannot afford to spend a great deal of time inactive and so are looking for ways to minimize their recovery time as much as possible. While most surgeons provide patients with extremely detailed instructions about what they should do after their surgical procedure, many people do not realize that there are also a great many things that can be done ahead of time in order to prepare. Since cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are usually planned well in advance, patients have a great opportunity to take advantage of several helpful tips that can help make their operation and subsequent recovery go more smoothly, even before they ever set foot in the operating room.
Get In Shape
Some have the mistaken belief that plastic surgery procedures can turn a couch potato into an Olympic athlete, but nothing could be further from the truth. Body contouring plastic surgery procedures like liposuction, tummy tucks, and thigh lifts are excellent ways to eliminate small, isolated deposits of fat and remove excess sagging skin that may have been left behind after significant weight loss, but they do not tone and condition the underlying muscles or organs. Getting plenty of exercise is an important part of developing a healthy immune system, which helps the body ward off infection, and strong, well-developed muscle tissue is better able to regenerate itself after injury. Losing even a few pounds of fat or building a few pounds of muscle can make a significant difference in your body’s ability to recover.
Proper nutrition after plastic surgery plays a critical role in the healing process, and establishing positive habits early can make a big difference down the line. Increase the amount of lean protein in your diet, like that which can be found in meats like fish, chicken and turkey, or in eggs, beans, nuts, quinoa and leafy greens. The body uses protein to rebuild healthy muscle tissue after injury, so making sure that your body has a store of the right building blocks is important. Try to reduce the amount of salt and sugar in your diet. Excess salt can cause the body to retain fluids, which will worsen swelling, and too much sugar can increase your body’s blood glucose fasting levels and make it difficult for your immune system to work properly. Moreover, sugar encourages the body to store extra fat, making it more likely that you will gain weight from the food that you eat. Finally, get into the habit of eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than trying to consume large quantities of food at a single sitting. Not only can this encourage the weight loss process, but this kind of “grazing” throughout the day can also help alleviate nausea from medications that you may be taking before or after your procedure.
Above all, it is vital that you completely understand your doctor’s after care instructions and have prepared yourself to follow those instructions. After your procedure, when you are tired and uncomfortable, it will be tempting to conveniently “forget” about some of the more inconvenient restrictions and requirements, but having a comprehensive plan in place beforehand can help you keep on track. Prepare your home by rearranging furniture to a more user-friendly configuration, giving yourself additional room for therapy exercises or to put the things that you will need within easy reach. Try to anticipate if any current situations might prove to be an obstacle and correct them before going in for your operation.
Following a few simple guidelines can help improve the chances that your plastic surgery procedure will have an exceptional outcome, and during our initial consultations I can go over additional pre and post-surgery aids to help speed your recovery. If you have additional questions or are interested in any of the breast or body contouring cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please contact me, Dr. James Namnoum to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.