Having a great outcome after plastic surgery requires some preparation ahead of time, but a lot of the time people are so busy preparing for the things they need before their surgery that they forget to prepare for what they’ll need after surgery.
Although everyone’s recovery will be different, there are some things that will work for pretty much everyone, so I try to give this advice to my patients before surgery so that they can have the easiest recovery possible.
Build a recovery nest
No, you are not literally building a nest like a bird, but you will definitely want to have an area set up that will be easy to get to and comfortable to sit in since you’ll be spending a lot of time resting for the first 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. You’ll want to make sure it’s easy to get to a bathroom and you’ll also want to be close to the kitchen. A proper recovery nest should also have a lot of pillows around since most procedures require some sort of specific sleeping position and pillows are usually the key to setting that up and being able to stay in that position all night.
Get your entertainment ready
Try to picture yourself hanging out there after surgery and anticipate the things you’ll be needing on a frequent basis. Make sure you have the remote control(s), something to read and a charger for your phone or tablet in close proximity to help avoid getting up at times that you don’t feel up to it. This would also be the time to sign up for those 30 day free trials on various streaming services so you’ll have lots to watch.
Have your medication nearby
After surgery, you’ll have a few prescription medications like antibiotics and pain meds. Because I am a firm believer in multimodal analgesia (using several pain medications to keep you comfortable without relying on too many narcotics) my patients usually have 5-6 prescriptions to manage. I typically give them their prescriptions during the pre-operative visit a few weeks before surgery so the medication can be filled and ready way ahead of time. I’d suggest taking a look at your information sheets to see the pill schedule and even consider putting them into a pill organizer ahead of time so there is no guesswork after surgery.
Treat yourself to a comfortable wardrobe
All procedures cause some pain and discomfort that can potentially last for a couple of weeks. It may help to have clothing that is comfortable and can easily be taken on and off. Tips I’ve gotten from patients that I like to pass along include wearing oversized clothes, tops with zippers rather than those that need to be pulled over your head. If you wanted to just spend a week in your bathrobe no one would judge you for that.
Don’t be a hero
While you are recovering from surgery your focus should be on recovering from surgery. This is the time to take care of yourself first and foremost. Having some help around will definitely make the whole healing process smoother and if you have children or pets that need to be cared for it’s especially important to have some help doing that. While a family member or friend is ideal, not everyone has that type of support available so if you fall into that category you may want to look into hiring a personal support worker to help out for a few days. Having a helping hand can greatly reduce unnecessary stress so you can focus on healing and feel better as soon as possible.
These are just a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years to help with a smooth recovery but there are so many others that patients have come up with as well. If you have a great recovery tip, head on over to our Instagram page and put it in the comments for this post.
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