All About The Face - Keys to a Successful Recovery

Susan Harvey

by Susan Harvey | August 9, 2010 @ 02:00PM

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Susan Harvey explains how to make recovery after surgery stress free. As featured in Cosmetic Surgery Magazine.

If cosmetic surgery is a new experience, you may wonder whether taking time off to recover is really necessary. Do not assume that the success of your surgery is only up to your plastic surgeon. That assumption can be a mistake that prevents you from achieving optimum results. Like the wise inventor, planning is the key to preserving and enjoying the benefits of your facelift for years to come. The most important time to prepare is as soon as you have made the decision to undergo the procedure.

Get your skin in the best possible condition prior to surgery and protect yourself after the procedure.

Your body is an amazing machine with the unique ability to heal itself, but it needs your help. From the moment you make the decision to have a procedure, start drinking plenty of water, eat well and get moderate amounts of exercise. Do not bask in the sun. After surgery, sunblock is a must. Sun exposure will make your suture lines appear darker than the surrounding skin. Plan to purchase wraparound sunglasses, a hat, a scarf, and camouflage makeup to protect you from the sun and hide your bruising during your recovery period.

Have everything you need by your bedside.

Ask your surgeon about the home recovery items that you will need to be comfortable before your surgery is scheduled. Most surgeons recommend elevating your head at least 45 degrees during recovery. Get yourself a wedge pillow. Inquire about compresses to reduce swelling and bruising specific to your surgery. More than one compress allows you to rotate without having to wait. Ask about Arnica (a homeopathic mountain herb) to minimize soreness and bruising, and bromelain (pineapple enzyme) to minimize inflammation. Having a cooler at your bedside with ice handy will be to your advantage. Decide on your wardrobe prior to surgery. You won't want to pull anything over your head until you are completely healed. Plan on wearing zip-up or button up loose fitting garments. Have your menu of soft comfort foods selected and prepared. If you're having skin resurfacing or lip augmentation, purchase a baby spoon and an adult sipper cup. Have all your prescriptions filled and make a schedule for taking your pills. Drinking lots of water will help flush medications from your system, and will aid in digestion and the prevention of constipation. A water bottle makes it easier to drink.

Plan on needing help.

Don't count on your mate to stand at your bedside and cater to your every need. Even the most loving mate may get weak in the knees at the thought of changing a bandage. Seriously consider hiring a nurse. They can help to make sure that your medications are administered on time, that you have help moving about for the first several days after surgery, and can act as a liaison with your doctor should you need additional advice or assistance after the procedure.

Relaxation is one of the most important parts of a comfortable recovery.

De-stress your life. Plan to give yourself the gift of time by arranging for someone to get your children off to school and feed your pets. Depending on the type of medications your doctor prescribes, you may not remember tasks. Even if you do remember, you may not be able to bend over to tie a shoe or reach the dog's dish. Don't risk raising your blood pressure. Don't be surprised. Do your research. The best book that I have read is "Welcome To Your Facelift" by Helen Bransford. Focus on feeling and looking your best. Remember, you have decided to make an important investment. Protect it by planning ahead and you will be richly rewarded for many years to come. 

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