What happens in the operating room during a cosmetic surgery such as a facelift isn’t the only thing that has an impact on your results. What you do after your surgery also plays a role in influencing the quality of your results.
For that reason, you don’t just want to plan for the surgery itself, but also for the recovery time afterward. There are several things you can do in advance to help ensure that the time you spend recuperating from a procedure is time well-spent. Here are some tips for planning your post-facial plastic surgery recovery.
Get Written Instructions from Your Surgeon
It’s likely that your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions regarding what you should and shouldn’t do in the first few days and weeks after your surgery. If your surgeon doesn’t give you a written list of instructions, it’s a good idea to ask for one. Having the instructions written out means you have something you can reference if you’re unsure of what you should do (and when) after your surgery.
Some of the things your surgeon is likely to instruct you to avoid for several days or weeks after your rhinoplasty or other facial plastic surgery include:
- Exercising for a few weeks
- Smoking or using tobacco for several weeks
- Drinking alcohol for several days
- Driving for at least two days or while on pain medication
Since every patient is different, it’s likely that your post-op instructions will be customized to your specific situation. If you’re unclear about any instructions or aren’t sure why your surgeon is recommending that you avoid a certain activity, it’s a good idea to ask them, either during your consultation or right before the surgery.
Make Arrangements Before Your Surgery
Right after your surgery and for at least the first few days afterward, you’re not going to be feeling like yourself. Not only will you not be up for driving yourself home after the procedure, but you’re also not going to want to have to worry about prepping meals or making sure the kids get picked up from school.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to make arrangements for a ride, for childcare and for meal and housekeeping help in advance. Find someone to give you a ride home from the surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night after your procedure. If your spouse or partner isn’t available, choose a reliable friend or another relative.
If you have children, you’ll want to make arrangements for childcare for them before you have your surgery. You can ask the parents of one of their friends to look after them or send them on a multi-day sleepover to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
As far as meals and housekeeping go, you have a few options. One is to hire someone to prep your meals for you for the first few weeks after your surgery. You might also hire someone to keep your house clean. Another option may be having your partner pick up the slack and handle meal-prep and housekeeping while you rest up.
It doesn’t matter what option you choose. The most important thing is that you have a plan ready to go so that you don’t feel stressed out or overexert yourself when you should be resting.
Get Your Home Ready for Your Recovery
Part of planning for your post-surgical recovery involves preparing your home. If you usually work outside of the home, you might not be used to the idea of spending so much time at home. Even if you do work at home usually, the time you spend recuperating from your procedure is going to be a lot different from your usual activities.
It might be a good idea to talk to your surgeon to learn more about what you can do to effectively prep your home for your recovery period. They might recommend investing in a bed with an adjustable head or in a recliner so that you can sit with your head propped up. Alternatively, they might recommend you get extra pillows for your bed so that you can keep your head elevated after the procedure.
Make Time for Relaxation
If you’re usually a busy, active person, taking a week or more off after facial plastic surgery to rest up can be pretty challenging. While you don’t need to confine yourself to your bed during that entire time, you will want to take it easy and avoid anything too strenuous.
One way to look at your recovery time is as a period of relaxation. It might not be as glamorous as a beach vacation, but that week or two that you take off from work and other commitments gives you a chance to hit “reset.” If you start to feel bored during your recovery, just remind yourself that resting up is for your own good. In the long run, you’ll enjoy better results if you can take it easy and follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter.
Your facial plastic surgeon can help you plan for your post-surgical recovery and can give you customized instructions that will help you make the most of your downtime. Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida. He will be happy to help you plan your recovery period and to help you prepare for a plastic surgery procedure. To schedule a consultation, call 561-288-5888 today.