Re.’s Guide to Postoperative Recovery
As with any medical procedure, there’s more to it than just the surgery itself – and plastic surgery requires proper planning from beginning to end. Remaining healthy is an important aspect of the healing process and something that many patients can be misguided about. Often, people eager to resume their previous lifestyle and activities look to online forums to answer their questions. Whether it’s a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck, it’s important to follow it up with the right postoperative care and exercise.
The following are areas of consideration that every patient should take into account for a successful recovery:
Patients hear it time and time again – sleep is your body’s opportunity to rebuild, heal and rest. Making sure you get enough rest is as important an aspect of your routine as any. Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night can be difficult, so at Re., we advocate good sleep habits. This includes not doing mentally stimulating activities close to bedtime, skipping caffeinated drinks and avoiding device screens that emit blue light which make it harder to fall asleep.
Whilst sleeping, wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing will alleviate some of the discomfort as your body heals. Having plenty of pillows handy will help get you into a comfortable position that doesn’t require being upright.
As patients recover from a cosmetic procedure, most wonder what foods they can and should eat. A diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables and importantly proteins is most desirable, as it is one of your body’s best energy sources for it to heal and regenerate skin tissue. The body’s need for protein is increased after an operation, so lean proteins like eggs, turkey and legumes are recommended.
A number of hormonal changes occur in response to surgery which influence salt and water metabolism. Therefore, it is important for patients to keep their fluid intake up and replace drinking things like tea and coffee with water. A return to drinking alcohol should also be avoided for as long as possible, as it weakens the immune system and will prolong recovery time.
It may be tempting to rush off and buy a whole new wardrobe, but keep in mind your comfort after an operation will be impacted by what clothes you wear. It’s important to listen to the advice of your surgeons and wear any post-operative compression garments that have been supplied. Relaxed, loose-fitting clothing such as track pants and sweaters are best as they’ll be easier to get in and out of and be gentler on any healing wounds. We usually recommend avoiding bras with wires until six weeks after any breast surgery.
After surgery, many patients are tempted to rush back to their previous exercise routine and “try out” their new body. But every body is different and each individual’s recovery period is unique to them, which can make it difficult to determine exactly when that right time is. For that reason, low-impact exercises are recommended over a cardio-heavy regime. Generally, we advise nothing more strenuous than walking for around 6 weeks. As part of Re.’s post-operative care, we offer private consultations with a personal training studio in Toorak.
Achieving the best outcome requires thoughtful planning that should occur not only well before surgery day, but extending beyond it. We’ve made this our commitment to every patient through the Re. Care Surgery Program – a comprehensive plan structured around the complete patient experience to ensure every step of the journey is as comfortable as possible.