One of the keys to getting the best benefit out of a plastic surgery procedure is to have a smooth and successful recovery. While it is true that the healing process varies from patient to patient and from the type of procedure performed, there are pre, perioperative and postoperative instructions and guidelines that can ensure patient wellbeing, proper healing, and reduce risks for complications. Plastic surgery patients should clearly understand this before going under the knife to alter their bodies or correct deformations. The extent of plastic surgery procedures performed also determines the recovery period after surgery. A patient who has multiple surgical procedures done all at once may require a longer period to recover compared to a patient who just had a single procedure done. Plastic surgery patients usually get impatient and want to return to their daily routine and see final results immediately after going under the knife. Anyone who has gone through plastic surgery knows that results take time. It requires a lot of patience on the part of the patient. Here are the easy steps to follow to have a successful recovery after plastic surgery: 1. Understand what to expect during recovery. Knowing is key to understanding. Understanding that your recovery is one of the most important steps towards achieving good results will help you get through your post-surgical period comfortably and without unnecessary complications. It is important to understand what to expect after going under the knife. Some patients usually take few days off from work to allow body time to recover. These are the type of patients who stick to instructions given by the plastic surgeon. During consultation, discuss with your surgeon the things you can and cannot do during recovery. This way, you can plan and prepare properly for your down time. 2. Stick to the recovery plan recommended by your plastic surgeon It is important that you follow and stick to instructions provided by your plastic surgeon. These instructions may include: • When and how to clean your incision sites • Pain and swelling medication to take during recovery • What to do to reduce swelling and pains • How to avoid infections. • The best way to use drains and reduce fluid accumulation • When to see your plastic surgeon for check up To reduce chances of infections and other complications, it is important that you seek directions and guidance from your plastic surgeon. 3. Inform your plastic surgeon whether you are using other medications During the consultation, you should tell your plastic surgeon your complete medical history and all the medications you are taking or had taken. It is the story of your health and your surgeon needs to know every single detail so he can give you the best care and be prepared to address complications should it arise during and after surgery. Some supplements and medications can affect your healing process so it is important that you inform your plastic surgeon early enough to avoid further complications. Some of the drugs which may affect your healing process include aspirin and blood thinners. If you are taking these medicines, you will be advised to discontinue before and after surgery. You will be told when it will be safe to resume taking said medications. Follow directive of your surgeon if you want to achieve best results. 4. Avoid strenuous activities Definitely, after surgery you cannot immediately resume your daily routine or go back to work. This is your downtime where you give your body a rest and allow the healing process to take its natural course. Now more than ever, you need to strictly follow instructions of your plastic surgeon so as not to put your recovery at risk and to ensure you get optimal results out of the surgery you just went through. Avoid lifting heavy objects that will put unnecessary pressure and tension on your wounds. If you just had butt augmentation procedure, you should avoid sitting for long because this may lead to displacement of the butt implants or of the fats injected into your buttocks. Avoid heavy and intense exercises until such time your plastic surgeon allows you to start exercising. Lifting heavy objects and exercising before the time recommended by your plastic surgeon may lead to bleeding, pain, and swelling and all these will mean prolonged healing. There are good reasons why your plastic surgeon gives you instructions and it is for your benefit. Everybody wants a speedy recovery that is free of complications. 5. Get ready for recovery period by eating healthy and getting enough rest. Your body needs to get in shape and plenty of rest before you go under the knife. Nutrition also plays an important role in your surgical prep and in your healing process. You need a healthy diet that is rich in fiber, protein and other essential nutrients and vitamins to prepare your body for plastic surgery and promote healing. It is advisable to take care of your body months before the big day so it is in top condition. Drink lots of fluids for hydration. Quit smoking because if you go into plastic surgery while smoking, you increase chances of experiencing swelling, pains and prolonged healing. Just like in everything else, preparation is the key. Start planning for your recovery time early enough to avoid some complications later. 6. Just quit smoking and drinking alcohol Smoking and taking alcohol is harmful to general body health. You should avoid smoking and alcohol months before going under the knife. A lot of studies have shown the hazardous effects of smoking and alcohol intake before, during and after surgery. It increases the incidence of serious post-surgical complications and infections. During surgery, your plastic surgeon needs normal blood flow in your blood vessels to perform the surgery without complications. Smoking is known to affect the circulation of blood in the body, which may result to undesired results. The Hydrogen Cyanide and carbon monoxide present in cigarettes affect critical blood flow to blood vessels and can compromise your heart, which is the reason why it is important to discontinue smoking months or weeks before going surgery. 7. Use compression garments as advised by your plastic surgeon It is very important to wear compression garments after going under the knife. These garments are useful because they help reduce the time taken in recovery, speed up recovery and promote proper skin retraction. Wear compression garments until the time your plastic surgeon advises you to stop wearing them. Procedures such as breast lift and breast augmentation may require you to wear compression garments for three weeks. Compression garments help by compressing the tissue around your wound hence reducing bruising and swelling. 8. Organize for a caregiver After going under the knife, many plastic surgery patients may not be able to do some activities. It is, therefore, advisable to arrange for a caregiver or somebody who can help you during the critical time of recovery, do the chores that you cannot do or take care of your household while you can’t. Plastic surgery patients need enough relaxation and rest after surgery. Getting a caregiver to help you during recovery allows you to focus on your healing. 9. Eat the right food Nausea and constipation are common effects after any plastic surgery that requires the use of anesthesia. To promote faster and swift recovery from plastic surgery, it is important to maintain a balanced diet. Some foods are known to improve body immunity and help fight against the fatigue, which is again very common after going under the knife. Eat foods rich in fiber, Vitamin-C, proteins, iron and B12. Avoid taking sports drinks and food with high levels of sugar. 10. Never Skip follow-up appointments It is important to honor all scheduled follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon after going under the knife. Your plastic surgeon is the best person who can monitor progress of your healing and be able to tell you if you have fully recovered. Show up for all your scheduled follow-up appointments with a plastic surgeon. Conclusion There is usually no shortcut that can give you instant results after surgery. The only way that can accelerate your healing process is by ensuring that you go under the knife generally healthy and that you quit smoking or drinking alcohol before and after. Recovering from surgery can be challenging, but if you maintain a positive outlook and closely follow the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, you can expect the best results. That is the secret that can help you get through plastic surgery and onward to a new you. The importance of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon with the required experience, can never be stressed enough. Your plastic surgeon should be certified by the board of plastic surgeons and should be a person allowed to practice surgery at an accredited facility. Plastic surgery recovery is as important as the process itself. Patients should, therefore, strictly follow instructions provided by the plastic surgeon to ensure swift and easy recovery. Patients should also understand that plastic surgery comes with associated risks and complications that can be avoided by doing what is required and nothing less. Whether invasive or non-invasive, plastic surgery may lead to complications such as scarring, infection, nerve damage and much more.