After surgery home care The recovery period after plastic surgery is dependent on the age of the patient, other medical conditions that are present, the complexity of the procedure, and the patient’s ability to follow post-operative instructions. Upon the return home that often happens within hours after waking up from the effects of the general anesthesia, the patient needs to look after the surgical incisions and also keep the surgical area clean and dry at all times. Many patients want to know when they can shower after plastic surgery and whether they need to change the dressings themselves or they have to go to the plastic surgeon’s office for this. In a vast majority of cases, the patients can shower starting the next day, but the incisions need to be kept dry. Quick showers with warm water are recommended while hot baths are contraindicated during the recovery period. So it is best to avoid getting in a bathtub full of hot water and immersing yourself in it as instead of complete relaxation you might end up experiencing severe complications. The surgical incisions need to be taken care of, and the medical staff will show you how to do this at home. If the incisions are localized in areas where it is difficult to tend to them, you can ask your partner or a family member to help you. For at least two or three days after surgery, it is important to always check the incisions for signs of infection. If the incisions become red, pus is coming from the site, and there is intense pain in the area associated with high fever, chances are you developed an infection and you need immediate medical care. With the aim to prevent this from happening, a responsible and experienced plastic surgeon will prescribe you antibiotics to be taken for the first five days post-op. If you have left the medical facility with drain tubes inserted close to the surgical site, it is important to know you have to monitor the drainage. The tubes are used to avoid the formation of seromas and hematomas after surgery by eliminating the fluids and blood that could otherwise accumulate at the surgical site. It is important not to try removing the drain tubes yourself, even if it looks like there is nothing coming through them. The drain tubes are removed only by the medical staff, usually after a day or two after the procedure. To avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort during the initial stage of the recovery period, you should ask a friend or family member to assist you with things like cooking or cleaning and even getting in and out of bed for a day or two post-op. If you have scheduled a consultation with the plastic surgeon in the first few days post-op, make sure to ask him about after surgery home care in case you have questions.