Plastic surgery is a safe and efficient method to correct some body or facial imperfections or to improve the aesthetic appearance of one or multiple features of the body. Nowadays more and more people resort to plastic surgery to get rid of emotional or physical complexes or to get the body shape they have always dreamt of. Today, plastic surgery has become more affordable than ever, and it is also easy for patients coming from different economic backgrounds to find the means and methods to finance their plastic surgery procedures. Plastic surgery is now so sought after also because in a vast majority of cases the results achieved are permanent. However, there is always a condition to sustain the results and to avoid complications. In many cases, it is following the plastic surgeon’s recommendations when it comes to medication and diet after plastic surgery. Post-operative care and plastic surgery When it comes to plastic surgery, the pre- and post-operative instructions and care are essential for the success of the procedure and also a good method of avoiding unwanted complications. After any type of plastic surgery, it is especially necessary to give special care and attention to healing and the maturation of scars. The evolution of a scar depends on several factors: – Position of the scar: Surgical incisions positioned in certain parts of the body heal better or faster than others; – Skin quality and genetics: Patients have different abilities to heal; – Nature of the wound and the surgical technique of suture: Particular care must be taken in closing the incisions and in the quality of the chosen suture threads; – Occurrence of a complication during the cicatrization process: Hematoma, local infection; – Special risk factors such as smoking, hormonal condition, diabetes; – Care of the scar post-operatively; – Sun exposure. By choosing a talented and board-certified plastic surgeon, you can control some of these factors just by following his recommendation; however, not all the elements described above can be prevented. The post-operative care phase is therefore essential and an integral part of the surgery. Here are some examples of post-operative care instructions: – Dressings of good quality The quality of the dressing is an important element in the comfort of the patient and makes it possible to keep a clean wound, thus limiting the macerations and the risks of bad scarring. In case of complications, it is necessary to react quickly and to change the therapeutic strategy by adapted dressings. It is not always useful to change a dressing often to avoid unnecessary manipulation except in certain locations where it is necessary to avoid maceration. These dressings contain less glue and often avoid allergies and redness around the wound. – Hydration of the scar and massage Once the surgical wound heals, there is often a significant part of dry skin with peeling skin. We must therefore apply a daily moisturizer with a specific cream, which can incorporate sunscreen for open air areas. This care is systematically proposed. The application of the cream also relaxes the scar with a massage. Make sure to ask your plastic surgeon’s recommendation before using any products or lotions on the skin. – Care against hypertrophic scars All scars go through a so-called hypertrophic phase where they become red, thick, and scratchy. This stage occurs between two and six months after the procedure. The first step of care is the massage of the scar with a special scar cream that will be recommended by your plastic surgeon. Massaging softens the area and decreases local inflammation. The application of silicone gel dressings has been proven to offer good results. A sticky silicone tape is attached to the scar 24 hours a day, which keeps the scar stay in a humid environment and reduces its inflammation. Depending on the mode of application, this also allows to exert a permanent pressure on the wound whose mechanical action is as useful as a massage. A compression garment may also be suggested by the plastic surgeon to be worn non-stop or just during the day. – Avoidance against sun exposure A high protection cream is essential to be used for at least a year after surgery to avoid exposure of the scar to the UV rays that may cause dyschromia (color abnormalities). Medication after plastic surgery Aside from the special care that is mandatory for the scars to heal well, there is also medication treatment prescribed by your plastic surgeon to reduce the discomfort and pain. Most plastic surgery procedures entail side effects, and the most common of them all are discomfort and pain that can be experienced a few days after the procedure. During plastic surgery, the tissues of the body can be stretched, sectioned, and many other types of traumas can occur. When the surgical trauma only takes effect on the skin, the level of pain and discomfort is minor. But when considering complex procedures such as the tummy tuck or breast and buttock augmentations, we are talking about major surgical trauma. During these procedures, it is often that multiple structures of the area to be corrected are injured. For breast augmentation with implants, for example, the skin is sectioned, but also the muscles of the chest if the implant is inserted into a submuscular position. If a subglandular placement is preferred, then it is the mammary gland that goes through the surgical trauma. Generally speaking, the more extensive the plastic surgery procedure, the more intense the pain can be after the procedure. Many patients don’t mention experiencing pain after plastic surgery because in most cases it is just a discomfort. The sensations can be of numbing, tension or pressure that is felt in the areas treated with plastic surgery. But again, each patient has a different level of tolerance to pain. It is recommended to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon even during the pre-operative consultation to give him an idea about what pain medications to prescribe for you during the recovery period. Aside from pain management pills that can be just simple analgesics, the plastic surgeon might also prescribe antibiotics to be taken for five days after plastic surgery. This is a common practice, especially when it comes to major procedures where the patient is at risk of developing an infection. After butt enhancement procedures, it is recommended to take antibiotics as the area is sensitive to bacteria accumulation and could lead to infections. Diet after plastic surgery Moderation is the keyword when it comes to the eating regimen after plastic surgery. Diet is important both to ensure the patient gets a fast and smooth recovery but also as a method to sustain the results of certain plastic surgery procedures for longer. As a rule of thumb, any considerable weight fluctuations that occur after plastic surgery can alter the aesthetic results achieved and even make necessary additional procedures to be performed. This is the reason why your plastic surgeon will emphasize on the need for you to have a balanced and healthy eating regimen after plastic surgery. Your diet should contain plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains as this will help you with the intestinal transit after surgery. Constipation can often occur afterwards, so your diet should contain enough fibers. Freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice are a good option if you find it difficult to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Moderation is essential when considering your eating regimen after plastic surgery. You should avoid overeating, but also diets that are too strict and don’t give you all the nutrients that your body needs to restore and recover after surgery is not advised either. Conclusion The post-operative care that includes diet and medication is important for the success of your procedure in the long run and can also help you have a short and smooth recovery process. It is important to pay attention to the surgical incisions and follow the plastic surgeon’s recommendation for a good cicatrization process. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed after most types of plastic surgery to help the patient fight the discomfort and the infections that might otherwise occur. Diet after plastic surgery should be balanced. Strict diets, as well as overeating, should be avoided both immediately after plastic surgery but also in the long run to help you sustain the results for longer.