It’s no secret that the majority of people are unhappy with at least one aspect of their appearance. For some, this dissatisfaction is so strong that they decide to do something about it through cosmetic surgery.
If you’re considering going under the knife, it’s important to be aware of the realities of recovery before you make your decision. Here are 16 tips on what you can expect after a nip and a tuck.
1. Recovery times vary from person to person
Depending on the extent of your surgery, your recovery time will vary. It’s important to listen to your body and give yourself the time you need to heal properly.
The general rule of thumb is that the more invasive the surgery, the longer the recovery time will be. For example, a facelift or rhinoplasty will require a longer recovery period than Botox injections or laser skin resurfacing.
2. You will probably have some swelling and bruising
Swelling and bruising are to be expected after any kind of surgery. The good news is that they are usually at their worst within the first few days after the procedure.
You can help reduce swelling by sleeping with your head elevated and applying ice packs to the affected area. Bruising can be concealed with make-up once it has faded enough.
3. You will need to take it easy for a while
It’s important to rest and let your body heal after surgery. This means avoiding strenuous activity, lifting heavy objects, and exposure to sunlight.
You should also avoid alcohol for at least the first week after your surgery, as it can thin your blood and increase the risk of bleeding.
4. You may experience some pain and discomfort
Pain is normal after surgery and can be managed with medication. Discomfort is also common and usually goes away within a few weeks.
If you’re still experiencing pain and discomfort after a few weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
5. You will have follow-up appointments
You will need to see your doctor for follow-up appointments to ensure that your recovery is progressing as it should. These appointments also give you the opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.
6. It may take some time before you see results
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the results of your surgery right away. It can take several weeks or even months for swelling and bruising to go down completely and for incisions to heal.
7. The results of your surgery are not permanent
Unfortunately, the effects of most cosmetic surgery procedures are not permanent. For example, the skin will continue to age, and the effects of gravity will eventually take their toll.
You can prolong the results of your surgery by taking care of your skin and avoiding exposure to sunlight.
8. There is a risk of complications
As with any kind of surgery, there is always a risk of complications. These can range from minor things like an infection to more serious issues like organ damage.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks before you have any kind of surgery so that you know what to expect.
9. You may need more than one procedure
In some cases, one cosmetic surgery procedure is not enough to achieve the desired results. This is especially common with procedures like facelifts and tummy tucks.
If you’re considering more than one procedure, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and recovery times associated with each one.
10. You will have scars
All surgery leaves scars, but they are usually not noticeable unless you know where to look for them. The type of scars you have will depend on the kind of surgery you had.
For example, people who have had facelifts usually have scars that are hidden by their hairline. Those who have had tummy tucks usually have a scar that runs along the length of their incision.
11. You may need to take medication
You may be prescribed medication to help you manage pain and swelling after your surgery. You may also be given antibiotics to help prevent infection.
Not every patient will need medication, but it’s important to be aware that it is a possibility.
12. You will have to take care of your incisions
It’s important to keep your incisions clean and dry to prevent infection. You will probably be given specific instructions on how to do this by your doctor.
Ask a friend or family member to help you if you’re having trouble taking care of your incisions on your own. Some discomfort now may save you a lot of pain later.
13. You will need to wear a compression garment
A compression garment is a type of clothing that helps reduce swelling after surgery. It is usually worn for a few weeks or months after the procedure.
You can purchase a compression garment, or your doctor may provide you with one.
14. You will need to sleep in a certain position
Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may need to sleep in a certain position to prevent pain and swelling. For example, people who have had facelifts are usually instructed to sleep on their back with their heads elevated. Also, there are certain ways to sleep after breast augmentation.
15. You may experience numbness
Numbness would be a common side effect of surgery, especially if nerves were damaged during the procedure. This can be temporary or permanent.
Again, if you have any concerns about numbness, be sure to talk to your doctor.
16. You will need to take time off from work
Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may need to take a few days or weeks off from work. This is to allow your body time to heal and reduce the risk of complications.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, be sure to talk to your doctor. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your individual situation.