For weeks, months, even years, you’ve waited for your cosmetic surgery. Your procedure will help you attain the appearance you want and regain your confidence in the way other people see you. However, without proper care after the procedure, you could find yourself battling a slow recovery process or unwanted side effects. To get back into your normal routine as quickly and safely as possible, use these five tips for quicker post-procedure healing.
1. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
Every surgery is different, and only the doctor who performed your particular surgery can tell you what kinds of medications you need to take – and what kinds to avoid – as well as any other specifics about your aftercare. Some procedures require weeks of downtime, while others only require a ride home and an evening in bed. First and foremost, with any procedure that you undergo, listen very carefully to what your doctor suggests and take her advice to heart.
2. Don’t Rush It
Recovery of any kind takes patience. Even if you feel able to jump up and resume normal activities a day or two before you are supposed to, resist the temptation! It is perfectly acceptable to push your body a bit when you are in good health, but recovery is not the time for it. If you try to throw yourself back into normal life before it is recommended, you could end up tearing incisions, putting strain on skin that needs to relax, or disrupting your own body’s healing processes.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Your body needs a lot of water to function properly, and it needs even more than usual when it is recovering from the trauma that a cosmetic procedure causes. Opt for snacks with a high water content, like fruit, and avoid foods that dehydrate, such as potato chips. During your recovery, ditch soda and go for a bottle of water, 100% juice, or even weak tea.
4. Ask for Help
During your recovery, it simply won’t be possible for you to accomplish everything that you normally would. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, whether it’s from a spouse or loved one, a family member, or a close friend. Have someone stop by with a meal and clean up afterward. Even a little bit of help can go a long way. You may be able to hire someone to help you out for a few days or weeks if needed – and if all else fails, just remember that the massive laundry piles and stacks of junk mail will get cleaned up eventually.
5. Resume Exercise Slowly
A carefully planned, methodical re-introduction to exercise is the safest way to go after a procedure of any kind. After most major surgeries, Dr. Vargas recommends starting a light routine after two weeks, adding longer walks and slightly more strenuous exercise after four weeks, and getting into a cardiovascular workout only after six weeks of recovery. Even if you are expected to be back to normal after only a week, however, you should still work your way back into regular exercise over the course of the week.
At the end of the day, the key to post-procedure healing is giving yourself enough time to allow your body to heal itself. Your body is amazing and its ability to take care of itself, if given the opportunity, is nothing short of remarkable.