Heat or Cold to Decrease Swelling After Plastic Surgery?

Is it better to apply heat or cold to decrease swelling after plastic surgery?

Doctor Answers (1)

So I apply heat or cold to my wounds?

+2

This really depends on the timing. Be cautious with extremes of either hot or cold. Generally, we recommend that patients use cold for the first 48-72 hours after a procedure to diminish swelling. Typically this is also performed with compression, rest and elevation. After that time some plastic surgeons institute warm compresses to promote circulation to the area. This is all based on the premise that the major period of inflammation following injury occures in the first 4 days.


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