How Can I Get a Fast Recovery from Plastic Surgery?

 about to get a plastic surgery just a few weeks...what can i do to make recovering from it less difficult and slow?

Doctor Answers 11

Healthy patients recover faster after surgery

The best way for a person to get the speediest recovery from surgery is to start as a healthy patient. I insist that patients are non-smokers and that they have avoided smoke for at least several months. I also think that people with a healthy BMI will have a more satisying result and will also tend to heal faster. My patients all require bloood tests to and patients over 40 require EKG's.

On occassion, people are unhappy that they have been "turned away" if they have health issues that could result in a less than ideal result and / or recovery, but we are thinking about the patient's health and well being. We have had many patients improve their health by losing weight or stop smoking before seeing me in consultation and the change is amazing.

If you have had your pre-operative appt you may all ready have your post operative appts. for the next few weeks. If these appts are not yet scheduled, get them scheduled. Depending on your surgery your plastic surgeon will likelly want you to be seen in the office several times in the first week or 2 after surgery. ALWAYS BE AT YOUR APPOINTMENTS. If during your recovery you have questions or concerns always contact your doctor so he or she is aware of any issues going on.

Please make sure your caregiver understands your needs and limitations and is prepared to help. Always speak to your doctor about how soon you can drive. Even if you feel fine, you may be compromised in a way that could effect driving.

Taking supplements and viatamins can help the recovery process but you mist report all supplements to your physician. Some supplements, herbs or even teas may cause bleeeding or have other effects on surgery or recovery. Garlic, Ginko, ginseng, apsirin containing products and vitamin E are among the supplements many physicians would ask you to avoid.

Before surgery eliminate alcohol and minimize caffeine, processed foods and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Try to get as much rest as possible before surgery and have your home life and professional life organized as well as possible.

Most importantly, follow all of the guidelines provided to you by ypour plastic surgeon. review your preoperative paperwork with your caregiver and be sure you know what to do and how to contact your plastic surgeon at all hours. Even if you feel great, don't start exercizing, lifting, etc. before your plastic surgeon gives you the Okay.

Best of luck to you.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

There are many things a patient can do to speed their...

There are many things a patient can do to speed their recovery after plastic surgery.

  1. Get your life in order before surgery - bills paid, shopping done, home cleaned, and care assistance arranged. This relieves the stress early after surgery and allows the patient to relax and focus only on their recovery.
  2. Avoid all products that enhance bleeding such as aspirin, Motrin, Vitamin E and many herbals. Your doctor should provide you with a list, which grows regularly as more herbal products are discovered that affect blood clotting. These products should be avoided for 2 weeks before AND after surgery so that your blood platelets (the factors in blood that cause clotting) will function normally.
  3. Avoid all activities after surgery that increase your heart rate and blood pressure for 2 full weeks. Delayed bleeding can occasionally happen up to 2 weeks after surgery, requiring surgery to drain it. If this happens, your recovery will be significantly longer that if you had followed these activity restrictions.
  4. Stay calm and positive because those who do will always have a dramatically better recovery than those who are high strung, anxious or negative people. Surround yourself only with positive people; negative individuals can make comments that hurt you during this fragile phase of recovery.

After any type of plastic surgery on the face there is...

After any type of plastic surgery on the face there is going to be approximately two weeks of some degree of swelling and bruising located in the facial areas. It is recommended that patients do not go back to work for at least two weeks post-operatively, or have any social engagements, because the incisions, swelling and bruising will be detectable during that time.

Within two weeks after the surgery, makeup can be applied and most patients are able to return to their normal lifestyle of exercise, social activity and work environment.

Aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, and herbal supplements have blood thinning properties and should be avoided two weeks before and after surgery. Additionally, smoking retards the healing process and is discouraged. Arnica is acceptable in the postoperative period.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Post-operative care for any cosmetic procedure is...

Post-operative care for any cosmetic procedure is paramount in the success of the procedure and rapid healing time. I give all of my patients the following post-operative instructions after any facial surgery procedure.

  1. NUTRITION: It is very important to stay well hydrated following surgery with liquids, such as Gatorade, chicken broth, Jell-o, water, etc.
  2. FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS: Always have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon within one week of your surgery.
  3. MEDICATIONS: You will experience some discomfort and pain for several days following surgery. Take the pain medications and the antibiotics that were prescribed by your physician. Do not take Aspirin, Vitamin E, Ginko, St. Johns Wart, or Ibuprofen two weeks prior to or one week following your surgery. Constipation may occur due to the pain medication and can be treated with mild laxatives, stool softeners, fruit juice or prunes.
  4. ACTIVITIES: Avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for 2-3 weeks. Keep head elevated for 2-3days to minimize swelling.
  5. DRESSING/DRAINS: Your facial dressings and drains will be removed within 24 hours following your surgery. Sutures will be removed within 5-10 days and if tissue glue is used, allow the glue to slough off on its own.
  6. MASSAGING: Once sutures are removed and the flue has sloughed off, you may begin massaging your scars with Vitamin E oil. Avoid sun exposure including tanning beds as this will cause the scar to turn dark. You may resume your preoperative skin care treatment at this time.
  7. HEALING: Bruising and swelling may persist for 2-3 weeks. You will have residual swelling that will take a few more weeks to resolve. It is not uncommon for some patients to experience some depression during recovery and should resolve by the third week.

Renato Saltz, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Recovery & Plastic Surgery

It’s important to prepare for cosmetic surgery for a variety of reasons. Preparation can improve the quality of your result and the quality for your experience as well. It’s important to prepare physically, medically, and mentally for these procedures.

It’s important to be in good physical condition before proceeding with these procedures. Ideally, results are best when patients are within ten percent of their ideal body weight. In some cases, patients are unable to reach this goal. This group still benefits from cosmetic surgery, but results may not be as dramatic and recoveries may be slower.

It’s also important to be medically ready for cosmetic surgery. Patients should be extensively evaluated to rule out other medical conditions. Areas of particular concern include cigarette smoking, blood pressure management, and the patient’s baseline hemoglobin.

Mental preparation for cosmetic surgery is extremely important and helps lower anxiety levels before surgery. It’s important that you have a comfort level with your surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the surgical facility. It’s essential that all your questions be answered so there are no surprises.

Arrangements for postoperative care also need to be in order. It’s important to have a care giver not only for yourself but your children as well. Addressing as many of these issues as possible before surgery will significantly improve results and the quality of the experience. 

10 Tips To A Faster Recovery:

1. Don’t smoke. Smoking (even a little) slows down the recovery process. Refraining from smoking two months before your surgery will help speed up your recovery as well.
2. Eat healthy. This means eating plenty of whole foods and trying to avoid processed foods.
3. Always attend your follow-up appointments. This is an easy way to have your recovery questions answered directly by your doctor while providing you with needed support through your recovery process.
4. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol can also slow down the recovery process.
5. Minimize your caffeine intake.
6. Rest up! Sleep is one of the best and easiest ways to speed up recovery.
7. De-stress. Make sure things are taken care of with work, plants, etc. pre-surgery so you can completely relax through your recovery process. Meditation can also help to speed up recovery.
8. Follow all post-op instructions as directed by your doctor.
9. Ask for help doing things. This may sound silly but many patients start going about daily activities before they are fully ready. It’s ok to need/ask for some help lifting that heavy box from your garage.
10. Avoid aspirin and other products such as Ginko, Ginseng and other herbal supplements, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and speedy recovery!

-Dr. Franco-Webb

Cecilia Franco-Webb, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Fast Recovery from Plastic Surgery

There are quite a few things that a patient can do to prepare for surgery which will enhance recovery including:

A) Ensure that a stable and loving support system from family and/or friends exist so they can help you with your recovery. You should not have to go through surgery alone.


B) Avoid Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) and Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) for 10 days before and one week after surgery, since they interfere with normal blood clotting and cause bleeding problems.


C) Avoid Vitamin E, fish oil supplements and antihistaminics for 10 days prior to surgery as they may also interfere with blood clotting.


D) Daily intake of multivitamins with minerals is encouraged.


E) Arnica Montana taken properly for 2 days pre-op and 3-4 days post-op may help reduce swelling and bruising.


F) Smoking delays healing and causes complications. It is very important to let the surgeon know that you have smoked cigarettes so that he/she can adjust the surgical plan. At a minimum, smokers should avoid smoking 3 weeks before surgery.


G) Alcohol and non-prescription drugs should also be avoided before and after surgery.


H) Please report any signs of a cold or an infection.


I) Your financial, work, family, and other obligations should be in order prior to surgery to avoid that stress.


A calm and relaxed patient will have a better postoperative recovery generally.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How Can I Get a Fast Recovery from Plastic Surgery?

The recovery after plastic surgery is dependent on several factors. The truth is that recovery after plastic surgery does differ on you as an individual, no two patients have an identical experience. The truth is that recovery after surgery does depend on several factors:
1) What do we mean by recovery? Different aspects of the body heal at different times.
2) What are the individual factors that influence recovery?
3) What can you do to speed up your recovery?

1) What can I expect 1-week after plastic surgery, what do we mean by recovery?
• Swelling: 1-week after surgery some but not all of the swelling will have resolved. The swelling gradually dissipates over the first several months.
• Bruising: Depending on the type of surgery, there can be a marked bruise after surgery, this bruising can take several weeks to go, though it can be covered with make up after 1-week.
• Social activities. Depending not he surgery most can be restarted after 1-week, there will be some residual bruising and swelling, generally this can be covered up with makeup. An important event such as a wedding, you should allow additional time to allow the great majority of the swelling to have resolved.
• Exercise, as a general rule 3-4 weeks. However if you play contact sports or racket sports this period may be longer
• Activities. Reading, computer work, these kind of low level activities can be started after the surgery and will not affect healing. They are not the same as lifting or strenuous activities that increase blood pressure which have the potential to increase swelling and bruising.
2) What are the individual factors that influence recovery?
• You. If you have any medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, these should be well controlled before rhinoplasty as they effect healing. Environmental factors such as smoking that delay healing, I insist patients stop smoking before and after surgery to improve healing and reduced risks of surgery. Your constitution two people having identical surgery will not heal in the same time, we all heal differently. Mental attitude, cosmetic surgery can be an emotional experience, and having a positive mental attitude goes a long way.
• Surgeon. Different surgical techniques influence bruising and swelling include and there are steps in the surgical technique and innovations that can be used to reduce bleeding, such as the use of tissue glue in a patient with known bleeding issues.
3) What are things you can do to speed up recovery?
• Before surgery. I give patients detailed instructions on medications and other treatments that can influence bleeding and should be avoided before surgery. In addition there are herbal medications that should be taken to reduce bleeding, Arnica.
• After surgery. Icing the eyelid for the first three days, resting taking things easy, and head elevating will all aid in reducing bruising and swelling.
• Sun exposure in the first several months following rhinoplasty can cause the skin of the nose to become red. You should avoid sun exposure, wear hats and high sun protection factor sunscreen for a minimum of 6-months after surgery.
• Surgeon’s advice. It is important to follow your surgeons’ pre and post-operative instructions in order to heal properly and minimize prolonged recovery.

Plastic Surgery Recovery

Younger, healthier patients tend to have a faster recovery. Having said that, you need to follow your plastic surgeons directions if you desire to have a smooth and fast recovery. This means asking questions if you are unsure about what you can or cant do. It also means ready whatever literature your surgeon gives you on the postoperative treatment plan.

Follow you doctors plan and you will be on your way to a smooth, fast and hopefully successful recovery.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

How to speed up healing after rhinoplasty

There are many things one can do to speed up the healing phase after rhinoplasty.

Some of the factors that may increase swelling include secondary surgery that requires an open approach with multiple cartilage grafts, thick/sebaceous skin, large reduction in nasal size (especially at the tip).

The nasal tip is the last place for swelling to come down adn for the skin to re-attach and shape itself on top of the cartilage framework that has been modified.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask your doctor to show you how to tape the skin down so that the "dead space" between the skin and the cartilage and bone is sealed off.
  • Try to sleep with several pillows under your head so that you are not completely flat. The taping can be done for as long as 4 weeks without causing acne or skin irritation.
  • Ask your doctor which tape he/she recommends.
  • Also, try to avoid salty food and beverages, which can increase swelling anywhere.
  • Do not fiddle with your nose too much.
  • Do not rub or pnch or squeeze it. Any movement can stir up the swelling and disrupt the skin from sticking down nicely.
  • Also, some herbs can be effective such as Arnica Montana and Bromelain.

Ashkan Ghavami, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.