How To... Get Back In The Groove
Though some surgeries are simple and require no time at all to recover, many other cosmetic surgeries require significant recovery time. If you are planning to have plastic surgery, these tips may help you ease back into life after your procedure.
Step 1: Ask questions of your doctor
Prior to the surgery, plan for your recovery period. Ask your doctor for a general range of time for your recovery. Keep in mind how it will effect not just your work, but also your family obligations and social schedule.
Build in some extra time to recover. Even if you're a Type A workaholic, know cosmetic surgery (particularly anything in the abdomen, including tummy tucks and weight-loss procedures) can be more debilitating than expected.
Step 2: Apply ice
One of the biggest ways to make sure your recovery is on track is to apply ice to reduce swelling. Of course, ask your doctor about your specifics, but periodic ice packs will generally help the recovery process and soothe the pain.
Step 3: Take it easy
Slowly get back into the swing of things. If you can work part-time during the weeks following your surgery, it will help ease you back into your normal routine. Ask your doctor or nurse what signs to look for if you're overdoing it (such as more blood in any discharge, cramping, etc).
Step 4: Be realistic
Most types of surgery involve swelling, inflammation and/or bruising. Don't freak out when you see yourself a few days after surgery. Instead, be realistic and don't push yourself. There's nothing to worry about, as long as your recovery and healing is progressing on the doctor's timetable.
Step 5: Avoid intense exercise
Your doctor will let you know when you can begin exercising again. Ease into things will yoga or low-impact exercise rather than jumping back into your daily 5-mile run. Also avoid exposure to sunlight. Be sure to use sunscreen to help protect your skin as it's healing.
Step 6: Attend your follow up appointments
Don't skip any doctor's appointments. Your surgeon or doctor will be able to gauge your progress in recovery and give you a list of things you can/cannot do. He or she will also check things like your surgical drain and how you're healing, and help you do what's possible to minimize any scarring.
Step 7: Ask away
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about how you're healing or feeling, just ask your doctor or the nurses at the practice. Remember: You paid a lot for this to be done, and the whole point is to get a great result! Likewise, if you have any questions about resuming regular exercise, going back to work or taking medications, don't hesitate to ask your doctor.
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