Cosmetic surgery instructions

This is the second of three parts on general instructions for care of  post-operative cosmetic plastic surgery patients.

Bandages , Bras and Binders after surgery

Leave your bandages on until your plastic surgeon or plastic surgery staff takes them off. Bandages protect wounds and provide a level of compression, decreasing post-operative swelling. Expect some drainage of pink-colored fluid seeping through bandages or even out onto your skin. This is normal.
If the bandages are too tight you can loosen them somewhat, but do not take the bandages off completely! Bras and binders can be adjusted to be firm but comfortable. If your bandages do fall off, clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and apply antibiotic creams such as Neosporin over wounds.
If you have a bra and /or binder, LEAVE IT IN PLACE!!  Removing the binder or bra will allow even more swelling to creep in to the area of surgery causing tension on the skin and…Pain. Keeping the binder on until your surgeon tells you it is ok to take it off is very important.

Walking after surgery

After any cosmetic plastic surgery it is very important to get up and walk. The very first night, you can be a bit lazy and get up only for the bathroom, but the day after plastic surgery you must walk around for a few minutes every few hours. This is important to allow blood to circulate in your legs and decrease the risk of blood clots developing and leading to embolization toward lungs—a bad thing. As soon as you feel better, go out for a walk. Movement will help decrease swelling and pain.

Exercise post-surgery

You will not be able to exercise for two weeks after cosmetic surgery. Exercise will increase blood pressure, which may lead to bleeding from the wound in the early post-operative period. When you do start exercise, begin slowly and carefully. Brisk and sudden movements will hurt and cause damage to your plastic surgical wound. Start with stretching exercises.

Swelling and surgery

Expect to have swelling in the area of surgery for months! Although swelling decreases rapidly after surgery, it still remains in the area for months. You may look great one day and be swollen the next! This is normal and will go away. There is no need to take water pills to diminish post-operative swelling, and in fact it may be dangerous to take medications for that purpose. Swelling causes pain, and efforts to decrease it will make you more comfy.

Elevation of the affected area is the best way to decrease swelling. For example, keep your head elevated if you have had facial cosmetic surgery. Ice the affected area to get pain relief and decrease swelling. Place ice in a bag or use frozen peas on the skin above and below your bandages. This will cool the blood going toward the surgery area and decrease swelling. Lymphatic drainage, a  type of massage, has been proven to be effective after surgery to decrease swelling. You will need at least ten treatments to get a great result. Other types of massage can also be helpful. This would start only after your first post-operative visit.

and finally here is PART 3