Your Questions about Plastic Surgery, Answered
Choosing to undergo a plastic surgery procedure is an important decision that comes with plenty of research and questions to be asked. Here at Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, we understand that you may be wondering about various aspects of your procedure and the overall process, particularly the recovery time period post-op. Below we’ve outlined some of the most common topics we have received questions about from patients, which will help you understand the process better and know what to expect:
Generally, patients should remain active after surgery getting out of bed approximately five times a day to maintain the natural muscular pumping action of the legs to avoid blood clots. Abundant fluid intake should be continued, and if dizziness occurs when walking around, notify the doctor.
If no drains are present, showering can be done safely a few days after surgery, with avoidance of direct water exposure to the surgical site. Swimming should be avoided until incisions are healed, and the doctor or nurse will notify you when this can be done safely, generally three to four weeks after surgery. Hot Tubs or swimming in the ocean should be avoided for six to eight weeks after surgery.
Drains are removed when the output is dry, generally seven to ten days after surgery. The drain will be removed in the office, and is generally not painful. Sponge baths should be taken and showers avoided until the drains are removed in the office.
After most procedures, steristrips are placed on the surgical incisions, and will be continued for two to three weeks after surgery. Mederma or silicone type tape will be applied after for the first one to two months after surgery. For eyelid and facial surgery, generally nothing needs to be done to the incisions after sutures are removed. Do not apply Vitamin E to the scars. In certain patients, a laser will be used to lighten scars especially in dark skinned patients.
Restrictions on lifting with procedures such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks should be adhered to with not more than ten pounds or so lifted in the first few weeks. When lifting a baby or a toddler, the legs should be used for leverage, keeping the arms close to the body. Lifting can slowly be increased, with normal activity generally by six weeks after surgery. Mild aerobic exercise such as walking can be started immediately but should not be continued if fatigued.
Low impact exercise can be started at about two to three weeks with small doses, with higher impact exercises to follow. Generally after 6 weeks, normal exercise can be started with continued adequate support, especially after breast augmentation. Significant pectoralis exercises such as pushups or bench press should be minimized to avoid distortion of the breast implants.
Pain medications will be prescribed after surgery, and you should not wait until you are out of medication to notify the office for a refill. Please do not call for refills over the weekend. Generally prescriptions can be called in by the office staff, you should have your pharmacy number available when you call the office so we can refill quickly. Percocet cannot be refilled over the phone, so you will need to come into the office to have this medication refilled. Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, and cold/flu medications should be discontinued 2 weeks before surgery, as they can cause bruising and bleeding. All herbal supplements should be discontinued 2-3 weeks before surgery, as they cause bleeding.
Driving after Surgery
Driving should be avoided until you are finished taking all pain medications, and can react appropriately.
Sexual relations can generally be resumed gently without weight bearing or significant exertion after about two weeks, and those patients that have had significant body contouring surgery such as a tummy tuck, sexual activity can be resumed after six weeks.
If you have any other questions about your procedure and the recovery process, contact us at Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.