Unless you have experienced surgery recovery before, it can be difficult to appreciate the process. Your body has to endure a great deal while it heals, whether you have a facelift or liposuction. Some procedures have a very minimal recovery time while others can take several weeks or even up to a year for complete healing. Patients often find it discouraging and emotionally taxing as they wait to see the results behind the swelling or the sutures. To help you mentally cope with the after effects of your surgery, here are a few tips to follow.
Tip #1: Prepare Yourself for the Worst
Plastic surgery techniques have become very refined in the past decade. Procedures that once left you horribly bruised and scarred are now minimally invasive with nearly invisible incisions. However, you should still be prepared to see yourself when you wake up from surgery. You’ll probably be a little sore and find it difficult to move in certain ways, especially if you’ve had something like a tummy tuck or breast augmentation. If your surgery is less invasive, you may still find the area tender and sensitive to touch. Swelling is also to be expected.
If you know that you aren’t going to see the results immediately upon coming out of anesthesia and that your body is going to look a little less than perfect for a while, you’re already on the right track. You might even be pleasantly surprised and think, “Wow, I was thinking I would look and feel a lot worse!”
Tip #2: Don’t Be Overly Critical When You Look in the Mirror
We can be very judgmental beings, especially towards ourselves. Every time we look in the mirror, we find something else wrong with our appearance. The good news is that plastic surgeries are designed to help us feel more confident in how we look and feel. The not-so-good news is that those surgeries can have some harsh side effects in the first few days or weeks of recovery and we see those side effects each time we analyze our reflection.
The best way to avoid discouraging yourself is to avoid standing in front of a mirror too much. You may find it beneficial to cover up your larger mirrors and only use small ones for day-to-day needs in the first couple weeks following the surgery. Another suggestion is to only check on the area where you had the procedure once a week or every couple of weeks. You’ll be able to notice those subtle changes more and see how much progress you’re making in a short time!
Most importantly, keep in mind that you are recovering from surgery. Depending on what procedures you had performed, your body could require some considerable healing. Give yourself a break!
Tip #3: Patience is a Virtue
Going along with Tip #2, it’s important that you practice patience as you heal. You are not equipped with a magic wand that just erases the soreness and swelling. Nor can you just will your body to be better in an instant. Recovery can take anywhere from days to a year. You will get to see the results, we promise!
Tip #4: Communicate with Your Doctor
If you feel that your recovery is not going well, you have questions or concerns, or simply want to check to make sure everything is going according to plan, consult your doctor. That doesn’t mean call his office every three days to ask why you still feel pain and discomfort. However, if you have been taking your prescribed medication and have followed your recovery advice since the surgery, but still have concerns, then contact your doctor.
Tip #5: Keep a Positive Attitude
This is probably one of the most important mental tools you can utilize during recovery. The power of positive thinking is truly amazing and can help you from Day 1. Each day, find something in your life to be happy about. Every time you look in the mirror, say, “I look and feel fantastic!” Find ways to celebrate the progress you’ve made, such as treating yourself to a new outfit or going to the movies. Have your before and after pictures on display so you can remind yourself why you’re going through this process. Once you feel up to returning to your normal activities, keep yourself busy with new things to do so you have something to look forward to every day. You may find that your body heals quicker than you expected because you aren’t standing around feeling bad about feeling bad.
Choosing Your Doctor
A surgeon with years of experience, Andrea Basile, M.D. spends a great deal of time perfecting his technique and keeping up-to-date on procedure improvements. His goal for his patients is a natural looking result with minimally invasive surgery and a recovery time as short as possible. If you are interested in speaking with him about any of our available cosmetic surgeries and procedures, contact our office in Naples, FL at (239) 514-8777. Our staff will schedule you a consultation where you can obtain as much information as you need and ask as many questions about our surgical options as you want. Call us today to schedule an appointment!