After undergoing facial surgery, many patients may want to accelerate their recovery process so they can enjoy these changes and return to their normal lives. However, every patient and procedure is different, and several factors can affect how much recovery time you are going to need after going through one or more surgical procedures. If you carefully follow all your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, you can significantly impact your recovery process. Below are some tips to remember when recovering from a facial surgery.
Plan your recovery time
Depending on the type of surgery you had or will have, the recovery time could range from a few days to a few weeks. Keep this in mind as it may affect your work, family and social schedules after surgery. You may arrange for care for the initial 48–72 hours after surgery. You may think that you can go back to your normal routines, but having someone there to assist you will bring a peace of mind and will allow the healing process to occur normally and smoothly.
Don’t endure the pain
Pain, bruising and swelling are all part of your body’s natural recovery process, and they are a normal component of the post-surgery experience. You might think that you can endure or ignore the pain, but it is important to take any painkillers you are prescribed. If the pain catches up to you, you’ll only be lengthening your recovery time. Also, avoid over-the-counter pain medications or herbal remedies as they can thin your blood. They may also interfere with prescription medications.
When taking prescription pain relievers, be aware that a common side effect of these drugs is constipation. It’s important to drink lots of fluids and move around frequently to counteract this.
You will need plenty of rest during the first 48 hours or so after your surgery, but you do not need to stay in bed all day. Moving helps your body heal and may also reduce pain levels. Be sure to get up once in a while to help with your circulation. Walk around the house for a few minutes, or do gentle stretching exercises rather than doing nothing at all. You can also set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move around every hour.
Skip the gym
We are not trying to confuse you. Yes, we just mentioned the benefits of moving around; however, overdoing it with heavy exercise, such as running or weightlifting, can delay your recovery process. You may be anxious to return to your normal workout routines, but, at least during the recovery period, it is highly important to avoid challenging exercise for several weeks after surgery.
Working out elevates your blood pressure, which can increase bruising, bleeding and inflammation. Patients who engage in vigorous workout regimens too soon after surgery can experience serious complications, such as re-opening of surgical incisions. Even if you think you’re ready to return to the gym, you must consult first with your surgeon before resuming your pre-surgery levels of activity.
Have realistic expectations
The recovery process is called a “process” for a reason: You take it step by step. After surgery of any kind, you may look and feel worse before you get better, and most probably have bruising and swelling on some parts of your face. Depending on the type of procedure, your recovery time could range from a few days to a few weeks. Do not panic, as this is all normal. Do not let stress interfere with your body’s natural healing time.
While you heal, anticipate and plan accordingly for how your post-surgical downtime will affect your work, family responsibilities and social schedule. Also, arrange for a family member or friend to take care of you for the initial 48–72 hours after surgery. Even though you may believe you can resume your normal routines right away, having someone there to help you will bring peace of mind and allow you to focus on your healing. If you do not have someone to take care of your post-operative needs, inquire about post-operative nursing care services.
Patients who smoke are generally advised to quit at least eight weeks before undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure. Once the surgery is over, that doesn’t mean you should pick up the habit again. Because of how it affects your circulation, smoking significantly delays the healing process and can lead to serious complications during recovery.
Apply ice packs or facial ice masks
If you undergo any type of facial surgery, including a facelift, eyelid lift or nose job, it’s important to apply ice to minimize swelling. Even if you have bandages covering the surgery area, you may need to periodically ice it down.
After facial surgery, your skin will be quite sensitive after any type of facial surgery. Stay indoors as much as possible during your recovery period and avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Should you need to go outside, wear a wide-brim sun hat if possible or apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.
Got a question or anything I can help with? My name is Steve Stretton, and I’m the owner and manager at Gelpacks.com. You can drop me a line here. Good luck!