Recovery Tips for Cosmetic Surgery
Dr Doyle’s recovery tips and instructions for Cosmetic Surgery patients. This information will help you understand how to maximise your result and know what’s normal for recovery.
This information is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. It’s important that you follow the recommended post-operative instructions provided directly by Dr Doyle and contact him if you have any questions or concerns.
Healing and Recovery After Plastic Surgery
Knowing what to expect and pre-planning your downtime can help you feel at ease throughout the recovery process. It’s also important to know that everyone is different, and everyone heals and recovers at their own rate.
The most important recovery advice is to take your time, rest as much as possible and fuel your body with good nutrition. This includes staying hydrated and eating well. Always be kind and gentle with yourself, and try to create a comfortable and peaceful healing environment for your recovery. This will help to promote restfulness and limit emotional reactions – which are common following surgery. It’s also important to have good emotional support around you.
We’re here to help you recover. We are also happy to answer questions about what’s normal in the healing process after cosmetic surgery. We can help you understand:
- What to expect in terms of wound healing
- The common emotional reactions after your procedure
- Why you need to have good support around you
- How to make your post-op room as comfortable as possible
Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Guidelines
ALWAYS follow your post-op instructions as provided by your surgeon. These are critical for healing and also will help you to achieve the best possible surgical result. As well this, please adhere to the following tips:
- Be patient as you heal
- Eat well and drink plenty of fluids
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Rest adequately
- Follow your surgeon’s advice on movement
- Look after yourself emotionally
- Don’t smoke before or after surgery
- Avoid consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances
- Follow good nutritional advice
- Follow post-op exercise time frames (exercising heavily too soon can harm you or increase your scar formation)
- Where applicable, wear the post-surgery bra or post-surgery compression garment(s) that have been provided for you
- Wear them day and night for as long as you’ve been instructed to wear them
- Alert your surgeon to any concerns
- Eat well, rest well and adopt healthy habits as you recover from cosmetic or plastic surgery.
Tools for Rapid Cosmetic Surgery Recovery
The best thing you can do to ensure a good recovery, and avoid having a longer-than-desired recovery period, is to check with Dr Doyle before resuming normal exercise or other activities.
Follow your Surgeon’s and Nurse’s advice precisely for best results and safety after your operation. And be sure you eat well, rest well and never ever smoke as you heal from your procedure.
As you read these surgery recovery rules, it’s important to remember that:
- Recovery time for patients varies greatly depending on the individual and the procedure.
- There are several things you can do before and after your surgery to move along your recovery and improve your scar healing.
This is where you can really help facilitate your own recovery. Dr Doyle’s recovery advice includes:
For the first 48 hours following your cosmetic surgery, it’s critical that you take the time to rest and recover. Allowing your body to heal may be difficult at first, but it’s incredibly important for your surgical result and your overall well-being.
You may find that you struggle to get sleep well or comfortably for the first night, but it’s important to try and not get frustrated. If you can’t sleep easily, try to relax and keep your mind busy (this is a great time to binge-watch that show on Netflix!)
Before your surgery – set up your room to be calming and comfortable, and also try to have your meals pre-prepared. If you have good support around you, allow them to help you where possible.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dr Doyle will advise you to stay hydrated. This is important because all of your healing processes require adequate water intake to function optimally. Dehydration also harms your body’s immune responses and healing functions.
Water is always the best option, but you may consider the following alternatives to add variety to your diet:
- Coconut water
- Lemon or lime water
- Herbal tea
- Natural juice
Being hydrated means you’ll likely need to use the bathroom frequently. If you’ve had a Tummy Tuck, make sure you get help with going to the toilet and be sure you wear your garment as recommended.
3. Eat Well After Surgery
A diet that provides you with sufficient energy reserves is necessary when healing from cosmetic surgery. This provides your body with the strength needed to heal promptly. Your recovery diet should include various intakes of protein, healthy fat and complex carbohydrates.
Great sources of protein include:
- Beans and lentils
Healthy fat sources include:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Good complex carbohydrates sources include:
- Rye sourdough bread
- Wild rice
- Sweet potatoes
4. Take Supplements If Recommended
Supplementation of essential nutrients is often necessary when a normal diet is lacking.
While we strongly encourage you to follow a special wound healing diet, we also suggest a range of supplements that can help provide you with nutrients that you may require during recovery. The products listed on our supplements page may assist your cosmetic surgery recovery and healing. These include:
- Bromelain: Bromelain may alleviate swelling and inflammation of wounds, it also enhances the effectiveness of antibiotics through increased absorption. It also has cosmetic and wound strength support as it gradually dissolves damaged collagen in the skin, making way for the replacement of new, fresh collagen.
- Repairaise: Containing Zinc, this product improves wound healing, immune function and skin health. This can have an overall impact on the appearance of scars by encouraging the skin’s repair.
5. Follow Dr Doyle’s Instructions Precisely
Dr Doyle will give you advice before and after your surgery. It’s important that you follow this information precisely. Following simple suggestions from Dr Doyle may help you move through your surgery recovery stage quicker or more comfortably.
Dr Doyle’s advice may include:
- If you’ve undergone breast surgery – wear the special post-surgery bra or post-surgery compression garment(s) provided for you. Wear this day and night for as long as you’ve been instructed to wear them.
- Do not wear an underwire bra for at least 6 months after breast surgery.
- Alert Dr Doyle to any concerns and read all information to better recognise what’s normal after plastic surgery during your recovery period and what might be a cause for seeking treatment or immediate medical assistance.
- Read the Surgery Guides both before you have surgery and after, including the Post-Op Care Guides provided to you for your procedure.
- It is not appropriate for you to follow a diet that limits intake, such as a diet to lose weight or a diet that avoids entire food groups such as carbohydrates.
Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Recovery FAQs
How long do I need to take off work after surgery?
Each patient is different so your time off work will vary due to your speed of recovery, your level of bruising and pain and also the type of work that you do.
- For breast augmentation, we recommend 1-2 weeks off work.
- For breast reduction, we suggest 1-2 weeks off work.
- For abdominoplasty or major body surgery around 3-4 weeks off work (longer if your tummy muscles have split due to pregnancy or obesity).
- For nose and facial surgeries, depending on your swelling and bruising, your “social downtime” can be around 2-3 weeks.
Your time off work really depends on the activity level in the type of work you do – for breast surgeries this can be 2 weeks for an office/desk job, 3 weeks for an ‘on your feet’ shop job or 4+ weeks for an active job.
While these timelines are general in nature, remember:
- It is often up to you to decide when you are ready to return to work.
- There is always a small risk of having a surgical complication. This will delay your return to work.
- We can provide a confidential Medical Certificate for time off work.
When can I start exercising after my surgery?
This varies from patient to patient and from surgery to surgery. Don’t try to do too much too soon.
We encourage leisurely walking and light duties following your procedure. At the time of your consultation, we will discuss the type of exercise that you would like to do and how soon you can return to the activity.
This may mean 10-12 weeks before heavy gym exercise like weights or running, sometimes longer.
*The information provided here does not constitute medical information and does not override what your Dr Doyle has told you to do after plastic surgery. Do recognise when to be concerned and check with Dr Doyle or his Nursing team if you have any concerns or unusual symptoms.
- Having plastic surgery? Here’s how to prepare for a smooth recovery – American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- How Much Time Will You Need to Recover From Plastic Surgery? – David Breath MD