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Cosmetic Surgery Before and After (Pre and Post Operative Care)
There are many issues besides the actual cosmetic surgery procedure which one has to keep in mind before undergoing a procedure. These issues pertain to the cosmetic surgery costs and care one has to take both before and after the surgery.
Cosmetic Surgery Before (Pre Operative Care)
Most plastic surgeons are of the opinion that cosmetic surgery procedures require a 48 hour acclimatization period, prior to surgery. Acclimatization and pre-operative care is essential in ensuring the best possible outcome of any surgical procedures.
A rejuvenation holiday prior to their surgical procedure(s) is generally recommended; by the end of which time individuals about to undergo a procedure are completely acclimatized and feel relaxed.
During the pre-operative phase, the clients are encouraged to prepare their bodies for surgery by aiding their relaxation with a variety of skin enhancing treatments best suited to their particular chosen procedure or procedures and are also instructed to adhere to a strict regimen which requires them to stop smoking or to quit certain medications including some vitamins and herbal supplements. Spending a month or more in the pre-treatment phase is generally recommended.
Medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or a tendency to develop large scars needs to be discussed during a consulation with the plastic surgeon. Be sure to tell the surgeon if you have had previous facial surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications --including aspirin or other drugs that affect blood clotting.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and help you out for a day or so after most surgery procedures. Some of the more invasive procedures involve anesthesia or may be a significant injury to the body. It can take time to recover from such a procedure and initially you may not be able to drive yourself and continue with your normal daily routine.
Complications with anesthesia
Cosmetic surgery has the lowest rate of complications among board certified plastic surgeons. However, every surgery carries some degree of risk. A few patients have serious reactions to local anesthesia or sedation used during surgery, but most anesthetic complications occur with general anesthesia where you are put to sleep. 90% of the time, it is a local anesthetic which is used in cosmetic surgery procedure. Ropivacaine as an anesthetic offers significant advantages, both in efficacy and prolonged duration of analgesia, while reducing the risk for adverse side effects due to lesser toxicity. You need to consult with your doctor about the use of anesthetic and any potential for adverse reactions before the surgery.
Post operative care
Most patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the surgical incisions, which can be controlled with prescription medication. Patients who are prone to headaches may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthesia during surgery as a preventive measure.
After most surgery procedures, the face is kept in loose bandages. The patient's head may be wrapped in a bulky bandage immediately following surgery to promote the best molding and healing. If bandages were used, they will be removed a day or two after surgery. Drainage tubes are used in most facial surgery procedures and you are required to take special care if drainage tubes are used. For example, you may only shower 48 hours after removal of the drainage tubes. Your surgeon should provide you with comprehensive advice.
During the first few days of dermabrasion your skin 'weeps' constantly (think of the liquid that collects in a blister just dripping off your face). You may have to use ice water soaks every two hours, and in between, you will probably be advised to add on fresh layers of Acquaphor ointment (a lot like Vaseline). This helps to ensure that you don't end up forming scabs as your skin heals. By about day 7, your skin should be feeling quite okay though it will remain quite fragile (like a newborn's) for about another month. Extra care needs to be taken with skin during this first month after dermabrasion.
If you notice the treated area beginning to get worse instead of better-for example, if it becomes increasingly red, raised, and itchy after it has started to heal-it may be a sign that abnormal scars are beginning to form. If this seems to be happening, call your surgeon as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin early.
As the nerves in the skin heal, initial numbness may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to fully disappear.
Though the risk of infection is rare it can not be ruled out in some cases, adequate antibiotic medication is normally taken along with proper care of your incisions. Your cosmetic surgery clinic should provide you with the appropriate antiseptics and antibiotics to use as appropriate for the type of surgery you received.
It is important for you to have prescription for pain medication soon after your discharge from the hospital. Pain is perhaps the most significant issue at least in terms of your emotional health and your ability to deal with the initial short term consequences of your surgical procedure. Make sure your doctor provides you with the appropriate advice for limiting pain and write all the information down in case you forget.
Removal of stitches
Most stitches or clips will be removed within two weeks, sometimes in two stages. Most patients are back to work or school in a week to 10 days. Some individuals develop excessive scar tissue (keloid or hypertrophic scars); these are usually treated with the application or injection of steroid medications to soften the scar.
Remember to take your pain medication before activity and at bedtime. Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications as there can be intense side reactions.
Be sure to get enough rest. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. Use pillows to support you when you sleep and if you are told to do coughing and deep breathing exercises by your clinical advisor.
Vigorous physical activity including jogging, bending, heavy housework, or any activity that increases your blood pressure should be avoided for several weeks after the surgery. Prolonged exposure to heat or sun should be limited for several months.
The scars of cosmetic surgery or the pinkness (after dermabrasion) can take some time to heal. In the meantime, as a patient you should wear non-allergenic makeup when you go out and you can also use camouflage cosmetics as recommended by your doctor.
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