Guidlines for a Successful, Smooth Recovery
Your satisfaction is our priority. A successful surgical experience involves more than excellent care in the operating room. Dr. McDaniel will spend a significant amount of time discussing the specifics of your recovery during your consultation. However, there are some common tips for what to do (and what not to do) to experience a rapid and smooth recovery. Remember to check our Recovery Care Checklist for information to assist in preparation for surgery.
What To Do To Prepare and Recover
- Arrange to have help after surgery. Taking this advice will prevent you from finding yourself in a position where you cannot follow post-operative activity restrictions. This time frame is usually 1-2 weeks, and may involve:
- Assistance with child care
- Help with pets
- Help around the house
- Care for you– help with medications, rides to appointments, etc.
- Check the provided list of medications to avoid before surgery. Many medications, including supplements, herbals, and over-the-counter medications may have harmful effects if taken around the time of surgery.
- Take medications as directed for the first few days after surgery. Often patients want to be tough and avoid meds, but taking pain medication and/or muscle relaxant medication at the beginning of your recovery may make your overall experience much smoother.
- Begin healing well with a balanced, high-protein diet and stay hydrated. We need both nutrients and water to feel our best, and this is even more important as you recover from surgery. Water is critical, and protein is needed for our tissues to heal properly and quickly.
- Take care of your surgical sites and incisions. In most cases, surgical glue will have been put over your incisions to make them waterproof. This allows you to shower the day of surgery, if desired. However, you should avoid taking a bath, swimming, or soaking in a hot tub for two weeks after surgery.
- Contact your surgeon with questions or concerns. If your surgeon is trained and board-certified appropriately, he or she is an expert in plastic surgery. Any potential problems should be addressed promptly, and contacting your surgeon gives them the opportunity to do so.
What Not To Do During Your Recovery
- Avoid driving until you are no longer taking narcotic medication and muscle relaxants, and until you believe that you can drive defensively (ready to swerve to avoid an accident, for example).
- Don’t use nicotine or illegal substances after surgery. This can reduce the blood supply to tissues where it is needed for healing. All forms of nicotine should be avoided (gum, lozenges, patches, vaping, cigarettes, cigars). There are certain operations that Dr. McDaniel will not perform on patients who use these substances, for their own safety.
- Avoid cheating on activity restrictions. This is easy to do, since you will feel great before your restriction period will be complete. Dr. McDaniel has designed these guidelines based on proven research for wound healing, and in the interest of achieving your best, long-term result. Following these guideline will give you the best chance of beautiful, durable results.
- Don’t wait until surgery to prepare for your recovery. Start planning now to have a great experience!