Summary: How much help will I need after plastic surgery? It’s a common question, and it’s one that your plastic surgeon can probably answer in terms of the specifics. Generally speaking, it’s not uncommon for patients to require assistance with everyday tasks immediately following a plastic surgery procedure. Of course, there are plenty of variables, from the intensity of the procedure to the activity level of your daily life. That’s why you should always ask about your recovery during your consultation.
How Much Help Will I Need After Plastic Surgery for my Recovery?
If you’ve decided to undergo plastic surgery, you’ve probably already spoken to a plastic surgeon. But perhaps not. Everyone starts their plastic surgery journey in a different place. In any case, if you’re thinking about plastic surgery, you should also be thinking about your recovery.
Every procedure is going to require some kind of down time or another. So the question you need to think about is this: how much help will I need after plastic surgery? And for how long? The answer to that question is going to vary wildly, but it’s not uncommon for plastic surgery patients to need some help during the first phase of their recovery.
How long that first phase lasts usually depends on the procedure you’re having performed. You might need more help after plastic surgery if you’re undergoing a more complex or intensive procedure. If, on the other hand, your procedure is simple, you might be back on your feet within a matter of hours. Ultimately, you’ll have to discuss your recovery strategy with your primary plastic surgeon. How you heal has a great impact on your final results, so it’s important to take your recovery seriously. So when you ask, how much help will I need after plastic surgery, it’s important to listen to the answer.
Make Sure You Follow Your Recovery Instructions
First and foremost, it’s incredibly important that you follow the recovery instructions from your surgeon. Surgeons will typically give every patient individualized instructions that take into account your daily habits, your procedure, your lifestyle, and your overall health. Instructions for a tummy tuck may be different than instructions for a breast augmentation.
Usually, however, recovery is broken down into several basic phases:
- Immediate recovery: Directly after the surgery, you’ll likely need some time to recuperate while being monitored. Usually this part of your recovery takes place in a hospital-like setting or a recovery suite. How long it lasts depends on the procedure you’ve undergone.
- At-home recovery: After your immediate recovery, you’ll likely be allowed to do the bulk of your recovery at home. During this time, you may have drainage tubes installed (these tubes will be surgically removed later), you may need to wear a compression garment, or have other restrictions placed on your mobility and activity.
- Long term recovery: Some procedures will need an extended recovery period, in which you’ll be able to return to most normal activities. Most of this long term recovery will be geared towards monitoring swelling and ensuring scar tissue heals properly.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Every patient will be different and every surgeon will have his or her own particular methods. However, most patients will follow this basic trajectory, assuming there aren’t any setbacks during recovery (such as complications) and assuming the patient does not use tobacco products during recovery.
How Much Help Will You Need?
Patients will almost certainly need help after their plastic surgery procedure. First and foremost, they will need someone to drive them to their home or recovery suite. It’s very important to point out that you need to follow your surgeon’s instructions during this critical recovery period.
Once you return home, you’ll generally need help with the following:
- Mobility: It’s often recommended that patients attempt to move around in short bursts throughout the day, and you may need some help moving to the kitchen and back.
- Bathing: Depending on the intensity of your surgical procedure, you might need some help bathing or keeping clean during the first few days after your procedure.
- Cooking: If you’re the cook of the house (or even if you tend to be a little more solitary), you’ll need some help preparing meals and ensuring you get the nutrition you need. You might be able to do some of this by preparing meals ahead of time.
- Lifting: You probably don’t think about how often you lift things every day. But every time you go to the grocery store or the airport or put a pack of soda in your car–you’re going to need help. Lifting is often one of those things that you’re forbidden from doing while you’re recovering (at least, in most cases). So you’ll definitely need some help there.
Make Sure You Talk to Your Surgeon About Recovery
Recovering from plastic surgery is one of those things that becomes easier to imagine–to wrap your head around–when you’re talking to a highly experienced plastic surgeon. That’s why you need to make sure that, during your consultation, you talk to your plastic surgeon about what you can expect from your recovery period and how best to plan for it.