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Summary: When it comes to plastic surgery pain, your plastic surgeon will always give you options on how to cope with any discomfort, but the more options the patient has, the better the process will go.

Plastic Surgery Pain and How to Cope

Plastic surgery has all kinds of benefits. It can make you look and feel better about yourself (if you finally get that body you want). It can make you look and feel younger. It can mitigate long term pain. It can give you a boost of confidence and self esteem. But there’s no denying that surgical plastic surgery comes at a cost. There will be pain and there will be recovery. Usually, that part passes very quickly; surgeons have done an excellent job at making these procedures as non invasive as possible. But you’re still going to have to go through a recovery period.

The severity of that recovery period will vary depending on the procedure. Tummy tuck procedures, for example, are known for being quite painful. On the other hand, breast augmentation has a reputation for being quite easy on the discomfort. Ultimately, your surgeon will prescribe a recovery regimen for you; you’ll be told what you can do and what you can’t do and how you should handle pain and discomfort. And that’s where some research is changing things. According to this new research, taking ibuprofen does not increase one’s chances of bleeding risk after plastic surgery.

The Importance of Ibuprofen

When patients are attempting to manage pain, it’s important that they have some options which are easy to get and close at hand. In many cases, surgeons will prescribe powerful pain medication; but taking strong pain meds for too long can prove problematic. (There is, after all, the potential for addiction with any type of pain medication.) But because of the risk of bleeding, most plastic surgeons will list ibuprofen as one of those medications you should not take. Now, to be clear, you should always follow your surgeon’s instructions (and you should certainly not use this blog as a reason not to do so). But recent research seems to suggest that this fear of bleeding isn’t necessarily founded.

In fact, patients who took ibuprofen had the same risk of bleeding complications as did any other patients. The study was conducted across a wide variety of procedures, so it’s not necessarily likely that one procedure or another is of a higher risk of bleeding complications with ibuprofen. Certainly bleeding complications need to be taken seriously, so, again, it’s incredibly important to follow your doctor’s instructions as closely as possible.

More Pain Management Options Available

What this leads us to believe, however, is that patients of plastic surgery will soon have more pain management options available to them. This is important because helping patients manage pain and discomfort can help bring those patients in to get results. There are, after all, plenty of patients that would like plastic surgery but who are hesitant due to the pain and discomfort involved. Of course, those patients would do well to remember that almost all plastic surgery patients (assuming they’re getting the results they want) think that the procedure is worth it. That’s true whether it’s a Houston breast augmentation or a Los Angeles liposuction.

As patients have more options to manage pain and discomfort, they might be more willing to pursue a plastic surgery procedure. It’s not as though patients don’t already make a kind of pain versus benefit calculation. And, of course, all patients should know the risks and costs associated with any plastic surgery procedure before deciding to move forward with it. And, of course, if you have questions about any aspect of this, it’s best to consult with your plastic surgeon and schedule a confidential consultation. Your surgeon is always the best source of information.

Changing Recovery

This research regarding ibuprofen is both likely and unlikely to make major changes. The results will need to be verified and go through a peer review process. But once that is complete, plastic surgeons may be more apt to recommend ibuprofen to patients. But, then again, they might not. Much will depend on the type of surgery and the desired final results. Much will also depend on your particular and individual body and healing process. That’s why no one can make this decision for you. You will need to sit down with your surgeon and discuss your recovery process.

However, one thing is for sure: the more options patients have, the better. Giving patients another option to handle the pain and discomfort of recovery can only be a good thing, and we’re happy to see research such as this continue.

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