You did it! You did what you set out to do, you underwent an incredible transformation with the plastic surgery procedure of your choice. Congratulations!
But now, to be sure, even though you’ve talked everything through with your surgeon and patient coordinator before your surgery, the post-surgical questions are flowing again. This is totally normal.
Don’t stress. We will provide you with post-surgical guidelines specific to your case, but we are also here for you, and are happy to answer your questions 24/7, even if you need the same question answered more than once. We’ve got you!
Here are some of the most common questions we get after surgery.
Why is one side more swollen than the other?
Asymmetry following surgery is totally normal. This is typically a concern with our breast procedure patients, particularly with breast augmentation, but no matter your surgery, whether it be a BBL (Brazilian butt lift) or liposuction it is totally normal to have more swelling on one side of your body than the other.
Each area of the body is different and heals at its own speed and in its own time. Don’t be alarmed if one breast is initially bigger than the other, or one bum cheek more swollen, symmetry will definitely reveal itself once your body has had the time it needs to recover.
When is it safe to shower?
When it’s safe to shower is dependent on your specific surgery and case. We ask patients not to shower until we have given them the green light to do so, typically at your first post-op appointment.
All baths, swimming pools, hot tubs, any kind of full immersion or soak in water must be completely avoided until we give you the go ahead. This can typically take a month or several weeks following your surgery.
What position should I sleep in?
Which position you should sleep in following surgery also depends on the type of procedure you underwent.
If you had a breast surgery, you’ll need to sleep on your back for a week, after which you’ll be able to flip onto your side, but you won’t be able to sleep on your stomach for at least one month. You’ll also need to sleep elevated the first night after surgery, after which you can choose whether you prefer to sleep flat on your back or slightly elevated.
If you’re a BBL post-op patient, you’ll have to sleep on your stomach for two weeks after which you can sleep however you normally do.
If you’ve had a tummy tuck you’ll need to sleep in a “V” shape position for your first week, with your back up and your legs elevated. After a week you can sleep on either your back or side, but no stomach sleeping for six weeks.
If you’ve had rhinoplasty or a facelift you’ll need to sleep on your back and elevated for the first week following your surgery after which you’ll be able to flip to your side if this is preferable, but you’ll need to take care not to put any pressure on the area of the face where you’ve had surgery.
Will my narcotics help me sleep?
It’s important to remember that narcotics treat pain. If you choose to take narcotic medication before bed, it should be for the purpose of keeping you comfortable while you sleep. It’s not meant to be used as a sleeping aid.
It’s normal to not have an amazing sleep the first night following surgery, but in order to get you back to your usual sleeping pattern its best to avoid napping during the day. We want you to rest, but not necessarily sleep during the day. This will definitely affect your night time sleeping, especially if you’re not someone who naps on a regular basis.
Is it normal that I have a headache?
It is normal to have a headache after surgery. There are a lot of things going on with your body. You might be reacting to the medications you’ve been given, or to any discomfort or pain that you might have, but you may also have low blood pressure, in which case if you feel that headache coming on, sometimes it’s good to have a coffee to get your blood pressure to come back up again.
Also be sure to take the Tylenol we’ve prescribed around the clock for the first week as this will help to alleviate any headaches.
Can I go for a walk?
During the first week of surgery we don’t want you to be completely sedentary, but we also don’t want you raising your blood pressure, so we want you to get up every hour or so. This means that walking around the house is fine, but no walking that would equate to light exercise and no outdoor walking in that first week.
A light walk is fine after the first week (after two weeks if you’ve had a tummy tuck) but nothing that is strenuous, we don’t want you doing your normal exercise routine until one month to six weeks following your procedure, depending on what surgery you’ve had.
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How long do I need to wear my post-operative garment for?
If you’ve had a breast procedure you will need to wear your post-operative garment for one month following your surgery and for six weeks if you’ve had a body procedure.
How long to I have to wait before having sex after surgery?
You can have sex two weeks following surgery, but you’ll probably be more comfortable at about one month depending on your procedure.
When can I have a cigarette again?
Smoking inhibits healing, so there is absolutely no smoking for at least one month or more following your surgery.
When can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol should be avoided until you’re finished taking your post-op prescription medications. This is typically around five days post-op. That being said, alcohol is a blood thinner so should be consumed in moderation while you recover.
When can I tan?
You’ll need to wait two months before you can safely tan the area where you had surgery. You’ll need to be sure to cover your scar though, as your scar should not get any sun exposure for at least one year following your surgery.
Sunless tanning, like a spray tan, is safe two weeks following surgery, but you still need to cover up your scars.
And make sure to wear that SPF if you’re going out into that sunshine!