There’s no doubt that undergoing any surgical procedure can be disruptive to your life. At the Plastic Surgery Clinic, we take your recovery super seriously and consider it a key factor in a positive surgical outcome. It’s important to follow simple instructions to lead to the easiest recovery and to help achieve the goals you discussed with your surgeon. Reducing physical movements and getting plenty of rest during this period is highly recommended.
Lori Robinson is a Registered Practical and Certified Perioperative Nurse, and she’s worked at The Plastic Surgery Clinic for nine years. She’s our go-to post-op nurse, helping all of our patients with their post-surgical recovery. She deals with the good days, the bad days, healing incision scars and more. We asked Lori what her top 6 rules were foroptimal surgical recovery. With her years of experience and wealth of knowledge, she has truly seen it all. You can also follow her at @asknurselori on Instagram.
1. Rest up
Patients must take a week off work. No exceptions. No negotiations. It’s important for your body to get as much rest as possible in order to heal properly, especially in the first stages of the recovery process. In addition to the average eight hours or more sleep per night, it’s likely the patient will nap during the day, which is perfectly normal and expected. The body needs to regenerate its energy and can only do this by getting enough rest.
2. Put your exercise routine on hold
No exercise of any kind for a month. It’s important after surgery to focus your recovery. Any excess activity or heavy lifting can have a negative effect on vulnerable healing tissues—especially around incisions—and can prove to be a barrier that could possibly affect your health.
3. Prepare in advance
Arrange childcare, grocery shopping, food prep and doggie care well in advance of your surgery. You want to make sure that once you get home after your operation, you are doing nothing but recovering. Too much activity can slow the healing process and cause unnecessary discomfort.
4. Finding a reliable caregiver you trust
Patients need a caregiver to drive them to and from their procedure, care for them overnight, and bring them to follow up appointments the next day.
5. Wear a compression garment.
Compression garments are crucial to a strong post-op recovery. Most of our patients find wearing one no big deal, but if you tend to get really hot or uncomfortable in tight fighting clothing you might want to wait until the cooler months to schedule your surgery.
6. Create a comfort zone.
We have an incredible multi modal post-op pain management strategy. The level of discomfort you feel after surgery depends on your procedure, your body, and your recovery process. Making sure you have a comfy chill space to relax in and that you don’t over extend yourself during your recovery period will help to keep discomfort in check.
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