After Surgery Care 101 | Post-Op- Plastic Surgery Care

How to Take Care Between Post-Op Visits

Deciding to have plastic surgery is a very important moment, particularly when you think about all of the prepping and planning that comes with it. One of the biggest sources of anxiety for many of our patients is the recovery stage. Even with the advances in technology that allow surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures, the aftercare stage is important to the overall success of the operation.

Some patients feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of changing bandages, emptying surgical drains, dealing with bruising, etc. However, when done right and preparing for it, after surgery care can be simple, virtually painless and easy to manage at home.

The importance of after surgery care

When having plastic surgery, it’s normal to not only be worried about how the surgery will go or how you’ll look like but wonder about how you’ll feel when you wake up after surgery and your first night at home, away from the doctor and nursing staff.

Postoperative care is super important to make a full recovery. It’s also vital to remember that not taking after surgery care serious could contribute to complications or less than stellar results. In our experience, nothing makes post-op care better than by acknowledging these 3 main rules:

  1. After surgery care is an active part of your surgery. The way you handle your aftercare can alter the end result of your surgery. Think about the help you’ll need, the time you’ll have to take off, and any special instructions you’ll need to follow.
  2. A well-informed patient is a successful patient. We encourage patients to research and ask all of their questions to their surgeon. We suggest covering different topics such as sleeping arrangements, wound care, pain management, dietary restrictions, and post-op follow up appointments.

The best result is achieved by following your surgeon’s instructions every time. It doesn’t matter if your friend or sister had the same procedure, only follow your doctor’s advice. Never skip a post-op appointment or self medicate. Trust in the expert hands of your doctor, who will surely be more than happy to help!

Plastic Surgery Post-Op Care tips

We recommend you have a detailed conversation with your surgeon about your after surgery care, however, you can start preparing yourself by following these useful tips:

  • Enlist help before you actually need it. Even simple procedures like an eyelid lift or liposuction, will require you to rest and change your routine. At first, you’ll need help with the simplest tasks like changing your clothes, driving, cooking, and cleaning. As you prepare for your surgery, take a moment to get your support system ready and ask a close friend or relative to stay home with you for the first couple of days post-op.
    • Go to all of your post-op appointments. In order to monitor your progress and overall health, you need to go to all of your post-op appointments. Even if you don’t have sutures that need removing or drains that need emptying, don’t skip this essential component of your recovery.
    • Follow your doctor’s instructions. We can never stress this enough: your needs as a recovering patient are unique to you and your overall health. Your surgeon will adapt post-operative instructions and send you home ready to rest. If you have doubts about any of these instructions, do not hesitate to ask.
    • Expect to take time off of work. Depending on the procedure you’re having and the type of work you do, you’ll need to take anywhere between 7 to 14 days off. Ask your surgeon about how long you’ll need so you can plan accordingly. Overexerting yourself before you’re healed can be dangerous.
    •  Prepare for a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will go a long way to helping your body heal faster. Staying hydrated is key to helping your body replenish fluids and decrease swelling. Nutritious foods low in sodium and refined sugar will increase your body’s strength.
    • Avoid overexertion but try to remain active. Your surgeon will be the only one qualified to tell you when you can go back to exercising. However, unless otherwise instructed, you should try to take walks throughout the day in order to help circulation and swelling. You can slowly progress to taking brisk walks, just ask your doctor when.

Trust your doctor to manage your pain. It’s normal to feel swollen and uncomfortable right after your surgery, but trust your doctor to help you with pain management. Always ask if taking OTC pain medications is ok.


Post-op care for different procedures.

Different surgeries will have different “rules” for post-op care. Here are a few quick things to keep in mind:

After surgery care for breast procedures

Will be uncomfortable at first. You’ll need to sleep on your back for a long time and have to put away your sexy bras for a while. Breast augmentations, reductions, and lifts also rely a lot on compression garments to help you recover.

After surgery care for facial procedures

Will mean that you need to be extra careful of sun exposure. You’ll need to be careful about this after any surgery, but when there are scars or incisions in your face – a place where you are usually exposed to the sun- you’ll want to take extra precautions.

After surgery care for Brazilian butt lifts and butt implants

Will require you to avoid sitting in order to maximize the results of your surgery. Sitting is something that we all do automatically, so it’s especially important that you ask your doctor about this.


How long does it take to heal after plastic surgery?

It’s all in the details. The exact time it will take you to make a full recovery will depend on a variety of factors, however, when you prepare for this stage and follow your doctor’s instructions, your recovery is almost guaranteed to be short and sweet.

If you’re interested in learning more about after surgery care for a specific procedure, call VIDA Wellness and Beauty Center at (619) 738-2144. Schedule your one-on-one appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon and get ready to enjoy your plastic surgery results.

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.