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Tips for a Speedy Recovery After Plastic Surgery

Sleeping WomanWhether you’re interested in breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, liposuction, or any of the other cosmetic procedures at your disposal, you’ve likely wondered how much downtime may be necessary after your surgery. While the exact length of the recovery period varies according to the nature of the procedure and each patient’s individual rate of healing, this doesn’t mean you’re helpless to speed up the process. Easy tips to help facilitate an expedited recovery include: 

Healthy Diet, Healthy Recovery

It’s no secret that a clean, healthy lifestyle often translates to a faster and easier recovery period after surgery. Maintaining a vitamin-rich diet filled with fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and leafy greens can encourage swelling to resolve, thereby accelerating your body’s natural healing process. Dr. Christine Petti, our board-certified plastic surgeon in LA, always advises patients to discontinue smoking for four weeks prior to and after surgery, as nicotine interferes with blood supply to healing tissues and can lead to wound healing complications and even loss of tissue. Patients should also discontinue consumption of alcohol and salty, processed foods for two weeks before and after surgery to minimize swelling, bruising, and bleeding during recovery.

“Remain Zen”

The most important advice Dr. Petti recommends to all her patients for a smooth recovery process is one word, “Zen”. She encourages her patients to remain calm and confident during the recovery process and to eliminate any situation or individuals that may disrupt their recovery or cause stress. Stress is to be avoided, as it can increase heart rate and blood pressure and compromise the immune system—all of which can create complications and delay healing.

Prepare and Prevent

Planning ahead can give you the opportunity to rest and recover without interruption from daily chores and household tasks. Dr. Petti recommends making your meals and cleaning ahead of time, as well as arranging for childcare/pet supervision in advance. It may also be helpful to arrange a space in the house ahead of time equipped with everything you may need during your recovery. Make sure to pick up your medications from the pharmacy and label them so you know the purpose of each medication, as well as how much and how often it should be taken—this will allow for optimal control of discomfort and to promote ideal circumstances for uncomplicated recovery and healing.

The safest and most effective way to accelerate your recovery is to closely follow Dr. Petti’s aftercare instructions and heed any guidance regarding activity restrictions. Although you’ll be eager to return to your normal routine, getting plenty of rest and allowing your body the time it needs to properly heal are important keys to optimizing your recovery and final results. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Christine Petti at the California Skin Institute in Torrance to learn more. 

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