Things To Know After Plastic Surgery

Choose the topic:

• Wound healing
• Sleeping position
• Medication
• Thrombosis prophylaxis
• Alcohol consumption
• Daily activities
• When should you contact your surgeon?
• Specific precautions

Plastic surgery is becoming more and more popular these days. An increasing number of people dare to say goodbye to their physical flaws with the help of a surgical scalpel. The choice of a qualified and experienced doctor is one of the most essential factors determining the success of the surgical procedure. It is very important to understand that your co-operation is indispensable for achieving the best results and long lasting effects of the surgery. In order to help ease healing process, we provide useful tips on what you should or should not do after your surgery.


Wound healing

Usually surgical wounds are covered with sterile dressings. They reduce the risk of wound infection and improve the conditions for healing. If the surgeon does not advise otherwise, you may leave the original dressing for up to 5 days. It is highly recommended to clean your hands with soap and water before you remove the dressing. Try not to touch the wound with your fingers because it is important to keep the surgical wound clean and dry. Contact your doctor if any signs of infection appear. Furthermore, there are factors that can complicate the healing process. They include diabetes, weakened immune system and certainly smoking. Smoking leads to reduced blood circulation of the wound, blood clot formation and increased risk of infection. You should not smoke for at least 2 weeks after your surgery.

Sleeping position

The upper part of your body should be slightly lifted during the first post-operative day. This position helps to decrease swelling and prevents sutures from excessive tension. You may use special elevation pillows or put 3 or 4 usual pillows under your head and back.


Usually doctors prescribe pain killers, antibiotics, sleeping pills and other medicines after plastic surgery. Like all medicines, these drugs affect various organ systems. In order to prevent damage to your liver, stomach and other organs, you should not take alcohol while taking the prescribed medications. Some of the medications that usually are prescribed after plastic surgery may result in obstipation. This could become quite a serious problem especially after such surgeries like abdominoplasty because the abdominal wall remains weak for a while. In this case, you should use laxatives.

Venous thrombosis prophylaxis

Venous thrombosis is one of the possible postoperative risks. It is dangerous because a blood clot that forms in a vein can disturb blood circulation and result in a life-threatening condition such as pulmonary embolism. In order to avoid this complication, start getting up from bed on the very first day after the surgery. Also, you should stimulate your venous circulation by moving your feet often. Moreover, it is recommended to do respiratory exercises in order to improve lung ventilation.

Alcohol consumption

There are several reasons why alcohol is not recommended after plastic surgery. In addition to the aforementioned interaction with medications, alcohol tends to increase the risk of postoperative bleeding because of its blood thinning effect. Moreover, alcohol dries out your skin and increases swelling. This effect is most noticeable after rhinoplasty. You should abstain from alcohol consumption for about 2 weeks or at least while taking prescribed medicines.

Returning to your normal activities

The recovery period after plastic surgery depends on the type of surgery and varies from person to person. However, you should not shower for 3 days after the majority of surgeries. Afterwards, it is recommended to take a shower rather than a bath. Moreover, you should avoid exposure to the sun (or at least apply sunscreen with SPF equal to or higher than 15) for about 2 or 3 months after the surgery because sunlight can cause burns or increased pigmentation of the scars. Furthermore, active sport is not recommended for about 2 months after the procedure.

When should you contact your doctor? (signs of infection)

Contact your doctor if you notice any of these signs and symptoms: