How to Reduce Swelling After Plastic Surgery

Anya Kishinevsky, M.D. Jan 21, 2019

A woman's backAfter undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure, a patient will experience a number of side effects. These temporary side effects are a normal part of recovering from a surgical procedure. Sometimes the procedures may be pronounced, particularly if a patient undergoes body contouring and sculpting surgery to revise the torso and abdominal region. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize the severity and duration of these side effects.

Dr. Anya Kishinevsky and the team at her Norwalk and Fairfield, CT plastic surgery centers would like to go over some basics about post-op swelling. She will also offer some advice on how to reduce swelling and help you heal sooner and with fewer issues.

How Long Does Post-op Swelling Last?

Swelling after surgery tends to last about two weeks, with gradual improvements experienced each day. Minor swelling will persist for about two weeks after that, with residual swelling lasting another few weeks after that.

Follow Pre-op Instructions to the Letter

Healing begins before the first incision is made. Make sure to follow all pre-op instructions to the letter. This can help reduce infection risk and also give you optimal conditions for a fast recovery that’s free from any issues.

Focus on Rest

Rest is essential for wellness after a surgical procedure. Be sure to get ample rest after your surgery, remaining partially elevated. Even though you should avoid strenuous physical activity, it’s a good idea to walk around a bit each day to promote circulation as you recover and avoid being sedentary.

Cold Compresses

Cold compresses can help manage pain and keep swelling down. You may be instructed to avoid direct contact on thew skin with your cold compress. Be sure to apply cold compresses as directed, and to pay attention to the time-on and time-off for the compress.

Drink Plenty of Water to Stay Hydrated

Hydration is essential for wellness, and crucial for proper healing. Be sure to drink plenty of water when you are recovering from surgery. This will help flush the body and allow you to heal properly.

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

A good diet can go a long way toward managing side effects. Make sure your diet is mostly plant-based as you’re healing. Generally, stay away from any processed foods, and side with fresh whole foods instead.

Wear Your Compression Garment

Some patients may be told to wear a compression garment in addition to surgical dressings. These garments provide support to the parts of the body that were operated on, control swelling, and can potentially improve the final results of your cosmetic surgery.

Avoid Smoking and Tobacco Products

Smoking and tobacco products are bad for your health in general, and even worse for you if you are recovering from a surgical procedure. Be sure to avoid using tobacco products following surgery until you are fully healed. (Ideally, you should consider kicking the habit for good.)

What If My Swelling Gets Worse?

If your swelling does not improve gradually after surgery, it’s important that you bring this to the attention of your plastic surgeon as soon as possible. It may be the sign of a complication that requires immediate professional attention.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Recovery

For more information about plastic surgery procedures and what you can do to experience a speedy and problem-free recovery, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Anya Kishinevsky and her team are here to help. You can reach our office in Fairfield by phone at (203) 349-9490 and our Norwalk office at (203) 347-0931.

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Fairfield Office

55 Walls Dr Ste 405
Fairfield, CT 06824

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