Post operative care after cosmetic surgery will depend upon what type of procedure you've had and how extensive it was. Your surgeon will give you instructions on what you need to do to speed up your recovery after cosmetic surgery, and you must follow them. Some crucial steps you should take to ensure a fast recovery are to maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of rest to allow your body to heal. Keeping the surgery site clean and dry is very important as well.
It's essential that you not participate in strenuous activity after cosmetic surgery for as long as your physician believes necessary. Your cosmetic surgeon will also let you know when it is best to return to work or school. If necessary, ask your physician or plastic surgeon to give you a note to excuse you for missing work or classes.
If you've had facial plastic surgery, use caution while sleeping not to put pressure on the wound that may cause the sutures to open. Your doctor may recommend that you sleep on your back immediately after cosmetic surgery and until all sutures are removed. It's best to sleep with your head elevated after cosmetic surgery, by using two pillows or one extra plump one.
Be sure to have extra bandages or supplies you will need for post operative dressing. Try not to wet the bandage after your cosmetic surgery. If the dressing does become wet, you should change it after washing your hands thoroughly.
After cosmetic surgery, you should check for any signs of infection, such as red streaks near the surgery site, or unusual discharge. If pain persists after several days or bleeding occurs, see your physician promptly. Your physician or cosmetic surgeon may also advise you not to take any blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, until your wound has completely healed, but you may use acetaminophen for pain.
Depending upon the type of surgery you've had, you may not require a bandage or dressing for very long. Once the bandage is removed, keep your hands away from the surgical area. During the healing process, it's best not to keep the area constantly covered, as exposure to air will help promote healing. If you've had surgery on your legs, wear shorts when possible.
Your physician may instruct you to use ice packs to reduce swelling after cosmetic surgery. Follow his instructions carefully, but remember never to apply the ice directly to the skin as damage can occur. Instead, wrap some ice in a washcloth or hand towel and apply it for no longer than 15 minutes at a time.