It is important to have thorough and comprehensive instructions after cosmetic surgery. By doing this, patients know just what they are to do. My patients get complete postoperative surgical instructions to maximize a safe and easy recovery. They also get my personal cell phone. This is so they can contact me personally if anything happens or questions arise. Despite the complete instructions, patients sometimes have additional questions or thoughts on what to do or not to do. This writing was designed for a cosmetic patient from Kennett Square, PA.
I believe that extensive postoperative instructions are of paramount importance after your procedure. Complete, thorough, and easy to follow instructions are provided. However, people sometimes do things that are “not” helpful after surgery and can even be harmful. I believe that an important concept after surgery is that patients sometimes make mistakes by doing things that were “not” discussed. Since extensive postoperative instructions are given, these instructions are usually followed and done. It is things that are not discussed that can lead to problems. I describe it as the “Do Not Do” list.
Soaking in a hot tub is a classic mistake after surgery. The soaking can cause infection or injure incisions. Many patients will instinctually know not to do this. But not everyone understands this can be bad. A patient might say to me, “You didn’t tell me not to do that!” Because of these questions, I have come up with my “Do Not Do” list. But understand that no list can be 100% complete. No matter how long the list is – there will be something that is not on the list that could be harmful.
A good way to think of postoperative instructions is to follow everything that you are told “to do.” Everything else is on the “Do Not Do” list. Remember, all patients are given extensive instructions that are precise on what you should do to maximize recovery! These instructions are complete and are also on my web page. The list that follows is extra things and ideas that can be bad or harmful and should not be done. Instructions, in general, cover what should be done by the patient to recover. This list is what should not be done after surgery. But remember this fact. No list of things that should not be done can be totally complete. If it is not on the instruction sheet- than consider that it should not be done. Any things that are not mentioned in the instructions should be avoided. This includes instructions from friends who are nurses, medical professionals, or other experts. This includes friends who have had similar operations. If you are in doubt, text me and ask if it is ok to do it. Always remember to ask! By doing this you will be safe. A famous plastic surgeon once said, “Be wise during recovery!”
General Things on the “Do Not Do!” List
- No baths or soaking
- No hot tubs
- No sex
- No physical exertion
- Don’t overdo it
- No straining, yelling, pulling, or bearing down
- No heating pads or electric blankets to any part of your body, especially surgical areas
- Do not apply any lotions, creams, or healing scar treatments until instructed to do so
- Don’t play with your bandages
- Don’t stick things underneath your bandages
- Don’t touch your incisions until told it is ok
Specific to Tummy Tucks
- Do not play with or swing around your surgical tubes
- Do not touch (within three inches) the entrance site to the tube going into your skin
- Don’t blow into your drains (this goes inside you)
- Do not sit or stand in one position for more than 5 minutes
- Don’t twist your abdomen side to side
Specific to Facelift or Eyelid Surgery
- Don’t bend over
- Don’t put your head below the level of your heart
- Don’t strain, lift, or pull
- Don’t get anxious
- Don’t raise your blood pressure
- Don’t yell or scream
- Don’t laugh or talk loudly
- Don’t rub your eyes
- Don’t read, watch TV, or keep your eyes open too much – until allowed
All patients are provided with extensive instructions on what to do after their cosmetic operation. These are to be found on my web page. Some people will do things after surgery that are not always good for healing and can cause complications. The above list includes many things that are “not to be done” after operations. I call it the “Do Not Do” list. After your cosmetic operation, it is smart to remember – slow and steady wins the race. If you have questions – Ask! All patients have the doctor’s personal cell phone. Finally, Be safe and be wise!
Please come in for a consultation. I practice exclusively cosmetic surgery and will review all aspects and the recovery from your cosmetic surgery.