So you just underwent your chosen cosmetic surgery, and the all the anxiety before the procedure has dissipated. Congratulations, you made it through your procedure day! Take a nice deep breath, and it’s time to focus on healing and recovery.
Recovery after surgery can be stressful. Especially for those who are having a major surgical procedure for the first time, fear of the unknown prevails even after the procedure. Hence, it is important to have a solid and reliable post-operative support team that will work and guide you through the recovery phase after your cosmetic surgery.
For major surgical procedures, the recovery phase starts after you recover from the effects of the systemic anesthetics. This is the phase when you are awake, comfortable and ready to go home. The recovery nurse will guide you through the medications you are supposed to take including the frequency of taking them, how to care for your surgical wound and keep the dressings, and how to deal with your surgical drains if any. Any special instructions regarding physical activity and do’s and don’ts related to your procedures, are also discussed. Oftentimes we may ask your significant other (usually your pick-up person) to be present too, so that you will have somebody to help you with the medications, ambulation or moving around and such at home. I do want to stress that ambulation is important in the recovery period.
Minor surgical procedures such as lip lift, buccal fat removal, dimpleplasty, simple scar revision and minor skin lesion removal usually comes with simple post-op care instructions to follow. The instructions usually consist of simple wound care until after sutures removal, if any.
Depending on the procedure done, the first post-operative (post-op) visit will occur in about 3-7 days. Your incisions, and drains if you have, will be assessed. Some sutures may also be taken out if the incision is healed enough. We usually would call you a day after your procedure, to check how you are keeping up. With this important step, any concerns or questions are addressed promptly. You may have questions about your medication, or may experience some benign symptoms such as low grade fever or serious ones such as unusual pain and continuous bleeding; rest assured that we, at the VISAGE, will guide you through.
The frequency of follow-up visits will also depend on the type of procedure done, but in general, we would like to see you at certain intervals, such as after 4- 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months up to a year. If you need a more frequent visit, such as when you need a dressing change, we always accommodate for your convenience.
Angry, raised and/or dark scars after the surgical procedure are understandably a concern but they do come with any incision made on the body and face. We will go through ways of reducing scar visibility early after the procedure. After liposuction, body or face surgery procedures, we highly recommend lymphatic drainage and deep tissue massages in our Medical Spa (pamper yourself at the same time with a facial with our expert Aestheticians, and what a way to heal and recuperate!).
Sometimes there may be challenges along your recovery, such as a post-op complication. Examples of these are infection, wound opening, seroma, etc. You may develop feelings of frustration, resentment, or regret. Know that Dr Marc DuPéré and his team understand, and will support you to the fullest through these bumps along the way, towards your aesthetic goal.
So in retrospect, when choosing where to get your cosmetic procedure, it pays to ask how the after care is handled.
Jay Tejada, VISAGE Clinic nurse