We thought we would put together a must-have list of recovery tips for patients. This post focuses on swelling tips. Most patients who have plastic surgery are worried about post-operative swelling and how they can minimize this unsettling symptom. As swelling can remain for days, weeks or longer, being prepared and knowing the key recovery tips will greatly help to minimize swelling.
Below is a must-have proactive list for anyone having plastic surgery who wants to take the air out of swelling:
Chill Out: 20 Minutes On, 40 Minutes Off
Many patients ice constantly (day & night) during the initial days of post-op. Apply a cold compress for 20 minutes on swollen area, then 40 minutes off, repeating hourly. Don’t put a cold compress directly on skin, as you should put a paper towel or thin, soft cloth on the swollen area to protect it. You can use specialized cold therapy compresses, frozen peas or blueberries in ziplock bags, or gauze pads soaked in water and ice.
Compresses We Recommend:
- Face Masque Hot & Cold Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=13733
- Cold & Hot Eye Compress (w/cheek and temple coverage): http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10001
- Swiss Therapy Eye Mask Compress: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=18998
Slip Into A Medical Compression Garment
Following a facelift, wearing a medical compression garment becomes crucial to your healing. A compression garment accelerates the healing process and allows you to return to daily life sooner by minimizing swelling, improving blood circulation, providing support and comfort to surgical areas, and by flushing the body out of potentially harmful fluids. By applying pressure, a garment helps the skin fit better to its new body shape with less likelihood of skin sagging. It is important that the garment be made specifically for plastic surgery recovery.
Choosing the right garment can have a significant impact on your healing. It is not recommended to sacrifice your cosmetic results by wearing a non-medical garment from your local store that is not specifically made for a cosmetic medical procedure (such as an ace bandage) because they are not designed for continuous wear during recovery. Wearing a non-medical garment can be bad for healing, as you can slow down your recovery, worsen your swelling and other symptoms, and increase your post-op discomfort.
Here is the link to see all the facelift compression garments:
Most Popular Facelift Compression Garments: Then, there is a great post that was put together by Make Me Heal that lists all the most popular garments for patients based on years of experience and it lists some tips on compression garments.
Here is the link to the post:
http://messageboards.makemeheal.com/vie … hp?t=55845
The Natural Path To Healing With Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies such as Arnica Montana and Bromelain can shorten your recovery and lessen the swelling that you experience.
Arnica Montana is a homeopathic herb that can shorten recovery by reducing post-op swelling and bruising. Arnica comes in both pill and cream form. The pill form can be taken several days before surgery and up to a few days post-op. The cream form can be applied on the affected swollen areas once the incisions have been closed.
Arnica Montana Products We Recommend:
- Sinecch Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=10369
- Vitamedica Arnica Montana: http://www.makemeheal.com/mmh/product.do?id=15740
- Boiron Arnica Montana Gel:
Bromelain is a natural pineapple enzyme that helps reduce post-op swelling and pain, and accelerates healing. Taken a week to several days before surgery and up to 1-2 weeks post-op.
Bromelain Products We Recommend
- Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient – Post-Op Formula (w/Bromelain) –
- Vitamedica Arnica Montana & Bromelain Kit:
Healing Multivitamins designed specifically for recovery are popular with patients, as they enable you to get all the essential healing vitamins, supplements, and minerals in one product.
- Make Me Heal Plastic Surgery Healing Multinutrient – Pre & Post-op Forumula (w/Bromelain) –
- VitaMedica Plastic Surgery Pre & Post-Op Program (w/Vitamins, Arnica, Bromelain & FREE Arnica cream):
Rest and sleep on your back continuously in an inclined position (25-45 degree angle) for the initial days of post-op or as long as major swelling remains. Resting in elevation enables optimal blood circulation and helps reduce swelling. You can achieve elevation by using specialized pillows such as a wedge pillow with an incline design, or by propping yourself above 3-4 pillows, or by sleeping on a recliner.
Wedge pillows are specially designed with an incline to provide proper alignment and to keep your affected swollen areas (facial, upper, mid, or lower body areas) comfortably elevated in an angle that helps reduce swelling and enables optimal blood circulation to all the vital healing areas. Many patients find bed wedges to be a superior and more comfortable elevation solution compared to putting oneself above pillows on a bed. The advantages of wedges compared to pillows are that they are sturdy, you do not have to worry about slipping off as you would with pillows, you have far less tension and stress on your body, and you do not have to periodically rearrange the wedge as you would with pillows that shift around and fall.
Bed Wedge Pillows We Recommend:
- Memory Foam Bed Wedge:
- Deluxe/Ultra-Comfort Memory Foam Wedge:
- Bed Wedge Pillow:
Avoid Hot Showers
During the initial weeks of post-op, the water in the shower should be moderately warm because hot or steamy water can worsen swelling. Avoid having the water stream come down directly on fragile surgical areas.
- As salt (sodium) can worsen swelling, avoid foods and drinks containing salt during recovery.
- Drinking pineapple juice, which contains Bromelain, can be effective in reducing swelling.
- Eat leaf lettuce, eggs, and yogurt, which are excellent sources of Vitamin K, another possible remedy to swelling.
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