Initial plastic surgery results might take six months to see, and the final outcome is usually visible after a year. However, specific surgeon-recommended steps can facilitate the recovery process and expedite healing.
Last year plastic surgery procedures jumped by 54%, with liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck leading the way. The esthetic procedures help a lot of people to attain new levels of confidence in their appearance, however, to speed up the desired results, they should also make due preparations before the surgery and take it easy during the recovery period.
“What people undergoing surgery need to remember is that healing takes time and might be a toll both on the body and the mind, especially on the second week post-op. With plastic surgery, expectations tend to run high, but the results take time—they are usually visible after six months, and the scars can heal for a year—so the image people see in the mirror after the procedure is not final and will change once the body recovers, the swelling reduces, and the tissues heal,” Dr. Andrius Pajeda, a plastic surgeon at Nordesthetics Clinic, one of the leading medical tourism clinics in Europe, said.
Since the recovery depends largely on a person, their health history, and the type of plastic surgery, it is generally very individual to each person. So to reduce stress during the recovery, people are advised to listen to their bodies and not plan any major events, like weddings, vacations, or long flights, immediately after the procedure.
At the same time, although there is no single method that would expedite post-surgery recovery, people can do several different things.
“First of all, they shouldn’t overdo with physical activity, but rather stimulate venous circulation by moving their feet often and going for a light walk. Lymphatic drainage massages reduce inflammation and swelling and are beneficial to the healing period, the same goes for a healthy diet,” the surgeon commented. “Respiratory exercises promote lung ventilation, and proper wound care speeds up healing.”
To get back on one’s feet faster, the plastic surgeon recommends implementing specific life changes well before the surgery. For instance, if applicable, contraceptive pills should be discontinued four weeks before surgery, and hormone replacement therapy—two weeks before the procedure to avoid any potential complications. Regarding other medications, the patient should discuss all details with their medical team in advance.
“Nicotine increases post-surgery risks because it affects blood vessels. The area around the surgical incision does not get good blood supply and might hinder the recovery process or trigger infection and tissue necrosis risks,” the surgeon maintained. “Therefore, smokers should quit smoking for up to six weeks leading to the procedure and three weeks post-surgery. For those who have been smoking for over ten years, we recommend stopping smoking as early as possible in preparation for the surgery.”
In terms of what patients should do to prepare for their plastic surgery, Dr. Pajeda advises them to lead a healthy lifestyle—minimize alcohol intake, eat a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and protein, and take their time to have quality rest.
“Other forms of pre-surgery preparation include health monitoring. If blood tests and ECG performed before the procedure indicate some health issues, the surgery would be postponed to avoid unnecessary health risks,” the surgeon added. “Also, transparency about current health and past health issues is essential—patients should advise their surgeons on their health history, especially if they have anemia, iron deficiency, or have had a weight loss surgery in the past.”