Taking care of yourself after cosmetic surgery

You have just completed cosmetic surgery, and you can not wait to show off your new look. But before you resume life as normal, take a few steps to ensure recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

Taking care of yourself after cosmetic surgery

Fleeting discomfort, lasting results
Most patients experience mild discomfort the night following surgery, but pain usually subsides rapidly. Whether you have just received an eyelift, a brow lift or both, spend the evening resting quietly with your head elevated. Your cosmetic surgeon may have recommended an oral pain reliever to take when necessary. Just remember to avoid aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications after surgery.

If you are a smoker, give yourself at least a week to heal before smoking your first cigarette. Also stay away from heavy secondhand smoke, which could slow the healing process.

What to use, what not to use
You can usually remove dressings and/or drainage tubes a day or two after surgery, per your cosmetic surgeon’s direction. Use an antibiotic cream on the area if instructed.

Avoid the sun as much as possible. When you do go outside, be sure to wear a hat and dark sunglasses that cover the sides of your face to protect yourself from sun and wind.

Mild swelling and bruising may last a week or two. After the first few days, you can use makeup to cover any signs of discoloration. Be careful not to apply makeup or other facial products directly onto the stitches.

Self-care in the years to come
You should be able to resume normal activity within 10 days or less. Once your face heals, you will want to keep your rejuvenated look for as long as possible. It is easy — just maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Your relationship with the UMass Memorial Cosmetic Surgery Center does not end after the operation. Your cosmetic surgeon will likely schedule some follow-up appointments to track your recovery. Feel free to call in between appointments whenever you have a question or concern.

For more information, please call 508-334-5990.