Patients who choose to undergo plastic surgery often enjoy an active lifestyle, as well. Like many enthusiastic people, post-op patients are always eager to get back to their regular exercise as soon as they can after any procedure. While that’s an excellent trait for staying fit and healthy, it’s essential to be careful during your recovery process. Failure to do so can negatively affect your plastic surgery results, and you could endanger your health.
But don’t worry. If you enjoy exercise and are contemplating plastic surgery, you’re not alone. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your surgery. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines will help you have a safe and satisfying return to fitness.
1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions
If you take away only one tip from this article, it needs to be that you must follow your surgeon’s instructions. Your surgeon knows you and your history and the nature of your procedure. They also know what their experience indicates is best for their patients.
Recommendations will vary depending on the patient and the type of procedure. Factors that determine how recovery will look include the invasiveness of the patient’s procedure or procedures, the parts of the body affected by the surgery, and the patient’s lifestyle before surgery. However, even considering these factors, patients’ healing rates vary and may indicate a different recovery.
It doesn’t matter what other surgeons suggest, what you read online, or what people you know to say. Your surgeon knows best.
2. Take It Easy for the First 48 Hours
The first 48 hours after plastic surgery can be uncomfortable or painful. So rest should be at the top of your plan. It should be almost the only thing on your schedule.
A small amount of walking, like across a room or up and down your driveway, is suitable for keeping your blood moving and preventing blood clots. Pumping your calves is helpful as well. However, it would help if you didn’t try to do much more. This is particularly true if you’re on pain medication. Mixing pain medication and exercise can be dangerous.
3. Start Slowly – But Start Soon
You shouldn’t leap back into exercise, but you should dip your toe in. Start to resume activity slowly. It’s easy to think that it’s okay to exercise other parts because your surgery was on one area of the body. This isn’t true.
Your body works together, so your whole body is affected by exercise. Exercise raises your heart rate and your blood pressure. If you’ve had a facelift or a tummy tuck, too much activity too early can cause the tiny blood vessels to bleed, resulting in a hematoma. Straining, lifting heavy items, and exertion can lead to swelling, incision reopening, and newly contoured body parts shifting. All of these things can negatively impact your results.
4. Listen to Your Body
Your body knows best. You may feel great one day, but the next day may be a struggle. Honor that. Take it easy and back off. Your body needs to heal. You may experience ups and downs, and that’s okay. When your body tells you what it needs, listen!
Call your surgeon’s office if you feel concerned about your progress or feel a decline in progress. Your surgeon will want to know how you’re doing. They can address your concerns and make sure you’re still on the right track.
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5. Wear Supportive Garments
Your surgeon may require you to wear supportive garments after specific plastic surgery procedures. However, wearing supportive garments while exercising after surgery is a good idea even without a doctor’s order.
If you’ve had breast surgery, be sure to wear a good-quality supportive bra. After surgeries on the torso, including a tummy tuck and liposuction, tight-fitting or compression garments keep body parts in place. Ask your doctor if wearing compression clothing is advisable for you.
6. Remember Your Rest Days
Maybe you’ll feel like a hundred bucks soon after your surgery. So when your doctor tells you to increase exercise, it might seem like skipping rest days isn’t a big deal. It is, though.
Remember, your body is one unit. Even before surgery, it’s healthy to take rest days to allow your body to recover. This is even more true after surgery when your body needs time to rest and repair from the trauma of the surgery and your exercise. Rest up for recovery!
7. Build Up Gradually
Light walking is an excellent way to start, either in your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Take it easy, though. Your surgeon will let you know how long you can try walking and how you can add more time.
When you’re further along in your recovery, don’t take leaps to reach your previous fitness level. After taking time off for recovery, you shouldn’t expect to lift the same weight as before, nor will you last long at cardiovascular activities. However, by building gradually, you avoid injury or damage to your surgery. With patience, you’ll get back to where you were before.
8. Always Get Your Surgeon’s Approval
Just as you need to follow your surgeon’s instructions right after surgery, you still need to follow them later. Call your surgeon’s office with any questions you have as you become more active.
Go to your follow-up appointments and share your progress with your surgeon. Be honest and get their approval before moving on to a new level of exercise. Rely on your surgeon and no one else for direction, and you’ll have a safe and appropriate recovery process.
Plastic surgery is a big deal, and the idea of recovery can be intimidating. However, by being mindful, careful, and direct with your surgeon, you can demystify recovery and ensure your fitness goals never jeopardize your new plastic surgery results.