Tuesday, 3 May 2016

10 Aftercare Tips to Improve The Results of Your Cosmetic Surgery

When you have cosmetic surgery you invest a lot – both financially and emotionally. 

We understand you want to achieve the very best results possible, and while much of the responsibility for that lies in the skill of the surgeon, there are also things you can do to help. 

You can take a proactive role in your recovery by following these 10 aftercare tips and enjoy even better results from your surgery…

1.    Perform scar massage

Scarring is always a concern for patients undergoing invasive surgery. How visible will they be afterwards? Will they show when I’m wearing a swimsuit? What colour will they be? Everyone heals differently, based on their skin type, quality and colour, so it’s not always easy to predict.

However, massaging your scar can significantly improve results. Once any stitches have been removed and the wound is well healed, you may begin massaging your scars with Vitamin E oil or cream.

Massaging daily for several months will help prevent the excess build up of collagen fibres (produced as the body heals) and lead to a flatter, softer scar.

2.    Perform tissue massage

You can help reduce post-surgical swelling by gently massaging the affected tissue, however you should obtain your surgeon’s approval before starting.

Massage helps to activate the body’s lymphatic drainage system, moving stagnant fluids through the body and flushing out toxins. It can speed up healing by encouraging blood flow and help reduce the formation of scar tissue.

Scar tissue (fibrosis) can alter the appearance of your surgeon’s work so taking steps to minimise its formation will lead to better final results.

3.    Stop smoking

Smoking makes it much harder for your body to heal by constricting the blood vessels and causing blood to become thicker. Good blood flow is essential for carrying oxygen and haemoglobin to injured tissues.

In addition, cigarette smoke actually inhibits the ability of haemoglobin to carry oxygen, increasing wound healing problems by as much as 10 times.

Giving up smoking is the number one change you can make to improve the results of your surgery – and your health in general.

4.    Apply sunscreen

While your skin is healing it’s best to avoid direct sun exposure but, with this being sunny Marbella, that can be difficult. As such, be sure to wear a good sunscreen - SPF 30 or 40 – that blocks both alpha and beta rays.

This is important because exposure to UV light will discolour your scar, causing it to turn dark. Once a scar has become sunburned, there is little that can be done to repair the damage.

Meanwhile, sun exposure too soon after a chemical peel, laser resurfacing, rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty may lead to spotty or abnormal pigmentation as the skin is extra sensitive. 

You should take extra special care to protect your skin from the sun for at least three months after surgery, but keeping up your regime beyond this will help keep your skin wrinkle-free for longer!

5.    Treat your skin with care

Skin can become hypersensitive after surgery, especially on your face. This means your usual face wash or moisturizer could have you breaking out in a rash.

When choosing products, think of your skin like a baby’s and opt for mild, hypoallergenic formulations, like non-soap cleansers and fragrance-free moisturizers.

If your skin becomes red or irritated while healing it could result in pigmentation, so always discontinue use of any products that could be causing a reaction.

6.    Sleep propped up

If you have had facial surgery, you can help reduce inflammation by sleeping in an elevated position. Using a couple of firm pillows to keep your head raised will encourage the fluids to drain from your face.

You should also try to sleep on your back to prevent fluids pooling. However, if you find any of this too uncomfortable, return to your usual sleeping position as getting a good night’s sleep is more important for healing.

7.    Eat healthily

Eating healthily post-surgery won’t only provide the necessary nutrients for optimal healing; it will also help keep your weight stable.

Maintaining a stable weight is important as weight fluctuations can cause skin to stretch out again and impair the results of your surgery.

8.    Stay hydrated

To enhance the results of your surgery, keep skin looking at its best by staying well hydrated. Well-hydrated skin is plumper, more resilient and less likely to wrinkle.

In addition, drinking water helps to flush out toxins and reduce water retention, which causes swelling. Your body needs more water when it’s healing so be sure to drink between six to eight glasses a day.

9.    Take Vitamin C

Vitamin C aids the production of collagen and the growth of new blood vessels to replace damaged tissue.

Another benefit is that Vitamin C helps the body better absorb iron, which works to supply wounds with oxygen and energy for more efficient cellular development.

10. Follow your surgeon’s instructions!

The most important thing you can do after surgery is to listen to your surgeon and follow their advice. Every case is different, so the advice for one person might not be right for another.

Carry out your surgeon’s instructions for aftercare, make sure you attend all of your follow-up appointments and always seek their advice if you have a concern or query.

Got a question about aftercare? Contact Ocean Clinic Marbella and we’ll be happy to help!

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