If you’ve scheduled plastic surgery and your operating day is getting close, congratulations! You’re taking an exciting step to meet your goals!
If you’ve got a date on the calendar, it’s also time to think about the logistics surrounding your recovery. Proper rest and recovery are crucial in helping you stay healthy and achieve satisfying results!
Since infection is a risk with any surgery (but fortunately tends to be relatively rare with elective operations), let’s talk about tips to help most plastic surgery patients prevent post-surgery infections. That way you can head into surgery day with more knowledge and peace of mind!
Tip #1: Wash Up Before Surgery
Good hygiene before surgery can go a long way in helping prevent infection after your operation. Here are some pre-surgery tips that will pay off later:
- Bathe or shower thoroughly with a Chlorhexidine gel before heading to the hospital on operating day to help eliminate the amount of bacteria on your skin and reduce the risk of infection.
- Put on a freshly laundered set of clothes before coming to the hospital.
- Resist the urge to shave near your surgery area within three days of surgery. While it may seem counterintuitive, shaving too close to surgery can increase the risk of infection.
Tip #2: Follow Post-Op Instructions as if Your Health Depends On It
Your surgeon and post-op nurse will give you and your loved ones specific instructions about how to take care of the surgical site and what your rest and recovery should look like. These instructions can vary depending on the type of procedure, your post-operative garments, sutures, and more.
Don’t treat these directions like simple suggestions — treat them as your plan of action both to avoid possible infection and to get the best results from your cosmetic surgery!
Tip #3: Practice Good Post-Op Hygiene
Keeping your surgical site clean is crucial for proper healing and infection prevention. While still following the specific instructions from your doctor, here are some other best practices for post-op hygiene:
- Keep dressings clean and dry. Always wash your hands before changing any dressings or cleaning the surgical site.
- Keep pets away from the surgical site.
- Do not soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or pool until your doctor has given the go-ahead.
- Avoid using tobacco or exposing yourself to second-hand smoke.
Tip #4: Get Plenty of Rest & Nourishment
When you’re well-rested and well-fed, your body is best equipped to heal from your procedure and to fight any potential infection. That’s why it’s important to:
- Plan to have a loved one available to help for a few days after surgery (depending on the procedure).
- Plan time off from work according to your doctor’s recommendations.
- Move your body (gently) every day but wait to resume normal activity until your surgeon says it’s okay.
- Eat a nourishing diet with plenty of protein. (Read more on the importance of nutrition for recovery here.)
- Make sure to get plenty of sleep and drink lots of fluids!
To learn more about healing and recovery, check out our FAQs on the topics.
Reach Out for Help
Here at The Lucas Center, we’re always happy to address your questions and concerns. Whether you have more questions prior to your surgery, an issue arises after your procedure, or you simply need a refresher on the post-op instructions, don’t hesitate to call our office at (865) 218-6210.
We are so happy to help you on your plastic surgery journey and can’t wait to see your confidence grow!