Cosmetic Surgery: How to Prepare For Going Under the Knife

Cosmetic Surgery: How to Prepare For Going Under the Knife

Last post we touched briefly on cosmetic surgery mentioning tangentially that some of the staff here at Elite Beauty have had cosmetic procedures. We’ve had a few breast, tummy, and facelift procedures among us, and we have gleaned much in personal experience from having cosmetic surgery. Here’s how to truly prepare for going under the knife and what you can realistically expect post-surgery.

There will be pain and lots of it

A week after the procedure there shouldn’t be any pain. Soreness perhaps but no pain.

In the first 48-72 hours after the procedure however, there will be tremendous pain and there will be a lot of it. You absolutely, no ifs ands or buts, must take your pain medication exactly as prescribed by your surgeon.

I’ve heard horror stories about women who thought they’d be able to go “all natural and organic” in the post-recovery period of their cosmetic procedures (kind of goes without saying that cosmetic surgery is anything but natural and organic lol).

They insisted they wouldn’t need any pain medication much like the women who forgo epidurals and drugs during childbirth. Heroic sentiment no doubt, but it’s also very ill-advised and completely unrealistic.

A woman I know decided to forgo her pain medicine after a facelift and she ended up in the emergency room in horrific pain. The pain is very real, and it’s a fatal mistake to think you’ll be any different after your own procedure.

I think the reason many people insist there isn’t much pain after cosmetic surgery is because they are taking their pain medication exactly the way the surgeon has prescribed and the cosmetic surgery patient is fully compliant.

Please do not think for a second you won’t be in pain. You will be. But the good news is, it’s manageable to the extent that you barely notice it ONLY when you take your pain medication as directed.

You WILL need every bit of the recovery time

Many women are seduced into convincing themselves that “they can handle this” and they try to rush their recovery time so they can return to work and normal activities as soon as possible.

Depending on the procedure, most recovery time is two weeks minimum. Your surgeon will more than likely recommend 3 weeks. And during recovery, you will be very, very tired and you will need to rest and sleep much more than you would otherwise.

The first 36 hours after your procedure, you won’t be able to do anything except perhaps get up and walk around in short increments per the advice of your doctor. And some of you won’t even be able to lift your arms above your head for two weeks.

You won’t be able to drive home after the procedure and you will need someone to help you with cleanup post-op, to help you disrobe and dress you, and they will also need to help remind you to take all your medications (you will be prescribed several medications), whether it’s pain medication, antibiotics or anti-nausea medication.

There is no rushing the recovery. You will be completely exhausted. You will need your sleep and your peace and quiet. It’s non-negotiable.

There will be slight “imperfections”

Even the most highly skilled cosmetic surgeon cannot stitch you back up perfectly. Your skin will not look exactly the way it did before the procedure. It’s a bit like trying to restitch a torn pair of jeans–the stitching will always be completely different than the original article.

However, if he or she is an exceptional cosmetic surgeon, the slight imperfections and minimal to no scarring as the result of great work will be unnoticeable by anyone but you.

When one of our staff had a facelift, they went behind her ears with incisions and she noticed her lymph nodes now sit a bit higher. She describes it as feeling a little strange but not so freakish that it’s uncomfortable or intolerable.

Your skin will feel different. Parts of your skin and anatomy will situate and adjust a bit differently than they had before surgery. The care and skill of your surgeon will dictate just how different your tissues will feel after your procedure.

There will be ongoing numbness

The nerve-endings are severed when you undergo any procedure that has to do with dissection and a scalpel. And it could be at least a year before you regain any feeling or sensation at the incision sites and the surrounding tissues.

You must be prepared to accept that you will have a loss of sensation to the extent that you won’t feel anything. Our Elite Beauty staff member who had a facelift was using a hair straightener and didn’t realize she burnt herself along her cheek and hairline until seeing the emerging burn mark. She had the procedure two years ago and to this day, she still has some slight numbness.

Another member of our staff has had implants and she no longer has any feeling in her nipples. The doctor told her the loss of sensation is likely permanent.

Be mindful that you will not regain feeling for some time after your procedure at the incision sites and surrounding tissues. You likely will regain feeling and sensation in slow progression, but please be advised that you may or may not. Your surgeon will advise you of this beforehand.

Your surgeon will give you a complete list of side effects and detailed information on what to fully expect post-op in advance of your procedure. Make a mental note of what you should expect and follow your surgeon’s instructions and you should have little to no issues post-procedure.

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