Taking the Mystery – and Worry – Out of Recovery from Cosmetic Surgery

Posted on September 25th, 2012 by Dr. Albert Carlotti

Phoenix Cosmetic Surgery RecoveryBefore-and-after pictures of expertly done cosmetic surgery – such as the many examples on the Carlotti Center website – inspire many women and men who are dissatisfied with their looks to take control of the appearance of their face or body. The first step is a consultation with an experienced, compassionate and patient-focused cosmetic surgeon.

Caring, ethical cosmetic surgeons always want their clients to be fully informed about the procedure or procedures they are considering, and a one of the main concerns for most prospective patients is the recovery process. Cosmetic surgery is, after all, surgery, and as with non-cosmetic surgical procedures, patients have to expect some post-operative discomfort and time to heal. Cosmetic surgery recipients should plan for some down time or restriction of activities, which will vary depending on the procedure they will be undergoing.

Breast implant recipients at the Carlotti Center are monitored for at least two hours immediately following their breast augmentation surgery before we release them to be taken home. Medication is prescribed to alleviate pain and tightness in the chest. Breast augmentation patients must wear a supportive Natori bra round-the-clock for a number of months after surgery; we will tell you what size will give your new breasts the proper amount of support while they heal. Even low-impact athletic activity must be avoided for at least two weeks after surgery, and high-impact athletic activity should be put off for 3-4 weeks.

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is technically considered a reconstructive procedure, rather than a cosmetic one, and tummy tuck patients require 10-12 days away from work to recover. Patients may experience muscle spasms in the days after the procedure. Abdominoplasty patients are prescribed stool softeners and are advised to eat only pureed foods for 4-6 days after surgery. A special compressive abdominoplasty garment must be worn 24 hours a day (except when showering) for a period following the procedure, otherwise the results of the surgery could be compromised.

Facelift (rhytidectomy) causes pain that lasts for a day or two but that can be easily mitigated with medication. Swelling and discoloration are normal but fade rapidly. Stitches in different parts of the face are removed at different times, with all stitches out by the tenth day after surgery. Within 4 weeks, patients begin to see their “new and improved” appearance, although complete recovery actually takes anywhere from 6 months to one year.

Liposculpture requires very small incisions to be made as insertion points for the cannula – the surgical tool that’s used to remove fat deposits. These tiny incisions eventually heal with no scarring. As with an abdominoplasty, the liposculpture patient must wear special garment to compress the abdominal area. This garment has to be worn for 6-8 weeks. Liposculpture can cause bruising and swelling, followed later by itching and soreness. These discomforts can be easily controlled with pain medication.

Rhinoplasty (nose resizing/reshaping) involves a recovery time of a week or two. A splint is applied to the nose for about 10 days after surgery to maintain its new shape. Bruises that appear around the eyes will fade within days, and disappear within two weeks. The small amount of pain that may result from the surgery is alleviated by medication. Nasal “stuffiness” is another common complaint following rhinoplasty.  Patients should be aware that they might not see the “final” results of their nose surgery for as long as a year after the procedure is performed, because subtle swelling of the tip of the nose is very slow to disappear.

A cosmetic surgeon can inform you of the recovery time for other procedures such as cheek augmentation, chin augmentation and eyelid lift.

Although the cultural visibility of cosmetic surgery has grown only relatively recently, in parallel with the tremendous increase in its popularity and acceptance, keep in mind that it has been practiced for decades. Surgical cosmetic procedures are being continually refined and improved. Also remember that about 1.6 million cosmetic surgeries were performed last year in the United States, and these procedures have an excellent track record of safety and satisfactory results.

Whichever cosmetic procedure you’re considering, Dr. Albert Carlotti and Dr. Michelle Cabret-Carlotti will ensure that every phase of your experience – from initial consultation to full recovery; from “before” picture to “after” picture – goes as smoothly and comfortably as possible. That’s one of the reasons that the Carlotti Center is at the forefront of Scottsdale cosmetic surgery. Call the Carlotti Center for Cosmetic Surgery today at (480) 947-7700 for your consultation.

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