How to Manage Bruising and Swelling After Plastic Surgery

by | Last updated on May 16, 2023 | Published on Jun 4, 2021 | Plastic Surgery / Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgery procedures – whether surgical or nonsurgical – involve some side effects, the most common being bruising and swelling. Even with new surgical techniques and equipment, patients should expect a certain amount of swelling and bruising after plastic surgery. For instance, even a minimally-invasive procedure such as laser liposuction in New York City involves some temporary swelling. The good news is that patients can proactively help reduce post-treatment side effects by following their surgeon’s instructions precisely.

While considering plastic surgery, patients should factor in time to manage bruising and swelling, and heal properly. Swelling after laser liposuction is minimal and will resolve in about two weeks. However, excessive swelling can lead to unwanted complications that delay recovery.

Surgeons give patients relevant instructions on how to manage the recovery period to minimize any discomfort and enjoy the benefits of the treatment at the earliest. It’s important to follow these instructions diligently. There are various ways to minimize swelling and speed up recovery:

  • Wear a compression garment throughout the day (except when bathing)
  • Get lymphatic drainage massage from a licensed therapist
  • Focus on eating healthy low sodium diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Also include eggs and yogurt in your diet as they are excellent sources of vitamin K which is a great component to reduce swelling.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and fresh juices.
  • As a rule, you should keep your incisions elevated to allow fluids to drain away from the wound area for the first week after surgery. Bed wedges or inclined pillows provide the best elevation.
  • Apply ice packs to the surgical areas, but not directly on your skin.
  • Avoid hot showers for the first couple of weeks after surgery, as the heat can worsen swelling.
  • Get enough rest during the initial recovery period.
  • Light walking is recommended after surgery, but don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid overexerting yourself in the first couple of weeks after surgery as it can worsen bruising and swelling and delay healing.
  • To minimize swelling avoid the following:
    • excess salt
    • processed foods or fast foods
    • spicy foods
    • most herbal teas and supplements
    • smoking
    • alcohol intake
    • blood thinning medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Constantly check for infections and seroma formation around the treated area.

Depending upon multiple factors, swelling and bruising post a plastic surgery procedure might lasts for several months, even up to a year or longer. Fortunately, a majority of the swelling resolves soon after plastic surgery, that is, approximately 80% of the swelling resolves anywhere from about 4-6 weeks after surgery and continues to improve with time.

Post-surgical swelling and bruising is part of the normal healing process and can persist for several weeks, but keep in mind that each person heals differently. Contact your surgeon immediately if your swelling or other side effects do not improve and get worse.

Other than plastic surgery, swelling can be caused by allergies, thyroid problems, hormones, medication side-effect, or other medical conditions. Based on the patient’s condition, the plastic surgeons may prescribe a short course of medication such as steroid or diuretic pills to ease the swelling.

If you are considering laser liposuction in New York City, find an AAAASF accredited plastic surgery facility that offers the service of experienced plastic surgeons. Having the procedure performed by an experienced and skilled surgeon also matters when it comes to optimal results as well as minimizing side effects. After the treatment, follow your surgeon’s instructions on post-operative care for a smooth and safe recovery. Having the right guidance is very important with regard to laser liposuction or any other surgical procedure.

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