Plastic surgery should be treated like any other surgery in that you need to follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon. However, there may be a few things about plastic surgery that differ from traditional surgeries in respect to what you shouldn’t do during the recovery period. Let’s take a look at 5 of the things you should never do during recovery from plastic surgery.

1) Don’t Take Anti-inflammatories or Aspirin

Patients who have had plastic surgery need to avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications or medications with aspirin in them. This is because these medicines can interfere with the prescriptions they are taking during their plastic surgery recovery. These medications can also increase the risks associated with tummy tucks or liposuction. Always check with your doctor about other prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs that should be avoided during recovery. This includes herbal medications and vitamins as well.

2) Don’t be Directly Exposed to the Sun

The sun is already damaging to skin, but there’s even more risk of skin damage after having plastic surgery. Direct exposure to the sun should be avoided at all costs during the recovery period. Sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection should be used when being exposed to sunlight, and it should be at least SPF 15. It’s also a good idea to protect the surgical sites with the sunblock for the first year.

3) Don’t Shower for 48 Hours

No one likes to feel like they need to take a shower, and most people feel like this the day after they have taken one. However, during the recovery process it’s important that you wait to take a shower for at least 48 hours after undergoing a cosmetic procedure. The wait time can be longer depending on your operation and your doctor’s instructions. When the time does come, it’s important to keep the first shower brief and have someone nearby in case you become dizzy or light-headed.

4) Don’t Use a Hot Tub or Swim

Showers aren’t just out of the question because the doctor wants to ensure you can stand long enough to get clean. Taking a bath, sitting in a hot tub and swimming are also out of the question. These activities need to cease until the surgical sites are totally healed. Some surgeons will approve baths within a day or two of recovery from plastic surgery, but this depends on the procedure and sponge baths are usually okay. However, it’s important to wait for at least 6 weeks before swimming in a lake, river or ocean and sitting in a hot tub. Swimming in a pool may be allowed after just 4 weeks.

5) Don’t Do Any Lifting or the Gym

Lifting things after certain plastic surgeries, such as tummy tucks and breast augmentations, need to be avoided. This is because you have to be very careful not to cause bleeding and muscle tears. Generally, you can’t lift anything heavier than 1 pound for two weeks. Anything that’s between 5 and 10 pounds shouldn’t be moved for between 2 and 4 weeks. This all depends on the type of surgery, but to be safe, don’t do any lifting for about 6 weeks. Get someone else to do it.

It’s important to comprehend that the period of recovery from plastic surgery for one patient will differ from another. This is why it’s so important to follow your surgeon’s instructions and never do these 5 things right after having plastic surgery. Just don’t rush the recovery process so your body can heal properly.

above image source: Flickr/ericmcgregor

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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