10 Ways You Can Ensure Your Surgery Will Be Successful
Your recovery is just as important as your actual surgery. And it is up to you to make sure you are responsible for your recovery post op. Along with your surgeon’s individual instructions, follow these tips and your surgery outcome should be incredible!
Follow your surgeon's instructions
Your surgeon will give you instructions before your surgery and after your surgery. Remember these ARE NOT suggestions. Your surgeon wants your body to be in the best shape possible before your surgery, and whilst you recover. Your surgeon will most likely tell you to stop taking certain medications or supplements, not to shower or bathe post surgery (don’t worry – this time is minimal) and to stop the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
Put the bottle down
Whilst you may be away from home for your surgery and recovery – you aren’t on a typical ‘holiday’, so make sure you do the right thing for your body. Drinking alcohol will hinder your recovery and will definitely prolonge your recovery time. It can even cause you to develop a serious infection. So use the time to cleanse your body and drink water, juices or soft drinks (though don’t go overboard with the sugar).
- Drinking alcohol widens your blood vessels, causing your body to swell. Your nose is especially susceptible to alcohol-related swelling following rhinoplasty, so don’t risk your appearance for a cocktail.
- Alcohol thins the blood and puts you at higher risk for bleeding and extended recovery.
- It has a great risk of intervening with prescribed medications (especially the pain and antibiotic medications) in ways that can be detrimental and even dangerous to your wellbeing.
- Alcohol also dries out your skin – this is not good news for any incisions that are healing.
Smoking WILL harm your recovery
You must quit or refrain from smoking for at least 8 weeks prior and 8 weeks post-surgery. This also includes electronic cigarettes. Your surgery will be cancelled by your surgeon if you continue to smoke. If you smoke, you will have much higher risks for serious complications during and after surgery. If you continue to smoke, you will be more likely to:
- Starve your heart of oxygen
- Form blood clots in your veins
- Find it harder to breathe during and after surgery
- Increase you risk of infection
- Impair the healing of bones, skin and wounds
- Change the breakdown of certain drugs in your body
Wear the correct garments
Compression garments are an important part of your post surgery recovery. Your experienced Medi Makeovers consultant will explain which garment is needed for your procedure and these can be purchased directly from your consultant (after your free assessment from your surgeon is completed). You MUST wear a compression garment post-surgery. Our surgeons advise you wear these garments for a minimum of 3 months post-surgery. I.E. For breast surgery – our surgeons advise you wear your compression bra a minimum of 3 months post op up to 9 months during the day and 12 months at night – do not go braless during this time. You can change to a strong sports bra or supportive bra after this time but no underwire bras for the first 12 months. For other procedures, please contact your consultant for more information.
Don't overdo it
Remember that your body is recovering from a major surgery – this means you won’t able to go full speed ahead as normal. During your recovery in Thailand, it is very important that you rest. Whilst you will be able to do smaller activities – such as light shopping and pampering, stay away from bigger activities such as day trips to outdoor temples that are out of the city (Thailand is a hot country, and if you do fall ill from the heat mixed with your surgery recovery, you will be far away from your hospital). If at any time during your stay you wish to go back to the hospital, you are more than welcome to do so. It is better to be safe than sorry and have a clear understanding of your post-op instructions from your surgeon. If you are travelling with a partner not having surgery, make sure they understand that your surgery is the priority on your trip. Don’t let your travel buddy guilt you into an outing when you don’t feel up to it.
Take advantage of the extra care you will receive
There are more nurses available to you in our hospitals (simply because the cost of living in Thailand is lower than in Australia or New Zealand), so take full advantage of this. This means that you won’t wait very long when you buzz for them – and they will be able to help you with everything from helping you to the bathroom to plugging in your phone or reheating the rest of your dinner! They will also help to wash your hair if you need it! Don’t put the extra stress on your body when you have others around that are simply there to help you. And don’t feel bad about getting them to assist you in the smaller things too – they are happy to help!
Take advantage of your 5 star recovery!
As a Medi Makeovers client, you will receive exclusive discounts at amazing 5 star hotels that know our clients very well! So relax in knowing that you won’t have to make sure bed, breakfast or any other meals for that matter! You can ask for their assistance in getting around Bangkok, booking you in for spa treatments, contacting the hospital for you if you feel more comfortable for them to and assisting you with every part of your stay! They are well aware that you won’t be in top form and are happy to help in any way they can.
Sorry gym bunnies, you'll have to put down the weights for a while...
When you can exercise after surgery depends on your type of surgery, as well as your healing time. You must ask your surgeon during your consultation for your individual assessment of when you will be able to resume exercise. Generally light exercise can begin after 4 weeks (e.g. walking) and harder exercise can resume 6 weeks to 3 months post surgery.
Stay away from the water!
You are not able to swim for 4-8 weeks post-surgery – this includes treated swimming pools. You are not able your stitches wet (in a shower) until either the stitches are removed or your surgeon has said that you are able to. Have a dip when you arrive the day before your surgery, or just hang out beside the pool and dip your feet in.
Don't engage in Thailand's party lifestyle
You can always return when you are healed and party it up then! Don’t ruin your recovery on a sweaty dance floor.
Just enjoy the time you have to yourself! Don’t give in to silly urges to have a drink or a cigarette, don’t stay in the heat of the outdoors for too long and don’t disregard your surgeon’s instructions (given to you both verbally and via your email before you arrive) – trust us, you’re body will thank you for it!