Tips for Reducing Swelling Post-Plastic Surgery

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What Causes Swelling?

A lot of plastic surgery patients want to know what to expect after their cosmetic procedure. They will often wonder how they’ll feel and how they’ll look. There is one thing every patient can expect post-surgery, and that’s swelling. The body’s natural response to any type of injury or trauma is swelling and is essential in the healing process. White blood cells, proteins, and other chemicals collect near the surgical site, helping fight off infection and helping the body heal.

Minimizing Swelling

  • Apply Ice Packs: Applying ice packs for 15-20 minutes an hour can help reduce the swelling and is most effective the first- and second-day post-surgery. Ice causes blood vessels to contract, therefore decreasing blood flow through the surgical site. Ensure to talk to your doctor about specific instructions on using ice, as the wrong application can be harmful.
  • Compression Garments: Most if not all cosmetic procedures will require you to wear a compression garment post-surgery. These garments provide pressure that suppresses built-up fluid that gets trapped under the skin. It also promotes draining, decreases bruising and scarring while improving overall comfort.
  • Elevation: Elevating the surgical site encourages blood circulation and can help drain fluids which can ultimately help reduce swelling. Patients who have undergone a Rhinoplasty or Breast Augmentation should sit upright. Consult with your surgeon to find out the appropriate position to be in for your recovery.
  • Massages: Massages post-surgery, like Lymphatic drainage massages, can help dispose of toxins or waste in the body. These massages can be very beneficial, but it’s crucial to find a certified professional to give these massages to avoid any possible complications. Drainage massages also help reduce swelling, smooth out scar tissue, and more.
  • Reduce Salt Intake: Diets high in sodium causes the body to retain water, increasing swelling and bloating. By reducing salt intake post-surgery, you are helping to prevent fluid retention and aiding in reducing swelling.