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Blepharoplasty Lady

3 Habits You Shouldn’t Indulge In Right After Plastic Surgery

March 30, 2015

We’ve all got our vices. Maybe you like to unwind after work with a glass of wine or a pint of cold, crisp beer. Or you sneak in a cigarette here and there (there’s no judgment here at all!) But if you’re fresh out of a plastic surgery procedure like a rhinoplasty or tummy tuck, you’re going to have to cut out these habits for at least a few weeks. That’s because these habits can prolong your recovery and increase your chances of complications which is something you and your plastic surgeon don’t want.

It might be tempting to cave in and enjoy a drink after surgery, but you’ll have to wait a few weeks.

Drinking

After a successful procedure, perhaps you want to celebrate with a glass of bubbly but unfortunately, you really shouldn’t. Drinking alcohol is known to cause problems when you’re recovering after a procedure. First off, you’ll be dehydrated after surgery. Alcohol is known to cause dehydration, and if you drink, you’ll just lose more fluid from organs that need it.

Drinking alcohol also increases your risks of swelling because your blood vessels widen. If your cheeks or nose tend to get red and flushed after drinking—and you just had rhinoplasty—you could be susceptible to swelling if you drink after your operation. You might be seeking a buzz or craving to let loose, but drinking after rhinoplasty will only cause pain and prolong your recovery time.

So when can you drink again? That all depends on what procedure you had, your medical history and what your plastic surgeon recommends.

Plastic surgeons often tell their patients to stop smoking several weeks before and after surgery.

Smoking

Many plastic surgeons will tell their patients to quit smoking at least a month before and after certain procedures. These common but complex procedures where surgeons would tell you to stop smoking beforehand include: breast lifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks and facelifts. This is because skin and tissue is moved around, thus changing the blood supply of the tissues. When performing these procedures, surgeons have to ensure there’s enough blood flow through blood vessels—cigarette smoke negatively affects blood flow.

The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict, which affects your blood flow. Nicotine can also cause blood clots which all factors into a decrease of blood supply to tissues, poorly healed wounds and serious complications.

Smoking before your surgery has many known side effects like dealing with a longer recovery time and worsened scars.

Avoid vigorous exercising like running and heavy weight lifting after surgery.

Exercising

You probably didn’t expect to see this habit after reading the first two. Even a “good” habit could be a hindrance to your procedure results and recovery period. You might be anxious to start hitting the gym, but that will have to wait for a few weeks. Intense exercise soon after surgery can cause serious complications like swelling, inflammation, infection or post-operative scarring.

Depending on the procedure you had, most plastic surgeons will recommend that patients wait at least six weeks before getting back into their regular exercise routines. You don’t have to quit exercising altogether though; light exercise such as short walks during the day is fine. Over the weeks, you can ease into your regular routine and increase the intensity of your workouts once you’ve hit the sixth week after surgery.

It might be hard to resist that drink or cigarette when there are different parties and occasions happening, but it’s just not worth risking your health or results.
Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Posted by Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing Plastic Surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.