Plastic surgery can provide dramatic improvements to your appearance, but the results require some maintenance on your part for the long term. The following are some key tips for preserving your look after cosmetic surgery procedures.
Follow Post-Op Instructions Carefully
It is crucial that you closely follow all instructions for incision care, compression garments, massage, exercise restrictions, and supplements provided by your plastic surgeon in the weeks following reconstructive procedures or any plastic surgery. Not adhering properly to post-op protocols can negatively impact healing and final results. Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor as well.
Use Sun Protection
Too much sun exposure can cause swelling, discoloration, and other damage to surgical sites. Use at minimum SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen on incisions and operated areas before sun exposure. Wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves, and other protective coverings as possible. Avoid direct sun while surgical scars are still red and fresh.
Incorporate Skincare into Your Routine
A regular skincare regimen helps maintain a youthful glow for the face and body. Use gentle cleansers, antioxidant and vitamin C serums, and products containing retinol, hyaluronic acid, and peptides which stimulate collagen production. Moisturize skin daily and opt for nonsurgical skin tightening treatments like ultrasound, radiofrequency, and laser.
Exercise in Moderation
Light exercise like walking, yoga, and Pilates assists with circulation and muscle tone. More intense cardio, strength training, and high-impact workouts should be avoided until your surgeon deems wound sites fully healed, often at around six to eight weeks post-surgery. Over-exercise can impede results. Build up gradually under doctor guidance.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking severely inhibits blood flow and delays surgical healing. The toxins cause the breakdown of surgical outcomes over time as well. Refrain from smoking for at least two months before and six weeks following procedures. Quit long-term for optimal anti-aging effects and health. Secondhand smoke should also be prevented around surgical and injection sites during recovery periods when possible.
Get Plenty of Quality Rest
Adequate sleep, relaxation, and limited stress assist the body’s natural healing abilities. Fatigue can stall progress. Make rest a priority while recovering. Practice good sleep habits, and relax the body and mind through gentle yoga, meditation, or reading. Let friends/family help out with obligations if feeling overwhelmed in the early stages. Say no to unnecessary responsibilities.
See Your Surgeon Annually
Schedule annual follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon for skin cancer scans, injectable touch-ups, and to review your maintenance routine. Small tweaks along the way help prolong surgical results. New and advancing nonsurgical treatments may provide enhancement options down the road as well. Your original surgeon knows your anatomy best long after procedures.
Protect, Nourish, and Be Patient with the Results
Make preserving your investment in plastic surgery a priority through protection, healthy lifestyle habits, and patience. While some swelling and residual healing can persist for six months to a year, your improved look should last for many years to come. Avoid unqualified providers for injections or treatments in operated areas. Stay in the care of your board-certified plastic surgeon when possible, for maintenance and revisions.