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Recovering from Cosmetic Surgery

Apr 5, 2008
The terms plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are often used interchangeably. But in reality there is a difference between the two procedures. Cosmetic surgery is usually elective, a choice. People choose cosmetic surgery to fix a part of their body that they are not happy with. Plastic surgery, on the other hand, can also be called reconstructive surgery. Plastic surgery is used to correct birth defects and in the case of accident victims plastic surgery is used to rebuild. Sometimes plastic surgery is medically necessary. However, both plastic surgery procedures and cosmetic surgery procedures change the way a person looks and should only be performed by doctors that are Board certified.

While the outcomes of plastic and cosmetic surgery are quite desirable it is a long road to get there. By definition cosmetic surgery itself is a medical procedure. Like any other surgery the procedure can be painful, often requiring stitches to close up incisions. Like a magician, the cosmetic surgeon will strategically place these cuts in parts of the face or body that are not immediately apparent to other people. This way any scarring as a result of the surgery will remain hidden. Pain medications and local and/or general anesthesia will be administered as needed.

Many people instinctively know what I have just told you - but what is often overlooked is the recovery period after the operation is complete. Once again a cosmetic surgery is just that - surgery. That means that the patient will need time to heal and get better. After the surgery, if anesthesia was administered, time will be needed in the hospital or doctor's office for the anesthesia to wear off. The affected area will be wrapped in gauze and there may be some bruising as well as some swollen areas. The site of the surgery will need to be treated tenderly so the stitches are not compromised and the incisions do not tear. Not only will the patient need to relax for a period of days but it may be necessary to have someone, like a close family member, around to assist and care for the patient.

There will be follow up visits to the doctor over the course of the next few days. Also, the patient will want to have emotional support during the healing process. Usually the desired results are not apparent until much later, which can be discouraging.

The time needed for healing will vary by procedure. But having a good rapport with the cosmetic surgeon and having a strong personal network available will go a long way towards improving the patient's morale and the overall cosmetic surgery experience.
About the Author
Read more of Logan's informative articles about plastic surgery procedures at Pennsylvania Plastic Surgery.
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