One of the more popular questions I get asked ( usually 24 hour post op at about 3 O‟clock in the morning) is:
Do you think I should keep my surgery a secret?
To be honest it’s really up to each individual. What I do know is that a large majority of our patients do ask for post op care by nurses who have had plastic surgery. Reasons being that our patients not only want care providers to empathize with them, but also not to „judge‟ them for having a procedure done.
I have heard from patients the horror stories that happen. I had one patient who was walking around at the mall, when her post op nurse care provider went up to her and said, “ Hey how‟s that tummy tuck going?” Her best friend who was with her didn‟t know, and the patient felt humiliated. Rightly so!! Make sure you do your homework about and communication with your nurse!
Some patients keep their surgery from family due to cultural reasons. I have some patients where their husbands were not aware! A lot of times this is the case because the patient doesn‟t want their partner to feel worried, and concerned about them during the pain management cycle.
From a practical perspective, depending on your planning, there are only a few people that you would really need to tell. Let the others wonder!
The good news for you secret keepers is that, a recent consumer survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery reported that 71% of the respondents believe that society is less judgmental about plastic surgery compared to 5 years ago. Interestingly enough, from this same survey 62% more respondents were more comfortable with plastic surgery then 5 years ago!
The only thing I have to say is, if your going to bend the truth. Please let your nurse/careprovider know so we don‟t blow your cover, and please make sure your story is believable. The Miami beach diet is good, but honestly the results will not get you the curves,that conturing via plastic surgery does!
So be careful what you tell your friends. Finally, for those of you still deciding as whether or not to come clean regarding your surgery, remember what others think about you, is none of your business!!!
Sometimes we don’t realize that the things we do can have an effect on our beauty regime. We have all heard over and over again what the sun does to our skin, and if we don’t exercise enough, or if we smoke or drink too much, etc. We listen, we hear it, and then we move back to whatever we were doing. Well I do that…and I will be the first to admit that over communicating the same statistics and the same stories can really get dull. So to spice it up I thought I would throw out something that some may of you may not have thought about. WAXING!
Yes, you heard me right WAXING!!! And how does waxing fit in with all the things that are bad for us, you may ask.
I am particularly thinking about the area around the eyes and the “improvements” we sometimes do there: eyebrow, (some of you may have heard of injectables), and eyelifts/browlifts (blepharoplasty). One of the key areas of focus on Blephs is the loose and/or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid. Surgically this excess skin can be reduced. And with injectables you can fix those wrinkles(toward which waxing is a huge contributor) and raise those brows.
Ok, so back to waxing. Most of us (especially) ladies wax their brows approx 1 to 2 x per month. (some more, some less) Now I want you to think about all the years that you have been waxing your brows and how much pulling of the top layer of skin and peeling off the outer layer that has occurred. That, along with swelling, potential acne breakout, and pain that follows. In a worst case it could take up to a week to recover.
This is where it gets interesting: you just had a facelift/botox to correct the looseness/wrinkles and there you go back to your local waxing salon and start again! It’s no wonder so many of us need more botox then others!! I understand that it’s not waxing that causes all the wrinkles or the laxity in the skin, but even if its 10% isn’t it worth thinking about other options?
I am talking about threading.
Threading is a technique which is rather inexpensive and hurts LESS because it does not require costly chemical ingredients or any equipment as the hair is removed from the follicle with a cotton thread. As opposed to waxing, the top layers of skin are not stretched, peeled, or traumatized in the process, making threading gentler on the skin. Threading is highly recommended and an excellent option for those who use Retin-A, Accutane, or similar products.
In conclusion, I don’t have anything against waxing, as I wax my legs regularly. But lets keep waxing where the skin is stronger to handle the inevitable trauma!!!
During pre-operative planning and preparing, I have patients ask me “what is it that I can do to proactively speed up the healing process for cosmetic surgery.” Something that I have always believed in is the power of natural supplements. Some medical experts might be skeptical and it is very important to let your doctor know if you are taking supplements.
Natural supplements have always been part of my life, and may not be for everyone. However, here are my personal suggestions for supplements speeding the healing process:
Vitamin C: 1000mg 1 day before surgery and 1000mg 1 day post op. After surgery blood levels of vitamin C drop significantly. Studies have shown that vitamin C is essential to producing wound-healing collagen and tissue that lets wounds stretch and repair themselves.
Protein and Fiber: One thing that I learned very quickly after surgery is that with all the medication one takes after surgery, it can really back up the digestive tract. I found that increasing fiber through supplements before and after surgery can really help get things moving. For the first 24 hours after surgery, I don’t recommend eating too much in the way of beans and whole grains, as (especially with tummy tucks ), it expands the abdomen which can increase the pain.
Arnica: The reality is that immediately after surgery we are not going to see in the mirror our vision of the end result. You know, ready for swimsuits, crop tops, etc. Inflammation, swelling, and bruising may dominate the first glimpses you have of the new you. Taken one week prior to surgery and post surgery can reportedly reduce bruising and swelling. Arnica is available in pill form or topical ointment applications.
I usually buy my vitamins and supplements online, however, they may also be carried by some drug and grocery stores! Remember talk to your surgeon… vitamins need to be considered as any other medication you are taking.
Nursing is a calling – whereby we share our hearts and minds. We enjoy helping others. Nurturing patients renews our spirits. This is not true for all medical providers. Often the focus is on skills and medication. We believe optimal healing involves more than that. Committed caretakers also interact on an emotional level. We provide a therapeutic, empathetic environment that aids the healing process by decreasing anxiety and harnessing your energies for healing.
Reprise offers post surgical aftercare to those having outpatient surgery in San Diego, California. If your surgeon has deemed it appropriate to discharge you following your surgery and you are in need of care beyond that which can be given by friends and family, we may be a great option for you.