Cosmetic Surgery Preparations & Recovery FAQs

Every cosmetic procedure, of course, is unique. Dr. Coleman approaches each surgery from the perspective of the patient’s individual needs and goals for the procedure. Still, there are some commonalities between the various procedures that can be addressed in a general way. That’s what this page is meant to do — provide some general answers to help you when doing your research into potential cosmetic surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Coleman, that’s the time for specific questions about your situation and the procedure you’re interested in.

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How do I prepare for my cosmetic surgery?

A plastic surgeon drawing surgery guidelines on a woman's faceCosmetic surgery is still surgery. That means preparation entails the same kinds of steps required with any surgery. If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior to your surgery and two weeks afterward. This is because smoking can impact the body’s healing abilities. You’ll need to stop taking any blood thinners (such as Coumadin), anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil), aspirin, and many supplements. This is because these can increase bleeding, inhibit wound healing and can cause more bruising afterward. We’ll give you a list of what you’ll need to stop taking prior to your surgery.

The best preparation involves preparing for your recovery. If you’re having a procedure such as a tummy tuck, you won’t be able to stand fully upright for a couple of weeks. You won’t be able to climb stairs for a week or so. And you can’t lift anything over 10 pounds for quite a while. This is due to the length of your abdominal incision and the movement of muscles in the area. Before your surgery, you need to plan for this. You should fill all of your prescriptions before surgery. You should make a recovery nest, complete with comfy pillows, books, tablets, and definitely the remote control. You will probably need to sleep downstairs. For a facelift, you’ll need to sleep upright for a week or so after your surgery. We’ll discuss what steps you’ll need to take to get ready for your recovery.

How do I take care of myself after my procedure?

Most important is to follow Dr. Coleman’s recovery instructions to the letter. You cannot rush things or tough it out. That attitude invariably leads to longer recovery times and, often, diminished results. If you have eyelid surgery or a facelift, you’ll need to sleep with your head elevated for the first few days after surgery. With eyelid surgery, in particular, the use of the cold compress we provide can make a huge difference in your swelling and bruising.

It’s almost always a good idea to enlist help at least for your first few days of recovery. Whether that’s a spouse or relative, it’s nice to have that person handling chores and cooking so that you can take it easy.

Patience is key to your recovery. After a facelift, for instance, swelling can return in the evening for months after your surgery. This is annoying, but it is also completely normal as your facial tissues adapt to the changes made by Dr. Coleman.

What should I know about the safety of my Cosmetic surgery?

A plastic surgeon consulting a patient about a surgery she is interested in undergoing.No surgical procedure is risk-free. But you can take comfort in the knowledge that these procedures have for the most part been performed successfully for decades. There are risks involved with any surgery, such as excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, and the like, but these are minimized by the quality of the surgeon and the facility, and your own care during recovery.

Dr. Coleman is double board-certified in both plastic surgery and hand surgery. He has affiliations at San Antonio’s best hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities: The Baptist Hospital System, Christus Santa Rosa Physicians Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Village Specialty Surgery Center.

Is there anything I should avoid after Cosmetic surgery?

For all surgeries, you need to avoid strenuous exercise for a period of time. This may be just a week or so, or it may be one to two months. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you cannot place any stress on the incisions. Doing so can affect healing, and even distort the scarring. Second, you need to keep your blood pressure down. This is especially true when dealing with facial procedures, as you do not want blood pressure elevating on your face. Lifting is out for most body procedures, such a tummy tuck. With rhinoplasty, you need to wear tops that do not require being pulled over your head. Button-up shirts and blouses keep you from bumping your new nose.

How do I minimize the risk of complications after Cosmetic surgery?

a woman wearing a support bra after undergoing a surgical breast procedure/The best way to minimize any risks of complications such as poor wound healing or infection is to follow our recovery instructions closely. For body surgeries, you’ll need to stay out of hot tubs and public pools. You’ll also need to not lift anything over about 10 pounds. With breast procedures (Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, Breast Reduction), you’ll need to wear your support bra 24 hours a day and not cheat those restrictions.

Why is it important to see a board-certified plastic surgeon?

You’ve heard of patients who have suffered serious complications or have simply had a botched surgery, and these are invariably the result of the surgeon not being board certified. The training, expertise required, and oversight involved in attaining board certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery is critical to patient outcomes.

On average, plastic surgery training includes 16 years of higher education, including specific training in reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery under direct supervision. Board-certified plastic surgeons have to meet very demanding criteria just to sit for their boards. Then at those boards, they must pass a written and a two-day oral examination. They are evaluated for their knowledge, their ethical standing, and their safe and effective approach to multiple reconstructive and cosmetic challenges.

Dr. Coleman is double board-certified in both plastic surgery and hand surgery with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

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If you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery preparation & recovery please contact us for a consultation at (210) 251-4362 fill out our contact us form here. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.


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