Recovery from plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation, breast reductions and lifts, tummy tucks or abdominoplasties and many other surgeries can be related to the commercial about arthritis that says, “A body at rest tends to stay at rest”. This saying is taken from Newton’s First Law of Motion (if you took physics in school you will remember this) which states that, “a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it”’.
“What has that got to do with recovery from surgery?” you might ask. Well, physical therapy, sports medicine and arthritis research have all clearly shown that motion is helps with healing and pain. Ever wondered how those star athletes are getting back to their sport so fast?
It used to be that we spoke of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) after an injury or surgery.
This has now been shown to slow recovery down. The new acronym is MEAT.
- Movement: Starting almost right away after the surgery or injury.
- Exercise: Gentle range of motion exercises should begin as soon as possible.
- Anti-inflammatories: These medications help reduce swelling as well as pain.
- Treatment: For cosmetic surgery treatment is usually gentle massage when necessary.
Clinical pathways are evolving for many surgeries including cosmetic surgery that focus on rapid recovery. The entire process has been streamlined to enable you to quickly return to activities of daily living. This includes:
- Pre-operative preparation that includes specific instructions for you to be very familiar with what to do over the first 24 hours and longer after the surgery.
- In surgery there are minimally invasive techniques that reduce not only the scar but the amount of tissue damage and the amount of bleeding at the time of surgery. This reduces postoperative swelling and bruising both of which can impede recovery.
- Post-operative routines that include MEAT (as describes above).
The best thing, from a surgeon’s perspective, is that these protocols reduce the risk for you the patient. This means that I can sleep better at night and not worry as much as I use to about potential complications you might have after surgery.
I am applying this to all of my surgery now and seeing incredible results. The office called one patient the day after her breast augmentation and she said she could not talk for long as she was headed out to lunch with her friends (not even 24 hours after surgery)!!! Another patient had a facelift plus the long term filler Artefill to remove the bags under her eyes and she was out socializing at 7 days looking terrific and thoroughly thrilled.
In Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and Bothell, WA we are working hard to employ all the new techniques to help you recover quickly and safely from your surgery especially breast augmentation recovery.
or visit www.drwindle.com
Until next time, all the best.