Where do I begin?
Figuring out the ins and outs of cosmetic surgery can be very overwhelming…especially if this is new to you. Trust me. Been there, done that!
Starting your cosmetic surgery journey should not be a daunting experience. You should not be drowning in all the cosmetic surgery information you find online. Instead, you should make the information work for you.
Here are four basic terms you need to know about preparing for and recovering from your surgery.
If you see a skinny girl you assume she is of a healthy weight, right? If you said yes, you may be incorrect. Determining whether we are of an average weight or not is not something that you can determine just by looking at someone.
A proper way to determine your weight status is to calculate your Body Mass Index or BMI. BMI is the measure of your body fat based on your weight in relation to your height. For example, if you are 5’6 and weigh 135 pounds, then your BMI is 21.8. This is normal weight. Typically, the higher your BMI, the more fat is stored in your body. Currently, the BMI range distribution is as follows: Underweight = <18.5 Normal weight = 18.5–24.9 Overweight = 25–29.9 Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
If you are interested in measuring your BMI, please click this link.
So, what does this have to do with cosmetic surgery? I’m glad you asked. Checking your BMI is something surgeons do to check if a patient is a good candidate for a procedure. While every surgeon has their own BMI restrictions, most surgeons would like to see a patient have a BMI below 35. An ideal range that surgeons like to see patients in is a BMI between 24 and 30.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to consult with your doctor prior to your surgery. Your doctor can advise you on whether it is best to lose or gain weight to achieve the best results for your procedure. If you schedule your surgery in the DR that if your BMI does not meet your surgeon’s requirements you will be refused treatment. So we recommend working towards and maintaining an your surgeon’s recommended BMI to get the best results possible.
During your cosmetic surgery journey, your doctor will want to discuss your hemoglobin levels both before and after your procedure. What is Hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a protein found in your red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the body tissue. It also transports carbon dioxide away from the cells tissues and back towards the lungs. The presence of hemoglobin helps to ensure that your cells are performing properly.
You can determine your hemoglobin through a routine blood test. While the normal range of hemoglobin, for women, is 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter, we recommend speaking to your physician to determine the recommended hemoglobin level for your desired procedure.
Now you may be wondering, why must my hemoglobin be at a certain level. A person with low hemoglobin levels is considered anemic. Anemia can cause things such as fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, etc. This can cause complications for your anticipated procedure. So please try to regulate your hemoglobin levels, both for and beyond your surgery.
One way to combat anemia is to increase your iron intake. You can do this by taking iron supplements. You could also increase your iron intake through iron infusion. Iron Infusion is when iron is delivered to your body via an IV. Iron infusion is a great option if you aren’t able to consume iron supplements or if iron doesn’t properly absorb in your body. There are several benefits to iron infusion including faster absorption of iron (as compared to taking supplements), increased energy and better breathing ability.
Most doctors recommend that you have a hemoglobin level of at least 12 grams per deciliter to be a good candidate for a cosmetic procedure. If, when consulting your doctor, we recommend a few months in advance, you realize that your hemoglobin level is low, then the doctor can work with you on creating a regimen to boost your hemoglobin levels.
A few days prior to surgery, check in again with your doctor to make sure you are at your recommended hemoglobin level. This is critical. If, upon arrival to your procedure, your hemoglobin levels are too low you will not be able to undergo surgery.
So you had your procedure. Congrats! We hope you love the new you!
I do have to tell you though that you’re not out of the woods yet. Now you must push through your post operation recovery. One of the most important things to keep in mind is how you and your doctor care for your wounds.
After most surgical procedures, you will have open wounds. Some patients will experience draining from the open wound in the days after surgery. Open wounds need to be properly looked after and cared for as your risk of infection is significantly higher.
To reduce the risk of infection, make sure that anyone who is treating or looking after you is placing your health first during recovery. This means using sterile instruments and gloves when caring for you. In addition, it means changing your bandages regularly.
Follow your doctor’s wound care and aftercare instructions as given. Remember, both you and the person caring for you are accountable for your health and safety. If you notice safety procedures aren’t being implemented, it is okay to point that out and correct it.
Keep in mind some wounds heal slower than others. Should you experience complications, please visit your doctor’s office immediately. Remember, your safety comes first!
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Don’t we all love massages! Well if you get cosmetic surgery, MLD massages play a huge role in your postop recovery. After your surgery, you may experience swelling and bruising caused by fibrosis. Lymphatic massage helps to encourages blood flow and lymph drainage. Lymphatic massages allow for the removal of cellular waste, faster recovery time, and pain relief for patients.
We recommend only pursuing lymphatic massages as other types of massages, such as a deep tissue massage, may cause damage and set back your recovery. Most doctors recommend that you begin getting lymphatic massage treatments one week after your operation. Please speak with your aftercare provider and surgeon/surgeon’s assistant to determine the frequency at which you receive these massages. As you get further along in your recovery, the frequency at which you go for these massages may decrease. Again, consult with your surgeon to determine how long you need to get this treatment.
After your massages, it is recommended that you drink water and perform some light exercise. This will also help to increase your blood flow. Ask your physician for recommendations on safe exercises and activities.
You should schedule your lymphatic massages in advance so that you have a certified massage therapist caring for you both abroad and in the states. If you need assistance scheduling these massages, please send us a message in our contact form. We would be happy to help!
Bonus: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Okay, I know I said four terms earlier…but I couldn’t help myself!
Finally, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the use of prescribed high-pressure oxygen to treat health conditions and diseases. Oxygen plays a huge role in helping our cells function properly, as we learned earlier with hemoglobin! Undergoing HBOT has a lot of benefits including faster healing, increased circulation, the growth of new blood vessels, increases the body’s immunity and helps to decrease swelling.
To learn more about HBOT, please visit this link. If you are interested in getting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, DRCSC is now offering Ultra Healing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy scheduling service! Contact us today to get started!