No matter what type of plastic surgery procedure you have; Breast Reduction, Breast Augmentation or a Tummy Tuck, the most important thing is that you are able to heal your wounds. Your body is a truly amazing machine in that it is able to carry out such a complex process as healing it’s own cuts in most cases in only 10 days!
Patients sometimes ask if there is anything they can do to help the healing process and that is what this article is about. In general, wound healing depends on you being in good health and well nourished but there are some other important factors.
Do NOT Smoke
The worst enemy of wound healing is probably smoking and nearly all Plastic Surgeons will not operate on heavy smokers as it has such a drastic effect on wound healing. Smoking prevents effective healing by causing the tiny blood vessels next to the wound to narrow. All wounds require a good blood supply to heal and that is why certain areas like the face tend to heal very well whereas areas such as the sole of the foot do a lot worse.
Other important factors include any pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Medications like immune suppressants, sometimes used in arthritis treatment can have negative effects on wound healing too.
Wounds that are under tension also do less well and this can sometimes be down to the skills of the Surgeon but patient factors play a role too. Trying to squeeze in very high volume implant during a Breast Augmentation and performing a skin tightening Breast Lift (Mastopexy) at the same time will put wounds under more tension and can lead to serious wound healing problems.
Follow Post Op Instructions
During your rehabilitation it is important to follow the guidance from your Surgeon. Mobilising after surgery will help to prevent complications such as blood clots but overdoing it can cause problems with healing and so always ask your Surgeon’s advice especially when it comes to returning to vigorous exercise after any cosmetic surgery operation.
Diet can also help with healing and in general a well balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will provide all essential vitamins and minerals required for healthy wound healing, but foods that are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, iron and zinc may be particularly helpful. Such foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy green vegetables, red meat and poultry.
In general. most patients who undergo cosmetic surgery procedures are in good health and eat well, so wound healing complications are infrequent and tend to be minor. Most wounds if kept clean and free from infection will heal in a few weeks. Areas that are more prone to slow healing are the T junction region on Breast Reduction patients and the mid point of Abdominoplasty scars. Breast Augmentation operations usually produce well concealed scars and rarely have any wound healing issues. This is another reason why Breast Augmentations are so popular today as the results are great and the risks are low.