When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.
Reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery tend to differ in name and insurance coverage only, or so it seems. While basic post-op care applies to any type of surgery, reconstructive post-op care can be more intense in a way. Recovery from cosmetic surgery requires caution, of course, but reconstructive procedures have different desired outcomes, which affects what you do to some extent.
Basic Post-op Care Doesn't Change
As mentioned, the basic care doesn't change. You'll likely need to rest for a few days afterward; if you can go back to work quickly, your doctor will let you know when. You'll have to keep scars dry and avoid pulling on surgery sites (e.g., with tight clothing). You may need to change dressings or take certain medications afterward. No matter the type of surgery, follow post-op instructions and call the doctor if something doesn't seem to be healing properly.
Reconstructive Surgery Has a Functional Component
Where the two start to differ is that reconstructive surgery often has a functional component. You're not just changing how something looks; you're restoring it or reconstructing it so that it functions like it did before an accident, or so it functions like it should had the problem never existed. That makes recovery extra precarious because, if the site doesn't heal well, it's not just a matter of it looking bad -- it may leave you with the same problem you were trying to fix through the surgery. For example, if you are having blepharoplasty (a.k.a. an eyelift) because droopy eyelid tissue was making you unhappy, bad healing can make the site look bad. But if you're having blepharoplasty because the droopy tissue was affecting your ability to see, then poor healing could leave you with both a cosmetic issue and a continued vision problem.
Reconstructive May Need Post-op Testing
Also, reconstructive surgery may need post-op testing. For example, if you're having a jaw problem fixed, you may need to undergo further dental checkups to see how the surgery has affected your bite. Compare that to merely having a little chin work done for cosmetic purposes -- chances are your doctor won't have you undergo dental evaluation after that.
Your best path to successfully recovering from reconstructive surgery is to find out the preferred timeline for post-op testing and to be sure you understand the recovery instructions. It's preferable not to have a second surgery, of course, and following instructions for recovery minimizes that risk.Share
3 January 2019