After plastic surgery: 4 signs that you need to call your doctor

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

Jul 21, 2014 9:00:00 AM

post-plastic-surgery-concernsIt is normal to feel nervous or to have concerns when having plastic surgery, and while clear communication may help ease your nerves, you may leave your consultation feeling fully informed only to arrive home with five questions you forgot to ask. Or, perhaps you were listening intently to your pre-op or recovery instructions, but forgot to note an important detail about your medication. Maybe you are in your recovery phase and just don’t feel well. Whatever the case may be, your comfort and understanding at every phase of your plastic surgery experience are all important aspects of your journey. Here are four instances in which you should consult your plastic surgeon or seek additional care.

To clarify instructions

One of the most important aspects of plastic surgery and having a positive outcome is clear communication with your surgeon. At any point in your plastic surgery journey, if you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call Monarch Plastic Surgery for clarification. No question is too big or too small, and you should never feel embarrassed by your concerns. Your health and well-being are of the utmost importance and clear communication is essential.

Among the most important times to contact us are to clarify pre-op instructions, whether it be refreshing your memory regarding when to start or stop medications or how to prepare the night before your surgery or anything else. If you have any concerns about your medications, dosages, when to start or stop them, or about side effects, be sure to call. In addition, your recovery guidelines are a crucial part of healing after surgery. If you or your post-operative caregiver don’t remember your recovery or activity guidelines, feel free to call for clarification.

An isolated area that looks or feels different from the surrounding tissue

It is normal for some areas to heal at different rates than others, and in particular, you might have uneven bruising or swelling. However, there are some signs that should raise red flags of concern. Although most patients experience no adverse effects when recovering from plastic surgery, if you develop a spot that is redder than the surrounding area, or a spot that is unusually hot, these should be brought to the attention of your plastic surgeon right away. While they could be absolutely nothing, they may also be early signs of an infection. Seeking evaluation and treatment as soon as you notice such signs is crucial. Many patients will have temporary drains placed as part of their recovery; however, if you experience any leaking fluids around the drains or in other areas, you should have these evaluated as well.

You are feeling worse than expected

It is normal to feel tired, sore, and bruised right after surgery. After all, plastic surgery is a major event and your body needs time to heal and recover. Discomfort and lack of energy immediately after surgery are usually temporary. However, if your discomfort lingers for several weeks or your pain isn’t controlled with pain medications during the first week or two, you should consult your plastic surgeon. It may simply be that your body takes longer to heal than others, or you may have an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. If you have had previous surgeries with prolonged recovery periods, be sure you discuss this with your plastic surgeon during your consultation. Your surgeon may have options available to help ease your recovery. 

Symptoms that should be concerning

Although most patients experience few to no complications after plastic surgery, there are some signs that should cause concern and be treated as an emergency. Some patients may feel nauseated after surgery and even vomit once on the afternoon or evening of surgery. However, if you find that you continue to vomit or develop a fever, these are early signs of potential problems. Vomiting, a fever, and feeling hot may not strike you as an emergency, but after surgery they may warrant either an immediate trip to see your plastic surgeon or a visit to the nearest emergency department if they occur after office hours.

If you experience any chest pain, difficulty breathing, or pain in your legs, particularly calf pain, you should go to the nearest emergency department immediately, as these are serious warning signs of potential problems. Although may patients will have normal exams, there are some that will have findings that require emergency treatment. Don’t delay in seeking emergency care for these symptoms. If your caregiver notices changes in your mental status, or if you are aware of such changes, you should also seek immediate emergency intervention. 

To learn more about your plastic surgery options, or if you have already had surgery and now have questions or concerns, call Monarch Plastic Surgery at (913) 663-3838 or (816) 436-3262 today.

Topics: Plastic surgery

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