To heal is really a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. Eventually, though, they’ll fade to some thin, nearly invisible whitened line. However an excellent cosmetic surgery will give give you a young look that last a long time. For most of us, these outcome is permanent.

Though plastic surgery procedures are usually elective, it is just as important to follow close guidelines for an easy and prompt recovery. It is easy for patients to be focused on the future results of procedures instead of the healing time. However, if patients do not follow doctors’ orders and take care of themselves following surgery, complications such as infections, incision re-opening and increased swelling can occur. In addition, because patients look forward to the results of plastic surgery procedures, they often fail to prepare themselves for how they will feel and look during the first few days and weeks while in the healing process. Learning how to heal after plastic surgery is an important step to achieving desired results after leaving the operating room.

Plan your healing process in advance of your procedure by eating properly and getting plenty of rest. Taking care of yourself weeks and even months prior to plastic surgery with good nutrition will help you heal quicker.

Follow your doctor’s orders about any medications or supplements that you are taking that you will need to stop in advance of surgery.  Discontinue the use of these substances to prevent excessive bleeding or swelling.

Talk to you doctor prior to your plastic surgery procedure to be sure that all of your questions are answered and that you know what to expect during the healing process. Understanding what your healing time will be like, how much pain, swelling and bruising to expect and how long it will take to heal will help to alleviate stress that can make the healing process more difficult.

Plan your schedule carefully so friends, family, work and school are aware that you will need downtime for recovery.

Prepare to have someone available to help you the first 24 to 48 hours after plastic surgery. Ask him or her to help you get around, go to the bathroom, take your medications and getting items you might need such as ice compresses.

Stick to your doctor’s recommendations about applying ice while healing from plastic surgery to help reduce swelling and bruising.

Drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet after surgery to help your body get the nutrients it needs to mend quickly.

Talk to friends, family or your doctor if you have any concerns about your healing process, your expectations or feelings of depression. Because plastic surgery can be stressful and life-changing, worrying about healing, having concerns about the results and feeling down are common. Stressing about these feelings can prolong recovering, while talking about them will help you feel better and relieve stress.