First and foremost, we want to emphasize that Dr. Chang prides herself on the level of individualized care that she provides for all of her postoperative patients. She is a completely hands-on physician, and her care ensures that you will get the finest result possible. Her office is staffed with highly knowledgeable, seasoned, plastic surgery professionals who are always available and happy to assist you.
Most of your postoperative concerns will be answered at your preoperative appointment. In the meantime, you should arrange for transportation from the hospital and for someone to stay with you at least the first night at home after your procedure. Child care arrangements should be made preoperatively and arrangements for transportation to and from your postoperative visits should be considered. Postoperative recovery facilities that specialize in plastic surgery patients and/or individualized nursing care can be arranged if the need arises. For those patients that are from out-of-town, our office will assist you with your postoperative logistical planning.
Most patients do not need to obtain any special postoperative equipment. Virtually everything that you will need from a medical perspective will be provided for you. Patients should, however, arrange for their meals to be pre-prepared and easy to heat up if there is no one available to cook for them. Postoperative recovery locations in the residence should be comfortable and close to the bathroom. Daily needs and postoperative medicines should be easily accessible. In general, most patients find that the postoperative period is surprisingly straight-forward and much easier than they imagined.
Managing friends and family during this period can often be the most challenging part. Maintaining privacy is often the primary concern. Dr. Chang recommends that you leave enough time for recovery before you make social commitments so that your friends will not miss you. Avoidance of any negative or non-supportive individuals is also vital during this period. You should only be concentrating on taking care of yourself and not on what others are thinking. Surround yourself only with positive influences, and should you be in the position where your friends or family are wearing you out with their “helpfulness”, do not hesitate to ask for a break.
Many mothers ask how they should handle their children during this period. If the children are young, they want to avoid scaring them. If children are older, the delicate issues surrounding body image surface. Mothers want to set a positive example for their children. Dr. Chang recommends having a frank values oriented conversation with older children, emphasizing that plastic surgery is not an easy fix for problems and will not make someone a better person. For young children, she recommends sticking only to the basics, explaining that you need to have certain things fixed and that you will be healing for a few days before you will be back to normal. When talking to younger children, mothers should avoid using terms that they would not wish their children to unknowingly repeat in public.
Many patients are surprised at how quick and easy this postoperative recovery process is. Remember, now is the time to be selfish. Concentrate only on yourself and your healing. Once this initial recovery phase is over, you can go back to being your normal generous self. Happily, you can do it with your beautiful new, rejuvenated look.