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How We Feel After Cosmetic Surgery: Dr. Niamtu’s Tips for a Healthy Recovery

The recovery period after surgery varies from person to person, and of course, depends on the procedure you’re having and whether multiple procedures are being performed at the same time. The following graphics have been modified by me based on information that has been around for a while and I am not sure who originally put them toghether, but my goal was to and to and publish this in a format that is better suited to the patient so they can have a better understanding of how different patients react to surgery. Some patients literally breeze through the recovery process and others have a more difficult time. Some patients get a bit depressed and wonder if they did the right thing in having cosmetic surgery. The following charts will provide insight into the recovery process and hopefully put patients at ease when they have a more thorough understanding of the surgical healing and physical and psychological changes involved the first month after surgery.





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 Regardless of the procedure there will be both physical and emotional issues to consider during recovery. It’s important to remember not to rush the healing process. Here are some helpful hints for a healthy recovery:

  • Reduce swelling following facial surgery by applying ice. Even if your surgeon has applied bandages to reduce swelling you may need to apply ice periodically. Ask your surgeon how long you should continue this.
  •  Plan your recovery time smartly. Depending upon the surgery, recovery time could range from a few days to a few weeks. Keep this in mind as it affects your work, family, and social schedules after surgery.
  • Be realistic in your expectations. Let’s face it, you’re going to look worse before getting better. Just about all types of cosmetic surgery procedures involve bruising and swelling. Your real results won’t reveal themselves for a few days (or longer) so don’t panic! Let the natural healing process take place. If you suspect a problem see your surgeon.
  • Follow your surgeon’s guidelines. Whether it’s taking prescribed medication or when to resume regular exercise, or hygiene instructions, your surgeon can provide the best advice for a safe and healthy recovery.
  • Arrange for care for the initial 48 to 72 hours after surgery. Even though you may believe you can resume your normal routines, having someone there to assist you will bring peace of mind and allow the healing process to occur normally and with less disruption.
  •  Rehydrate your body often. Surgery of any kind can reduce fluids in your body. Drinking water frequently will help replenish these lost body fluids. Also, eat lightly for the first few days and only food that is easy to swallow and digest.
  •  If you’ve had surgery on your head or neck, keep them elevated for a few days. This will reduce swelling and speed the recovery process without compromising the results.
  •  Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Use sun block with proper UV protection to protect your skin.
  •  Don’t take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications. These might interfere with medications prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to check with your doctor about which over-the-counter and prescription medicines you should avoid during recovery.

For more information about cosmetic facial surgery visit

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia

Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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