You need to protect your investment, maintain the results. You take your car in for regular tune-ups and oil changes. You maintain both the outside and inside of your home. When a tag says “Dry Clean Only,” you never put that item in the washing machine.
In the same way, your cosmetic procedures represent a significant investment in time and money. The only difference is that this investment is in you and your appearance. To protect it, you must make the effort to maintain the results of your procedure.
Follow Your Doctor’s Post-Procedure Directives
Topping the list is following your doctor’s advice, which includes instructions regarding caring for the treatment area as well as advice on when you may resume certain activities and what you can do to minimize scarring.
Your plastic surgeon provides these instructions based on his or her experience and expertise in order to maximize your results. For example, instructions to avoid strenuous activity may seem random, but this helps minimize scarring and promote healing. This is especially important in procedures where results continue to change and develop over time, such as rhinoplasty.
In addition, make sure to attend any follow-up appointments requested by your plastic surgeon, even if you haven’t experienced any complications and are healing on schedule. Your doctor is the best person to gauge your progress. He or she may also have further postoperative instructions.
In addition to following general postoperative instructions, you need to take special care of your skin, especially following surgical procedures.
Plastic surgeons exercise a great deal of care when performing incisions, working within the body’s contours in an effort to minimize their appearance. Even so, some amount of scarring is inevitable. Your surgeon provides suggestions for professional-level skincare products that help minimize scarring and promote healthier skin.
You also need to avoid prolonged sun exposure and use a quality sunscreen at all times. If you currently use sunscreen and other skincare products, ask your doctor to determine whether you can continue using these or need to make a change.
Diet and Exercise
The key components of overall health and wellness are diet and exercise. In addition to a healthy body, they promote beautiful skin and an attractive physique. However, patients who undergo body altering procedures, such as contouring and liposuction, have an even greater need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen in order to maintain the results.
Even when you undergo procedures that permanently remove fat cells, weight gain and expanding fat cells are still possible in other areas. With surgical lifts, such as a tummy tuck, weight gain causes skin to stretch again. Diet and exercise is vital to maintain your results.
All of that said, you likely will gain a bit of weight during your recovery period, due to instructions to limit exercise. You can mitigate this by following a healthy diet, and then incorporating moderate activity once your doctor approves it.
Develop Healthy Lifestyle Habits
By now, you’re probably recognizing that healthy habits go a long way toward maintaining the results of your cosmetic procedures.
Part of your healthy diet must include adequate hydration. Drinking water throughout the day helps improve skin and eliminate toxins. It also helps curb hunger pangs, especially since we often feel hungry when we’re actually suffering from slight dehydration.
In addition to drinking more water, you should drink less alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption (one drink per day for women, one to two drinks per day for men) is okay. Excess alcohol leads to dehydration, drying out the skin and leading to early signs of aging.
Finally, if you smoke, quit. Not only does it lead to a variety of health issues (lung cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease), smoking is terrible for your skin and creates obvious wrinkles, especially around your mouth.
Some of the more popular cosmetic procedures are Botox, breast augmentation, and liposuction, so it makes sense to provide maintenance advice specific to these procedures.
If you’re a Botox fan, you know that it works wonders to fight wrinkles and the signs of aging. However, results are not permanent and muscles start to relax at around the 100-day mark. Receiving treatments every three to four months eliminates the visible signs of this relaxation period. You also require less product.
With breast augmentation, the most common concern is sagging. Your first means of avoiding sagging is choosing an implant size that isn’t too big, as their weight makes larger breasts more likely to succumb to the forces of gravity. Your surgeon can help you choose a size that meets your aesthetic wishes and is easy to maintain.
You also need to offer your breasts plenty of support. Wear a bra every day, and consider a sleep bra, as well. Invest in a quality sports bra as part of your exercise gear, and take the time to get properly sized. Most women wear the wrong size bra.
With liposuction, maintaining a healthy weight is vital. This means a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with lean protein and whole grains. It also requires regular aerobic activity, at least 30 minutes each day. Finally, work to develop a more active lifestyle overall to help maintain a healthy weight.
Make Smart Choices
Maintaining the results of your procedure requires making the conscious choice to develop healthy habits and follow your doctor’s post-procedure advice. If you aren’t sure where to begin, talk to your doctor. Your preoperative consultation is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you have, but don’t hesitate to contact your physician at any time.