Post- operative information
Make sure you have plenty of food and milk so you do not have to go out until you feel well enough.
Stock up with light meals, soups etc. as you probably won't feel like cooking or eating large amounts. As with all surgical procedures, cut out salt or at least reduce your intake and avoid take- away salty foods, especially Chinese, as salt causes a build- up of fluid.
Buy your favourite magazines, a good book or perhaps rent some DVD's to keep you rested and pampered during your recovery time.
A heating pad, hot water bottle or microwaveable pack can be useful for back aches or pains and baby wipes are a convenient way to freshen up.
Take care of your refuse and recycling the night before your procedure day.
Before you leave home, change your bed-linen or have a family member do this for you, so you arrive home to a fresh clean bed.
Pet food should be placed at arm level to prevent bending or reaching high shelves, time- controlled feeder bowls and a self -watering dish are very useful giving you one less chore to worry about. Many patients live alone with their pets for companions, so ensure you leave the house with a freshly cleaned cat litter tray beforehand as you don't want to expose yourself to any possible source of germs. Make sure your dogs do not miss out on their walkies, so for the first few days you are home, arrange a friend or family member takes them out. Pets like continuity.
Under no circumstances, cuddle or allow your pets on your bed, no matter how much of a comfort they are to you as they could possibly be a source of infection.
It's advisable to have a few comfortable shirts as well as a front fastening track suit. If you have long hair, keep a few scrunchies at hand to keep hair off your face.
If you are having breast or tummy surgery, try sleeping with a V shaped pillow (you can buy them from John Lewis or most bedding suppliers) to enable you to sleep more comfortably on your back. Most patients have difficulty sleeping this way, so you may find a pillow under the back of your knees will alleviate possible backache and enable you to sleep comfortably.
If you are having face-lift surgery, a V shaped pillow is especially helpful as you will normally have staples from the base of your ears up into the hair-line and until removed can be a little uncomfortable when you put pressure on the back of your head with a normal pillow If you wear the pillow as you would with your travel pillow, it will take the pressure off the back of your head.
When you wash your hair, do not lean over the bath or basin, make sure you go into the shower to prevent putting pressure on your face.
Have your surgeons contact details in your phone and also written down by your bed, as if you (or a family member) have any concerns, they would rather know about it sooner than later, the last thing your surgeon wants is for you to worry about something that is completely normal in the healing process. I.E. bruising, swelling and asymmetry (lop-sided). Do not panic if you present any, or all of the above within a few days of having your procedure, this is perfectly normal; you have to trust your surgeon and allow your body heal in its own time. The face or body is living tissue and does not heal evenly; you will always have one side stronger than the other.
Surgery does not wave a magic wand, you must have patience, and gradually you will see the pleasing results both you and your surgeon aspired too.