Cosmetic surgery should be viewed as an investment. You are investing money into your appearance and gaining confidence as your results take shape. It’s also an investment of time and energy.
Cosmetic surgery procedures have high patient satisfaction rates, and most patients are happy with their results for many years following their surgery. However, it’s important to understand that your results do require maintenance, and that nothing can fully stop the effects of aging, lifestyle habits, and genetics.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to successfully maintain your results. Below we will discuss some tips to help make your cosmetic procedure results last:
- Exercise and a healthy diet
Body contouring procedures can define your curves, providing a more pleasing and proportionate look. While the results may seem magical, the look you see now will only last if you maintain a healthy weight. For instance, fat removal procedures such as liposuction will permanently rid you of targeted fat cells, but if you gain weight, you will see it in other areas as remaining fat cells expand. It’s even more important to keep your weight within a stable range if you have had a surgical lifting procedure (such as tummy tuck)–you’ll want to avoid stretching your skin again and invalidating the improvements you worked hard to achieve.
The best way to maintain body contouring results is to continue exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Following this rule will also help you feel great and improve your overall health, in addition to helping you retain the results after surgery.
Recovery can be a challenge for active patients, as required recovery time will put a damper on your regular exercise routine. Don’t become discouraged and know that it isn’t unusual to gain a little weight during your recovery period. Eating the right things and introducing non-strenuous activity when it’s safe can help keep you healthy and make getting back to the gym easier once you’re fully healed.
- Good skin care practices make a huge difference now and later
After your procedure, proper care makes a large difference in scarring. As time goes on, great skin care will help your results look as good or better than ever.
Scarring is a necessary aspect of many surgeries and making sure they heal optimally and fade nicely over time is partially in your hands. It is important to follow any post-op activity restrictions; these rules will help you avoid straining your scars, which could cause them to become wider or more visible. Also, be sure to protect your incisions in the sun, keep the area clean, and use the topical scar care creams and ointments recommended by your surgeon.
If you have an existing skincare routine, it’s best to ask about your products and see if you should adjust anything going forward.
It’s important to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions to the letter. There are a number of holistic scar care products on the market making unproven claims—and some of these can even cause wound healing problems. Save yourself the time, money, and potential harm by only using what is recommended by your surgeon.
- Healthy habits inside and out
What you put in and on your body not only effects your surgical results, it can make a huge difference in your overall health. For instance, most board certified cosmetic surgeons require patients to quit smoking tobacco for at least a few weeks before and after surgery. Nicotine greatly impacts your body’s ability to heal, resulting in lengthy recovery times and, potentially, complications that can lead to pain, bleeding, and more visible scarring. Excessive alcohol consumption is another pitfall you’ll want to avoid.
Be honest with your surgeon about your lifestyle habits. It’s important to disclose if you smoke, how much you drink, any medications you are on, and even what supplements or vitamins you use both internally and externally. Your surgeon will let you know the steps you should take to prepare for surgery and what to avoid to ensure your results are ideal.
It may not be as difficult as it sounds– many patients feel so much better about themselves and become encouraged by their improved appearance that they find extra motivation to maintain healthy habits after a cosmetic procedure.
- Consider Touch-Up Treatments
Plastic surgery won’t stop the effects of gravity or the aging process altogether. It may be necessary to undergo a touch-up or repeat treatment to maintain the beautiful results of your surgery.