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Cutaneous Drug Eruptions
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You can query most any plastic surgery nurse about their "tips" for optimal healing following aesthetic surgery or nonsurgical aesthetic procedures and get a laundry list of "Do's and Dont's!" As health care educators, we are constantly looking for ways to help our patients be prepared for their procedures and optimize their healing time to follow.
Dr. David H. Rahm, a board-certified anesthesiologist and wellness physician, has written and published extensively on this topic. In this issue, Dr. Rahm provides the reader with a comprehensive guide that may be adapted to your specific patient education materials and practice (Rahm, 2012).
Review these 14 dietary and lifestyle tips so that you can improve your plastic surgery recovery time.
If you are planning elective surgery, try to schedule it during a period of relatively good health. This will give your immune system the best chance toward a speedy recovery. Many patients find scheduling their surgery at the year-end ideal when they can bridge a few days off with paid vacation time.
You should supplement your diet before and after surgery with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, copper, and selenium. Each plays a role in wound healing and in building the immune system, thereby reducing the chance of infection. Obtaining sufficient nutrients is especially important for recovery after more comprehensive procedures like a tummy tuck, facelift, or liposuction.
While not an essential nutrient, taking a probiotics can also benefit your recovery after plastic surgery. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that reside in the digestive tract, help support immune system function and enhance the absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
Two of the most important healing elements are calories and protein. Extra protein is needed to build new tissue and blood vessels, repair injured tissue, and step up production of cells that repair the wound. Choose high-quality protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans and legumes, or lean cuts of meat.
Normal protein requirements are about 0.8 g/kg of body weight. For example, a 140-pound woman needs about 50 g of protein a day (140 divided by 2.2 = 63.6 kg multiplied by 0.8). However, after surgery, this amount should be increased by 11/2 times to about 75 g of protein a day.
If you can't eat this amount of protein, consider adding a high-quality protein powder in yogurt, smoothies, or shakes.
Some nutritional supplements may cause adverse reactions, including prolonged bleeding, interference with anesthesia, cardiovascular disturbances, and interactions with prescription drugs, during or after surgery. These supplements, including dong quai, Echinacea, fish oil caps, garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, ephedra, St. John's Wort, and vitamin E, should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery.
Homeopathic Arnica Montana has been used for centuries to treat bruising and swelling from soft tissue injury. Arnica, which is offered both topically and orally, is ideal for facial surgical procedures like a facelift, eyelid, or nose surgery. This remedy is also perfect for fillers and aesthetic injectable treatments such as onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox), abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport), and dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Belotero Balance, Sculptra).
Bromelain is an enzyme extracted from pineapple. A number of studies have found that the compounds in bromelain are effective in reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain that often accompanies a surgical procedure or soft tissue injury.
It is important to drink at least 6-8 glasses of high-quality water each day and especially the day prior to surgery, to help cleanse and hydrate the body. Water is especially important prior to surgery, as fluid intake is reduced during the day of surgery. To avoid complications during surgery, be sure that you do not drink anything after midnight the night prior to your surgery, unless told otherwise by your surgeon.
After surgery, many patients find that they are very constipated for several days, which can cause discomfort. Dehydration, narcotics, and anesthetic agents used during surgery all contribute to the digestive issue. You can prevent this problem by eating a few prunes each day just before and after your surgery. You can also take Senekot supplement, which contains senna, a natural vegetable laxative ingredient.
Antibiotics are routinely prescribed following a surgical procedure to ward off infection. While beneficial, their use can cause all sorts of digestive problems. Taking probiotics with antibiotics is the best way to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
Probiotics may be ideally suited for patients taking antibiotics. Supplements formulated with different strains of beneficial bacteria that favorably alter intestinal balance and promote healthy digestion are the ones to consider.
Aspirin is not recommended prior to surgery because it is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) and can promote bleeding during surgery. Aspirin therapy should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Alcohol suppresses the immune system and should be avoided around the time of surgery.
Smoke inhibits wound healing because less oxygen is supplied to the body's cells. In addition, smoking increases the risk of complications during surgery. You should be aware that some plastic surgeons will not perform many aesthetic procedures (e.g., facelift, tummy tuck, breast surgery) on patients who smoke as their wound healing and recovery is inhibited by smoking.
Listening to relaxation CDs or soothing music and taking a yoga or meditation class are examples of relaxation techniques that help reduce stress.
Rely on your family and friends to help you during the stressful time of a surgery. From assisting with household chores to providing emotional support, having them around is a plus.
Rahm D. (2012. ). 14 tips on plastic surgery preparation. Retrieved October 5, 2012, from http://www.vitamedica.com/14-tips-on-plastic-surgery-preparation/[Context Link]
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