After the period of lockdown due to Covid-19, many of us want to take time for ourselves, treat ourselves, and bring a long-standing project to life. Many patients are now taking the plunge with plastic surgery. This thus raises the question of the risks linked to an operation as summer approaches, and the precautions to be taken.
The advantages of an operation during the summer
Undergoing an operation during the summer can often discreetly hide a procedure.
On the face:
With facial surgery, one of the immediate benefits will be the « healthy glow » effect, with a face looking fresher and more serene. After aesthetic facial surgery, family and friends who do not know about the procedure will often find the patient looks rested without knowing that this is the result of surgery. The benefit of undergoing aesthetic facial surgery before or during the summer is that people will say to you after the holidays: « You look great, the holidays have done you the world of good! »
For the body:
With silhouette or breast surgery, when you get back after the holidays with your new silhouette, it could be due to intensive sporting activities or a careful diet. In any case, a change in silhouette during the holidays does not surprise anyone…
Precautions to be taken during the summer after an aesthetic procedure
After plastic surgery, it is crucial to comply with some restrictions during the postoperative period.
- Compression garments
Depending on the procedure, it may be necessary to wear a compression garment for one month after the operation. This could be a medical bra after a breast operation or a panty girdle for instance after silhouette surgery (liposuction, lipofilling, abdominoplasty…). The choice of summer clothes can be a little more restricted depending on the compression garment worn.
- Support stockings
It is recommended to wear support stockings for any journeys (car, train, or plane) over 2 hours. The aim is to limit the risk of post-operative phlebitis.
- The sun
It is essential to keep the areas operated on out of the sun for at least one month after the operation. Residual hyperpigmentation can appear around the scar in the event of premature sun exposure. Furthermore, in the case of ecchymosis (bruising), sun exposure can lead to the appearance of a brown color in the areas concerned that can last several months.
After an operation, it is therefore important to apply total sun cream (SPF 50) every morning and several times a day and protect the areas operated on (hat, clothes) by avoiding sun exposure.
It is important to avoid bathing (swimming pool, sea, or bath) until the scars have healed completely. However, showers are recommended from the day after the procedure and help prevent maceration and post-operative infections. Showers should be taken several times a day in severe heat. After facial surgery, shampoos are also allowed from the following day.
It is necessary to be careful with swimming goggles and diving masks after facial surgery. After a blepharoplasty, a diving mask may cause considerable edema (swelling) of the eyes that may last all day. After a rhinoplasty, you should avoid any pressure on the nose. Swimming goggles should really be avoided for 3 months following facial surgery. However, swimming with your head above the water or without goggles is allowed.
An operation before the summer is generally a source of considerable stress. In reality, it is a relatively favorable time for aesthetic surgery, as long as you comply with a few post-operative precautions. Complications or unwanted side effects are always possible after a procedure.
It is necessary to anticipate these complications to make the most of your summer.
- Slow healing
This is the main complication during the summer after surgery. For small scars, slow healing may not be an issue but for procedures with relatively sizeable scars such as breast reduction or abdominoplasty, it can be quite debilitating during the summer. Even if the final morphological result will not be affected, slow healing after a procedure may require regular dressings with the possible help of a nurse. It will thus be necessary to have a nurse available and baths will be prohibited for a little longer than the month initially planned.
- Phlebitis or pulmonary embolism
Even if this complication is rare, thromboembolic complications (a vein is blocked with a blood clot that may eventually migrate to the lungs leading to a pulmonary embolism) are always possible. The diagnosis will thus require an emergency Doppler ultrasound and a chest scan to assess the lung damage and the treatment will consist in taking blood thinners for several weeks. To avoid this, it will be necessary to wear compression stockings for 10 days after the operation and regain normal mobility as quickly as possible.
- Hyperpigmentation can be avoided by staying out of the sun.