Latest Plastic Surgery Articles - Page 2



The real challenge in facelift recovery is not the pain since it usually lasts just a day or two (and is easily managed by mild painkillers), but the interruption of social activities. The general rule of thumb is to take at least a two-week off to wait for most of the swelling and bruising to subside to a significant degree.

While some patients had successfully returned work on the seventh to tenth day after surgery, at this stage there might be some noticeable symptoms, although scarves, large sunglasses, and camouflage make-up could be of help. For this reason, many choose to wait at least two weeks if they are trying to be discrete.


Patients with desk job can return work about a week postop if they don’t mind unsolicited questions and inquiries from their co-workers. However, they may want to wait a little longer if they are assigned to physically demanding tasks.

Dr. Tarick Smaili, one of the leading Brea plastic surgery experts, says patients who are less active during facelift recovery are less likely to experience persistent bruising and swelling. The idea, he adds, is to keep the heart rate and blood pressure within the “relax level” in the first three weeks.

But Dr. Smaili warns that prolonged immobility and bed rest should be avoided as well because it can lead to persistent swelling and delayed healing, so he recommends short walks several times a day to promote good blood circulation that can prevent the aforementioned complications.

Because “uncontrolled” stress could delay one’s recovery, some patients choose to work part time for a while, then resume their usual routine after they get their preoperative energy level back, which can take four to six months. Meanwhile, anecdotal reports show that people who are physically active prior to their surgery recover faster than individuals whose lifestyle is less active.

Aside from waiting for most of the swelling and dark bruises to dissipate, patients who are trying to be discrete may consider getting a drastic hairstyle beforehand. Doing so might also be ideal because it can take a minimum of six weeks before they can dye or cut their hair.

Overall healing—i.e., skin redraping to the new contour and looking more relaxed than overly tight—can take up to six months. For this reason, in the first few weeks it is not uncommon to look “overdone,” explains the leading Brea plastic surgery expert.



For a successful facelift surgery to be possible, it should involve strict patient selection and surgical planning by a qualified surgeon who has a deep understanding of the aging process and the limits of the underlying anatomies as well.

It has been a year after my facelift surgery and I have no regrets doing the procedure, which has softened my deep wrinkles and contoured my jowl. Now, I look more rejuvenated and happier after my doctor removed the “angry appearance” caused by the loose skin and fat atrophy (shrinkage of facial volume).


While my plastic surgeon has explained to me all the details of my surgery and facelift recovery, I was still caught off guard with the amount of swelling, bruising, and postop blues.

These are the things I wish I knew before my facelift surgery.

  1. Know how to relax. I have always hated downtime, which is inevitable for anyone planning to undergo a plastic surgery procedure. Take note when I say “downtime” it means no house chores (including the simplest tasks) and work-related undertakings (even answering emails) for at least a week.

During the most crucial time of your recovery, your only focus should be about your wellbeing. Remember that the more relaxed you are, the more efficient your body is able to recover from a surgical trauma.

  1. There is no shame to ask for help. For at least a week, have a close friend, family member, or nurse to take care of your basic needs. Simply put, let someone pamper you to avoid the stress of your [usual] daily responsibilities at home.
  1. It’s okay to be afraid of mirror. While my surgeon explained to me that the swelling and bruising would conceal my results initially, I was not expecting that my face would have bruises literally everywhere. In fact, seeing my reflection for the first time after surgery scared the hell out of me.
  1. Controlling swelling is the key to quick “social” healing. The postop pain was not really the issue during my facelift recovery, but the interruption of my social activities was the hardest part for me. For this reason, I strictly followed my doctor’s instructions to control this symptom—e.g., head elevation, low-sodium diet, cold compress, rest and sleep, etc.

In my experience, most of the swelling was gone about a week, although it took another week for me to look “socially presentable.”

  1. Camouflage make-up and fashion accessories are helpful. Some cosmetics are specifically formulated to hide bruising and swelling caused by facial plastic surgery, although ask your surgeon first before using them. You don’t want to irritate your incisions, which could lead to unfavorable facelift scars.

Aside from camouflage make-up, large sunglasses and scarves can also help you hide the postop symptoms.



Tummy tuck procedure creates a flatter, more toned abdomen. Aside from removing the apron-like skin, it is also important to tighten the loose muscle or fascia and reposition the navel so it will look proportionate to the hips and waistline, thus creating a more natural result.

Due to the use of hip-to-hip incision in the lower abdomen, tummy tuck recovery is filled with “challenges” although studies after studies have shown that it has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates. In fact, one survey has suggested that it may encourage massive weight loss patients to stick to a healthy lifestyle to maintain their new contour.


Meanwhile, the list shows the do’s and don’ts of tummy tuck recovery, as suggested by leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili.

  • Do accept the prolonged downtime. It is best to prepare for at least a four-week recovery, despite promises made by some doctors that it could be shorter.

On average, patients are able to return to their desk job two weeks after surgery, although it might be helpful to work part-time temporarily to avoid undue stress that may compromise their healing.

  • Be emotionally prepared. Most patients focus all their effort to prepare themselves physically, almost forgetting about the emotional aspect involved in tummy tuck recovery.

Due to the pain and lethargy, postop blues are not uncommon after tummy tuck surgery. For this reason, family support is more important than ever.

  • Do accept help. The main focus of tummy tuck patients should be their recovery, thus household chores, childcare, and life’s daily responsibilities should take a back seat for a while. But for this possible, there must be at least one capable adult who will perform all these tasks, including the patient’s basic needs in the first few days postop.
  • Don’t remain in bed. Prolonged immobility not only increases the risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), but can also lead to poor healing, weight gain, persistent swelling, lethargy, and other untoward side effects. The general rule of thumb is to take a few short walks a day to promote good blood circulation.
  • Don’t expect a skinny appearance in an instant. The swelling can take several weeks to dissipate, so a prudent patient should not expect to jump into a pair of overly tight jeans any time soon.
  • Don’t hesitate to communicate with a plastic surgeon. A patient should express her concerns (e.g., tummy tuck scars that remain obvious, mood swings and depression, signs of complications, etc.) to her doctor no matter how trivial they might appear.



Traveling for plastic surgery has its own benefits especially if there is a valid reason—e.g., you want the expertise of a reputable surgeon who happens to live far away from your place.

But if you travel for plastic surgery solely to avail a low-cost service, it might prevent you to look at the “bigger picture.” Take note that your primary goal is to find a qualified plastic surgeon who knows how to avoid the complications and give you results that look natural.


Dr. Tarick Smaili, one of the leading Orange County plastic surgery experts, shares his tips on how to have a pleasant experience when traveling for plastic surgery.

  • Lots of planning and communication. While it is true that the distance is an issue, good rapport and open communication with your plastic surgeon can offset such challenge.

The general rule of thumb is to find someone you feel comfortable with and confident in his technical and artistic skills. For this reason, you may want to visit his websites and check his before-and-after photos online to assess his level of professionalism and “core values” that can help him deliver impressive results.

  • Someone to help you during the initial healing stage. It is a bonus if you have family or friends living within the vicinity. You need a support group to pick you up after surgery and take care of your basic needs during the most crucial phase of your recovery, i.e., a day or two after the operation.
  • Postpone travel for five to seven days after plastic surgery involving the body (e.g., breast augmentation and tummy tuck), or longer if your operation involves the face (e.g., facelift and rhinoplasty/nose job).

The idea is to avoid prolonged immobility—i.e., sitting for hours during a flight—because it can predispose you to risk of blood clotting or deep vein thrombosis in the legs that can travel up to the lungs and lead to more serious complications such as pulmonary embolism.

  • Don’t combine plastic surgery and vacation. Despite the proliferation of surgical vacation package, cosmetic surgery should be treated as a major surgery that involves a “quiet time” to recuperate. Thus you should plan your tropical holiday at a different time.
  • Collect all your medical records before leaving. For example, you should document the type of breast implants used during breast augmentation, the surgical technique, the attending surgeon’s name, the facilities, etc. Such info will help your local doctor in case that you have postop concerns at home.



Cosmetic plastic surgery such as breast augmentation, facelift, and liposuction is always considered a major surgery, meaning it is a decision you shouldn’t take lightly. Not only it involves some downtime, but also risk of complications especially if you are not careful in selecting your surgeon.

Dr. Tarick Smaili, a renowned Inland Empire plastic surgery expert, shares the do’s and don’ts of cosmetic plastic surgery.


List of Do’s

  1. Find a doctor and be extra choosey. Confirm if he is a bona fide plastic surgeon, i.e., certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and other reputable plastic surgery affiliates.

Other ways you can conduct a background check: look at his before-and-after photos, confirm that he has a hospital privilege, talk to his previous patients, verify that his facility is accredited, and search him online.

  1. Know thyself. Know the real reasons why you want to have the surgery despite the downtime and potential complications. If your motivations are based on pleasing other people, most likely you will never be happy no matter how successful the postop results are.
  1. Be realistic. Understand that no plastic surgery can give you perfection, only improvement because your underlying anatomy has a large effect on the final results.

List of Don’ts

  1. Don’t be stingy. Focusing too much on the plastic surgery cost will prevent you from selecting the right plastic surgeon. Take note that your main goal is to find a qualified doctor who is worth every penny you are going to spend.
  1. Don’t rush into it. Plastic surgery is something that you should think over and over. If there is any doubt, you have to stop for a while and listen to what your “heart” really tells you. This is a decision that may affect your life and your self-esteem and body image.
  1. Don’t think that an improved appearance will improve your relationship. Some people think that enhancing their look will change the way others will treat them, their exes will take them back, or worse, their new look will be the “end all be all” of their quest to happiness.
  1. Don’t have it if you are experiencing a major life’s event. Cosmetic plastic surgery is only reserved for emotionally and psychologically stable candidates who understand the ramifications of their decision. There is no room for impulsive behavior when it comes to surgical enhancement because the results tend to be lifetime or near permanent.

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