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Enhanced Recovery After Plastic Surgery



Any surgery can essentially be performed in one of three settings, either: in a hospital where you stay overnight, on a hospital campus where you go home after surgery, or in a free-standing surgery center where you go home after surgery. So, basically, in two out of three of the possible situations listed, patients may go home after a short recovery period in a post-operative care unit and recovery in the comfort of their house. Of course, it’s important that patients are relatively healthy and that the procedure is not too taxing if they are to go home the same day. But even if those things are true, it doesn’t change the fact that surgery is nearly always associated with some degree of pain, and no one wants any more pain than is necessary, especially when going home to recover. So what’s the best answer to this challenge? Rapid, or “enhanced,” recovery concepts have become so important after all kinds of surgeries, including many plastic surgeries, that there are now international organizations that promote multi-faceted approaches to improving patients’ post-operative experiences so that they can not only endure their post-operative recovery but also be more comfortable so they function well and avoid post-operative complications. Did you know that it’s the sitting still after a procedure that could lead to blood clots and less-than-ideal breathing and digestion? When a patient’s pain and swelling are more controlled, studies have shown that they are then more appropriately active, walking, taking deep breathes, and are able to get better nutrition, because they have less side effects from pain medications, such as constipation. There are a number of ways to achieve these goals by the way a surgeon designs patients’ preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative journey. I emphasize rapid and enhanced recovery principles during each of these phases of surgery. My patients first receive realistic expectations about surgery so they can recruit a support system to help them through the process and know what to expect. They then receive special nerve block and anti-bruising medications during surgery for less pain when they wake up and thus rely less on postoperative pain medications by mouth, which can have more side effects. After surgery, an approach called “multi-modal” pain control is used that deceases the reliance on narcotic pain medications by controlling pain from multiple angles. There are even technical maneuvers that can limit the need for postoperative drains and other cumbersome elements that could otherwise slow recovery. I also believe it’s important to support patients mentally and emotionally by encouraging reasonable social activities, such as going out to dinner or to a movie the next day or simply getting out of the house with their partner, friend, or family member to take their mind off of their surgical recovery. Lastly, I partner with other area healthcare support providers to engage helpful assistance for patients beyond myself to navigate the recuperation process. These are only a few of the ways that Pacific Sound Plastic Surgery works to put the patient and their experience at the forefront of what we do to help ensure that patient become their best on the outside while also being supported through the journey with enhanced recovery principles. Patients therefore should have less pain, less restricted movements, and a less painful recovery with less risk of complications and side effects of medications. So if you’ve considered plastic surgery but been afraid of the discomfort it may cause, come talk to me about rapid recovery so that you can experience the least discomfort possible to achieve an uplifting and rejuvenating experience that helps you reach your personal goals safely and with less pain. Email info@pacificsoundplasticsurgery.com or call 425-818-8991 to learn more about the procedures we offer and our approach to more rapid post-operative recovery.

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