Post-Plastic Surgery “Must-Haves” at Home

Are you scheduled to have a plastic surgery procedure and wondering what might make your recovery more comfortable once you get back home? We have some suggested “must-have” items that can aid in the healing process and help make the first several days at home a bit less stressful. Taking it easy after any kind of reconstructive or plastic surgery is essential, and with a little preparation, relaxation is achievable with the right products and supplies. One of the best things you can do to help aid post-surgery recovery is to plan ahead.

Comfortable Clothing

Do you have a favorite oversized button-up shirt and pajama pants? If not, it is time to purchase a few sets. After surgery, it’s not about fashion, it’s about comfort. Loose-fitting clothing will be your new favorite look, and your body will thank you later.

After plastic surgery, such as breast surgery, lifting your arms may be temporarily difficult. A large button-up or zip-up top is easy to put on and take off. Soft, loose-fitting bottoms with either an elastic waistband or tie and a pair of slippers are also highly recommended. For a few days and sometimes longer, you will want to minimize the amount of movement necessary for you to put on and take off clothing articles.

Vascular Compression Garments

The body naturally produces fluids during recovery, and wearing a compression garment can help the body recover and increases your comfort during the healing process. The compression garment aids in a smooth recovery process after surgical procedures by applying even pressure around the treated area, preventing fluid buildup and helping the body absorb any fluid that does not accumulate.

Vascular compression garments are constructed of elastic and nylon material and work to facilitate a tight (but not constrictive) fit. Compression garments ensure that specific body areas receive constant, uniform pressure and are appropriately sized to fit your body’s contours for the type of surgery you underwent.

Some of the benefits of wearing compression garments include:

  • They Can Promote Healing
  • Swelling happens when the body sends fluid to the surgery site after a surgical procedure. By using compression garments, the amount of fluid buildup reduces, resulting in less swelling.
  • They Can Reduce Infections
  • Because compression garments are placed over the surgery site, bacteria and other potential contaminants are kept away from the wound, keeping the surgery site protected from possible infection.
  • They Can Prevent Bruising
  • Bruising is common after surgery. Blood vessels are disrupted when a surgical incision is made, causing blood to leak from small blood vessels under the skin near the surgical site. This bruising can be minimized by using compression garments to help red blood cells from working themselves up to the surface of the skin.
  • They Can Minimize Scarring
  • Compression garments deliver pressure therapy to help manage the development of scar tissue. The compression garment holds the skin together firmly and interferes with the body’s ability to produce collagen at the surgery site, which is how scars are formed.

Body Support Pillows

After a plastic surgery procedure such as a facelift or rhinoplasty, keeping your head elevated is helpful. Those that undergo breast and body plastic surgery procedures can benefit from body pillows and cushions such as the body pillowcervical pillow, or thera cushion by Hermell Products.

Pillows help position your body so that you can rest and sleep comfortably during recovery. Some plastic surgery procedures like breast surgery won’t allow you to sleep on your sides for an extended period. Having a couple of body pillows on each side can help you stay in place throughout the night without worrying about accidentally turning onto your side.

Underpads or a Mattress Cover

After most surgical procedures, our digestion systems get disrupted. The use of anesthesia and other pain medications and lack of mobility all contribute to constipation. Some respond well to gentle constipation relief like stool softeners or laxatives, while others may wind up having unpredictable diarrhea episodes. By preparing yourself and your recovery area with underpads, bed pads, or chux, you can protect yourself and your furniture from these incidents.

For even more security for your bed, you might opt for a mattress cover. A mattress cover or mattress protector can help extend your mattress’s life by protecting it from stains. With a mattress cover on, you are safeguarding your bed from leaks and spills that can also result in potential mold growth if the liquids soak deep into the mattress. Just make sure that you choose a waterproof option when purchasing your mattress cover. In addition to keeping your bed clean and sanitary, a mattress cover can also provide another comfort layer.

Skin & Wound Care Supplies

You cannot wash your hands enough after surgery. The frequent use of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap can prevent infection and the spread of it. Place hand sanitizers next to your bed, the kitchen, near the toilet, and at your front door for visitors to use upon entry.

Your regular personal hygiene routine might not be possible when you are recovering. With some surgeries, your doctor’s orders may include for you to not get wet for the first few days after plastic surgery. Stock up on no-rinse products like foaming cleansers and body wash, rinse-free shampoo, and no-rinse perineal cleanser. These products can help you feel cleaner and more comfortable.

You can also benefit by being well-stocked on wound care supplies such as gauze sponges and pads, wound care spray, and alcohol prep wipes or swab sticks. Your doctor may send you home with a little care pack that includes a limited amount of these supplies, but that will usually not be enough. Depending on the directions you receive from your surgeon, your would site may need to be cleaned and redressed multiple times a day. Having an ample supply of wound care products can keep your surgery site sterile and help reduce the risk of infection.

And don’t forget about a box of gloves. Even though you will frequently be washing your hands and using hand sanitizer, when you are cleaning a wound site and replacing the dressings, you will want to handle your wound care supplies with just as much care.

Prepared Meals

Making sure you have plenty of meals prepared for when you get back from the hospital is essential since you may not be up to cooking for the first several days after surgery. Prepping extra food when cooking in the weeks leading up to your surgery will help fill your freezer with easily accessible reheatable meals during recovery. You can also opt for prepared meals that come in a can or microwaveable container that similarly provide balanced nutrition, especially if you might have any trouble swallowing.

Certain surgeries, such as breast surgery, will limit your range of motion. It is wise to place items you will need out of the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets down to a more accessible level. Anything that is 5 lbs. or more should also be distributed into smaller, more manageable containers to not lift more than you should during your recovery.

In addition to your favorite healthy foods, have a few options on hand that are gentle on the stomach in case of irritation. You might feel nauseous after anesthesia or when using pain medications, so having items such as ginger ale, applesauce, bananas, rice, and crackers are foods that may have a calming effect on the stomach when you feel nauseous after surgery.

And always remember to stay hydrated! Keep plenty of fresh water around you at all times. The body heals quicker and better when it is adequately hydrated.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

It would be a wise decision to ask your doctor what prescriptions you will be required to take to get these filled in advance if possible. Some patients don’t need prescription pain relief and easily manage discomfort using over-the-counter options. Make sure you have ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand, as these are potent medications that can enhance your comfort while you heal. Just make sure your doctor approves of these kinds of over-the-counter medications as sometimes they can interfere with the prescriptions or the healing process.

As we mentioned earlier, your surgeon may also recommend over-the-counter products to counteract constipation resulting from the pain medications. These may come in the form of powder, liquid, pills, or fiber intake. You can avoid discomfort by making sure you have these ready and available should the need arise.

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Don't Forget to Ask for Help

Make sure you have someone to help you around the house for the first few days. You can also hire a home health care service to help you with chores or small errands like prescription refills if necessary. In addition to the meals you ready prepped, friends and family can help cook some comfort foods to keep you well-stocked. It never hurts to ask for help, and you will be surprised how many will be more than willing.

As you prepare for plastic surgery, you may need to ask for help in the following ways:

  • Someone to drive you home on the day of your surgery
  • Someone you trust to stay with you for the first day or two
  • Help with your children, if you have young ones at home
  • Assistance cleaning up around the house or running quick errands
  • Someone to drive you to and from post-surgical appointments until you’re off pain medications and able to drive yourself

Recovery is often the most challenging part of the plastic surgery process, but with a little preparation and a bit of patience, you’ll soon be looking back at how quickly it all went. Take your time throughout the recovery process and allow your body to heal at its own pace gently. While there is no checklist that works to fit everyone’s personal preferences and doctor recommendations, this list of “must-haves” may be a great place to start.

For any questions about any of the products we offer that might help you with your plastic surgery recovery process, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. Remember, recovery is a process. It takes time, patience, and everything you’ve got.

Vascular Compression Products for Different Parts of the Body

Vascular compression products have been around for a very long time. They are designed to help improve blood circulation in the veins by applying graduated compression. Vascular compression garments allow proper blood flow through various body parts typically after surgery when a patient is immobile for extended periods of time and reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Vascular compression products have been clinically proven by physicians to significantly lessen the risk of developing DVT. The benefits people receive by wearing vascular compression products are pretty incredible.

When and Why Were Compression Garments Invented?

Back in 1950, a German mechanical engineer and inventor by the name of Conrad Jobst suffered from varicose veins. He invented a very tight sock that created pressure on the muscles, bones, and connective tissue to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and edema. These socks raised the temperature of the skin underneath which then promoted blood flow and healing. When Mr. Jobst passed away in 1957, his wife Carolina grew the business and expanded the compression product lines into plastic and reconstructive surgery garments and anti-embolism stockings. Jobst has since been acquired by Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces, and sells personal care products and solutions.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Vascular Compression Products?

Whether your job requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, you frequently travel by plane, or you are an athlete, compression garments can offer amazing health benefits. Compression garments like socks, leggings, and stockings can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid and the prevention of varicose veins and swelling. Vascular Compression Products are used for various reasons all aiming to promote blood circulation and healing.

Some Reasons Vascular Compression Garments Might be Used

Pregnancy – Pregnant women may be able to find relief in wearing compression socks due to the extra weight on their legs as their baby grows.

Post-Reconstructive Surgery – For those that have just had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, wearing a compression garment such as the Surgi-Bra by Cardinal Health can help with the blood flow to that area of the body to promote healing.

Pre-Operative Procedure – Many medical professionals choose to use compression sleeves such as the Kendall SCD Express Sleeve on their patients that are undergoing surgery. These compression sleeves apply gentle pressure to promote blood flow and prevent blot clots from forming. These compression garments are put onto the patient before undergoing general anesthesia and usually removed during recovery.

Running – Vascular compression socks are widely used by runners to increase the amount of oxygen delivered to their muscles. The onset of muscle soreness is reduced after running by wearing these compression garments as well.

What Are the Different Types of Compression Products?

Vascular compression products are made for all different parts of the body depending on where the pain or issue is that is being targeted. We will discuss the different compression products for various parts of the body and how they may offer health benefits.

Vascular Compression Garments for the Legs

Offered in open- or closed-toe, knee- or thigh-high, and a multitude of colors and designs, vascular compression stockings are used by those of all ages, shapes, and sizes. These garments aim to increase the blood flow in the lower extremities such as the calf, shin, and hamstring. They may also help reduce swelling and pain. Plus, they may work to prevent varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is when a blood clot forms deep in the leg that can potentially lead to an embolism if that clot breaks loose and travels throughout the body, eventually getting stuck somewhere dangerous. Vascular compression stockings help the arteries to relax causing more oxygen to reach the muscles and the veins to circulate blood to and from the heart more effectively.

Many surgeons order the use of vascular compression sleeves as part of their DVT prevention process. Using vascular compression sleeves during surgery such as the Kendall SCD Comfort Sleeve has been clinically-proven to aid in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. These sleeves compress a larger surface area and deliver therapy using a ‘milking’ action as they squeeze the leg to increase blood flow as the chambers increase at different pressures.

Compression Garments for the Knee

When the knee is sprained or strained, swelling and irritation can occur. With gentle compression from a product such as the Leader Neoprenen Patellar Knee Support, pain can be reduced by keeping the patella in proper alignment with the rest of the joints in the knee to relieve pressure. This therapeutic compression delivers the warmth from the improved blood circulation that then stimulates recovery.

Compression Garments for Hands

The hand is made up of about 30 bones, over 100 ligaments, approximately 48 nerves, and 30 arteries. In the digital age, we are living in, who isn’t using their hand every minute of the day. Whether we are typing on the computer, texting on our phones, using a gaming controller, or pushing the buttons on the remote, we are constantly using the muscles of the hand. Because of this, many are developing arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and tendonitis, just to name a few. When a joint in the hand becomes swollen and tender, everyday activities can be uncomfortable resulting in stiffness and pain. Compression garments such as the Brownmed IMAK Arthritis Compression Glove can help to improve circulation and reduce swelling, allowing the joints to heal.

Vascular Compression for the Feet

One of the most common reasons compression garments are used on the feet is to treat a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia (the tissue that connects the heel to the toes) is injured leading to heel pain and inflammation. When compression is applied to the foot such as with the Kendell SCD Express Foot Cuff, there is added support and blood circulation improves, therefore reducing pain and promoting healing. Other conditions that can benefit from compression garments for the feet are heel spurs, edema, Achilles tendonitis, and any other foot pain, swelling, or soreness.

Compression Garments for the Chest, Ribs, and Abdomen

After undergoing reconstructive surgery, a biopsy, or breast augmentation, women often leave the hospital with a compression bra such as the Surgi-Bra by Cardinal Health. These compression garments work to firmly hold dressings in place without the use of tape or wraps and make it easy to adjust to the desired compression.

If the ribs are injured, a compression garment like the Leader Rib Belt may be used after surgery to aid in the healing and support of fractured or bruised ribs. It provides comfortable compression as it contours to the body and helps to reduce pain from the chest wall and ribs by limiting the motion allowed.

After undergoing post-natal or abdominal surgery, the stomach muscles can become weakened or strained. A compression product like the PROCARE Support for the Abdomen can provide the compression needed for support as the patient heals. Most of these types of compression products are designed to be unisex and easily adjusted for comfort.

Are Vascular Compression Products Covered by Insurance?

The only time compression products are covered by Medicare is if the patient has a wound that is being treated by a physician. If you have a secondary insurance provider, they might cover these products, but the request will first need to be denied by Medicare.

Most private insurance companies will cover compression, non-stretch, or bandage alternative garments. Insurance companies are all different, so it is always wise to call your insurance provider and find out if compression products are covered. It is also suggested that calling a medical supply company that specializes in compression products is helpful. Often, they will know if they are in-network with your insurance provider and can assist with certain forms needed by your physician or therapist.

For any questions about the vascular compression products we carry, or for assistance in choosing the right compression product for you, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are ready to help and just a phone call away.

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