November 7, 2023
5 ways to give the ER the cold shoulder this winter
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November 7, 2018 | Value-Based Care
Did you know most complications occur during the first 30 days after a surgical procedure? These complications—most of which are preventable—often lead to unexpected hospital readmissions and ER visits.
Whether your plastic surgery procedure is cosmetic or medical, it’s important to follow these tips to ensure the best possible outcome.
After your procedure, your surgeon will discuss a list of dos and don’ts during the recovery process with you. You may also get a printed list of steps you need to take to promote healing. Following these instructions to a T is critical for not only the outcome of your surgical procedure but also your health because improper care can lead to a variety of complications* including:
*The types of complications and your risk of developing them vary based on the procedure you receive, your health status and how you take care of yourself during recovery.
…and don’t take any new medications or supplements without consulting your doctor. Medication noncompliance contributes to billions of dollars in health spending each year. Taking your medications as directed can help prevent unnecessary healthcare costs. It’s also important to be aware of what pain medication(s) you should take and the risks associated with it.
Make sure you fully understand your medication instructions by asking your doctor these questions.
Smoking can delay healing, increase your risk of infection and affect tissue survival. If you are a smoker, your surgeon will require you to stop smoking several weeks before your procedure.
Remember, you cannot continue smoking again immediately just because your procedure is complete. You must allow time for your body to heal, and smoking makes it much harder to do so. In fact, the best thing for your health is to quit smoking altogether, but that can be difficult. These techniques may help you:
Talk to your doctor or surgeon about your options.
Ask your surgeon which postoperative side effects are normal and which may be warning signs of something serious. Constipation, for example, is common after surgery—anesthesia and pain medications are common contributors. Fatigue, poor appetite, swelling and pain are also typical. Your surgeon can tell you how to manage these normal side effects.
Some signs to watch out for include:
Each person is unique and will recover differently than someone else, so don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon questions if you are unsure about any of the instructions or what to expect.
“Mobile Applications for Postoperative Monitoring After Discharge.” Canadian Medical Association Journal.
“The Most Common Plastic Surgery Complications.” Healthline.
“Adherence and Healthcare Costs.” Risk Management and Healthcare Policy.
“Management of Medical Morbidities and Risk Factors Before Surgery: Smoking, Diabetes, and Other Complicating Factors.” Seminars in Plastic Surgery.
“Surgical Wound Infection – Treatment.” Medline Plus.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.