Cosmetic surgery aftercare – what to expect

Your post-surgery needs will vary, depending on what sort of operation you have had, but here are some basics that every surgeon or clinic should offer, whatever the procedure:

Pain relief

Following your operation, you will be in some pain for a few days or even weeks. You should be kept in the hospital for a few hours immediately after the surgery – sometimes overnight, particularly if general anaesthesia was used – so that the surgical and anaesthetic team can assess you to make sure you are recovering well and able to return home.

You will be given painkillers and – if necessary – antibiotics to take home with you, and advised on dosage and how frequently to take them.

A recuperation plan

Your surgeon should give you a comprehensive aftercare plan, detailing what activities you need to refrain from and for how long.

It may be that you are expected to do very little for a few days after the operation, in which case the hospital should make sure that someone is there to accompany you home, and that that person is aware of your recuperation plan.

Follow-up appointments

Most surgeons will want to see you around seven days post surgery, to ensure the incisions are healing well and that any bruising or swelling is diminishing. Assuming all is well, you will then be seen again at around six weeks post op, and then at 12 weeks, to check that everything is progressing as it should be.

Emergency contact

You should also be given a number that you can contact at any time in the few weeks immediately after surgery, in case you have any major concerns or problems. In the vast majority of cases, patients never need to use this service, but it is important that you are able to contact the operating team should you need to.