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Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

Food and Drink After Surgery

When and What?

Food rules are simple after Plastic Surgery. Eat when you are hungry. The first meal or two, we recommend the B.R.A.T.S. diet. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast and Soup.  You never know how your stomach will do after surgery with pain meds and anesthesia, so it is good to eat foods that are easily digested. Avoid fatty foods. Proteins like Jello and protein bars are fine.

Keep hydrated after surgery. Water is a good choice, as is tea. Coffee is fine in moderation, just avoid cream until your stomach settles. Milk is generally not a good idea. Avoid grapefruit juice as it can effect how medications are processed by your body.  Other juices are OK.  If you like soda, clear sodas are best, but colas generally are not a problem. Avoid energy drinks and alcohol while on medications.

If you are dizzy with standing up, or your urine is very yellow, or you are not having to urinate often, then you may be dehydrated.  Drink a glass of liquid every hour until this improves. It is especially important with liposuction to drink throughout the day after your surgery.  Electrolyte drinks are fine, we like a drink of water for every two drinks of electrolyte beverages.

Post-Op Medications

Managing Side Effects

The good news is that most patients who have surgery at the Newport Center for Special Surgery do not need a lot of narcotic pain medicine after.  Our Rest-Assure anesthesia program of pre-operative pain and anti-nausea medications, nerve blocks during anesthesia and post-operative walking will really help you reduce the need for narcotic pain medications. Narcotics like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone all can cause itchiness, sleepiness, constipation, and nausea. The best treatment for narcotic side effects is to stop the narcotic. Always avoid taking pain medications close together with any other medications that cause sleepiness such as anti-anxiety medications, certain anti-depressants or alcohol. If you have never taken the narcotic pain reliever prescribed to you, it is always a good idea to start with just a half tablet to see how you respond to it. After taking a pill, it may take 15 to 45 minutes to start to have an effect.

For nausea, your surgeon will provide you with anti-nausea medication such as ondansetron dissolving tablets or prochlorperazine suppositories for extra help. 

For constipation, over the counter products with senna in them are helpful. Senokot S and Dulcolax both have senna.  They are taken before bed and work overnight.

For itchiness, diphenhydramine is over the counter and helps some.  The anti-nausea medications such as ondansetron may also help some.  Usually the best treatment is to stop the medication entirely.


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Our goal at Newport Center for Special Surgery is to get you back to your normal routine as soon as possible after your plastic surgery procedure.  Each surgery has its unique post op instructions which your surgeon will review with you. Always follow your surgeon's specific instructions. There are a few general instructions that help you reduce risks of complications after surgery.

Walking is good.  In general we want you to walk at least 5 minutes every hour after surgery. This may help reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs after surgery, and can greatly reduce your post operative discomfort.  If your are laying down, sit up first, and stay sitting a minute or two before getting up to avoid dizziness.

Keep the surgical area dry.  Don't take a shower until the surgeon says it is OK. Tap water is full of germs and can cause a wound infection.   Keep any dressings or garments dry.   It is generally OK to wipe garments on the outside with hydrogen peroxide if they are stained.  Don't take a dressing off unless instructed by the surgeon. It is OK to use a washcloth to wipe off any residual sterilizing solution on areas outside the dressing.

Keep away from sick caregivers, kids and pets.  After surgery your immune system needs all the help it can get. Avoid germs from kids, pets and family or friends.

Keep the surgery area elevated if possible. This reduces blood pressure in the surgical area, and limits swelling and bruising. Keeping your head higher than your heart such as by laying in a recliner chair is critical for facelift and blepharoplasty procedures.

A good cough every 15 minutes for the first 8 hours after surgery helps clear your lungs and promotes improved oxygenation to your body. While coughing is generally a good idea, with delicate facial, eye or neck surgery, you may be instructed not to cough hard.  

Post Operative Plans

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Aesthetic Plastic Surgery