Controlling the amount of plastic surgery bleeding is one of the most critical steps to reduce risk of complications. Aside from the surgeon’s skills and techniques, patient cooperation will also play a crucial role in preventing increased bleeding.
Reducing plastic surgery bleeding is particularly critical in mommy makeover surgeries, body lift after weight loss, and other combo procedures that typically take more than four hours to complete.
Most patients are instructed to avoid or at least cut down on blood thinners for 2-3 weeks prior to surgery. Products with blood thinning properties include aspirin, ibuprofen (and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and anticoagulants (Warfarin). Certain herbal supplements and vitamins such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea, kava kava, garlic, and vitamin E (in high dose) also have similar effects.
Because the effects of many herbal supplements and remedies are still unknown, discontinuing them at least two weeks before surgery and about a week afterward remains the best course of action.
Smoking can also result in poor healing and increased risk of infection and skin necrosis; hence, all tobacco products are discontinued for a minimum of three weeks prior to surgery.
When doing tummy tuck and mommy makeover surgery, Orange County plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smiley injects epinephrine drug into the surgical site before making incisions. This constricts the blood vessels and so the amount of bleeding is drastically reduced.
To further control the amount of plastic surgery bleeding, the celebrity surgeon uses electrocautery device, which cuts and seals off small blood vessels. This technique not only reduces the amount of bleeding, but also ensures that postop bruising is minimal.
The “before and after” surgery instructions are almost the same: The patient must avoid products with blood thinning properties for 1-2 weeks postop or at least until most of the bruising and swelling have subsided.
Furthermore, the patient must avoid heavy lifting, too much stress (that’s why working part time or telecommuting is preferable in the meantime), and rigorous activities for three to six weeks, depending on the type and extent of surgery.
It is important to note that rushing one’s recovery not just increases the risk of bleeding, but also leads to persistent swelling and bruising, which of course will result in protracted healing.
However, light exercise such as walking (as long as the activity will not result in increased blood pressure and heart rate) is important during the initial healing stage to promote healing. Prolonged bed rest or immobility, meanwhile, must be avoided because of the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), pulmonary embolism, and persistent swelling.