Author: Mallory Buxton, BSN, RN
You just spent this chunk of change on surgery, you want to get the most bang for your buck right? Well, what if someone told you that your results will greatly be determined by how closely you follow discharge instructions and aftercare?
Many patients do not want to bother friends and family after surgery to help them. Particularly, plastic surgery because it's often elective and there is a stigma around it in America that it's unnecessary. This leads patients to seek privacy and not ask friends and family for help. Case in point from a Solos patient in 2017:
"My son lives in Phoenix, but I didn't want to ask him for help after my tummy tuck. I wanted to maintain my modesty and also didn't want him to have to take off work for me. I was embarrassed to tell the surgeon and staff this and was so thankful that the Solos brochure was inside my pre-op packet. The patient coordinator had nothing but positive things to say about Mallory and her team. I felt totally comfortable calling and inquiring about their services. I'm so glad I did. It was a total relief having Mallory and Lisa help me after surgery."
After surgery there are activity & weight lifting restrictions. The general anesthesia you received makes you groggy and puts you in a "haze" for sometimes 48 hours after receiving it. There are medications such as narcotics, muscle relaxants, antibiotics, antivirals and anti-anxiety pills to keep track of. As one former client very candidly pointed in a text after Mommy Makeover surgery, "And there are like 4 different medications that I have here. When do I take them? And how much and how often should I take them? Should I eat with them? What should I eat? And oh crap, I haven't crapped in 5 days." Yikes! A Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate can help you understand your medications and make sure you're taking them correctly. They'll make sure you're not lifting more than you should be after surgery (Solos Nurses will carry your grocery bags and do your laundry for you) and think of things you would not have thought of to ask the doctor. And if you get constipated? No worries, they have a few tricks up their sleeve to help even the most stubborn colons. Certain surgical procedures, like an abdominalplasty (aka tummy tuck) require patients to wear abdominal binder afterwards. This can be very difficult to reposition by yourself and friend & family often don’t feel like they are putting them on correctly. Correct application and positioning of surgical binders, bras and garments is another thing Concierge Nurse Patient Advocates can help with.
In my experience, many patients forget that even though it's an elective surgery, it's still SURGERY. And it's scary. A Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate is someone you can call or text just to ask a quick question. Patients feel totally supported both physically and emotionally knowing they have that option. It's important to have that teammate to help cheer you on after surgery (and all areas of life) and provide affirmation that what you're experiencing is normal, others have felt this way, and you are doing amazing. Keep going! This support is critical to phenomenal patient results. If you do not feel emotionally, mentally and physically supported, you will have increased anxiety and pain which releases stress hormones that in turn hamper the healing process in the body. (Reference to scientific study done to support this statement coming soon.)
Many patients fly in from out of state or out of country to have plastic surgery in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. Some bring family to stay with them and some come alone. Both groups benefit greatly from having a Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate. It can be mentally and physically exhausting for family members to care for patients after surgery. The bigger your tribe of support, the better and having a Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate there can bring relief to the patient AND family member. The family member needs to remember to take time for themselves and can take a nap or catch a movie when the Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate is there to help. Having a nurse's insight, someone who has worked with postoperative facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and rhinoplasty patients before is comforting for everyone involved. And if you're coming alone to Scottsdale to have surgery? All the more reason to have a Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate assist you. They will bring immense peace of mind to you before surgery and during your recovery period.
It's important to remember the Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate does not replace a doctor & his ancillary staff. They are an addition to the team. Your Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate can ask all the questions you have flying through your head and write down all the little details that doctors are famous for adding in at the last minute. And the best part about this teammate is that they can come home with you! A Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate will make sure you’re following the doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed and know what warning signs to watch for, such as infections or allergic reactions, after surgery. No more anxiety or wondering if you’re going to “mess anything up,” your Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate will dismiss that worry in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Sounds kind of nice, right? And not only for patients, but doctors as well. Having a Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate at consults and follow-ups, helps the appointment run more smoothly and saves time for doctors and staff. Concierge Nurse Patient Advocates can advocate for patients from inpatient hospital stays to follow up appointments and everything in between.
So, let’s say you have surgery coming up and you have some friends lined up to help you. But now you just read this article and you’re starting to think, “Maybe I should have more help. My neighbor said she’d come check on me, but she always was a little flaky. I don’t want to go through this surgery and then not get optimal results because I tried to lift something too heavy or wasn’t sleeping in the correct position.” Call us!! It’s that simple. Find out your options. Or just go for it and book us for a half day drop in on the SolosNurse app. We’re here for you and we’re happy to help. Because as our mission statement says, “No one should would wake up from surgery and feel scared. No one should go home from the hospital and feel alone. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful.” Don’t go solo, think Solos.
Author; Mallory Buxton, BSN, RN
Lots and lots of pillows. Whether you're having a facelift, tummy tuck or brachioplasty (arm lift) odds are that the surgeon is going to want you to sleep ELEVATED and propped up on pillows. So start hoarding the pillows, because you'll want to sleep with them behind you, under your bent knees to take the strain off of your back and under yours arms for comfort depending on the type of surgery you had.
2. Stool Softener
I don't care how regular you are, 99.9% of post surgical patients become constipated from anesthesia and/or narcotic pain medications. Until you have had your first post operative bowel movement, please, please, PLEASE take a stool softener every day starting the day of surgery. Narcotics are very effective for relieving pain but also very constipating. Combined with a decrease in activity and appetite and the odds are stacked against your colon.
Hydration is key after plastic surgery (Well, let's be honest it's always important!) In order to make it easier to drinks fluids, have straws on hand. Even better, have a tumbler with a lid and plastic straw so that if it tips whilst you're trying to drink lying in bed, you have less of a chance of spilling.
4. Plastic Snack Baggies
If you're having any type of facial surgery (rhytidectomy, blepharoplasty, brow lift) many surgeons will want you to ice with frozen peas after surgery. If so, the small little rectangular bags meant for snack baggies (I always picture pretzel sticks in these when thinking of them) are ideal for icing any part of your face.
The #5 thing you may want after plastic surgery
5.) A Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate
100% of the clients we've helped have given us 5 star reviews on Facebook. From giving you a ride home after surgery to staying overnight and bringing you to your follow up appointment, Solos Nurses provide peace of mind and convenience to your and your family. Although you may have friends or family that are available to you, there is no substitute for the comfort and privacy a Concierge Nurse Patient Advocate can bring, especially in the first 48 hours after surgery.
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Mallory Buxton, BSN, RN
An entrepreneur & believer