How to manage the swelling after plastic surgery for better result
How to manage the swelling after plastic surgery for better result
  • Philip Choi
  • 승인 2021.12.23 09:57
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Long-term of swelling, need to suspect a cosmetic side effect
How to manage the welling at home & at clinic

There are some people whose swelling goes down easily after plastic surgery and the other hands, there are some people whose swelling continues for quite long time. It depends on how to manage the swelling after plastic surgery. If this process is not enough, it may make uncomfortable and unsatisfied result.

From our body point of view, plastic surgery is a kind of damage process, when our body is damaged, there is a reaction of inflammatory. Plastic surgery can make damage blood vessels and cause inflammatory. The inflammatory reaction causes the blood vessels to dilate, causing plasma components to flow out of the blood vessels, which in turn cases edema. That is the swelling after plastic surgery.

There are two ways to decides a grade of swelling. One is the factors from outside of patient’s body such as ‘What kind of plastic surgery with what kind of method’, ‘How experienced physician or how excellent skilled surgery’, ‘How long the plastic surgery time’, etc. and the other one is the personal factor such as ‘whether the blood circulation is good’.

Ederma is caused by tissue damage, the more incisions or the longer surgery operation time make more swelling. It may differ from personal factors, in general, people with poor blood circulation and more blood vessels are more likely to have severe swelling and a longer recovery time.

Dr. Kyungho Song, the owner of Four Seasons Plastic Surgery in Busan, said that “If the blood doesn’t spread well in one area, the swelling will last a long time. If the patients have more vessels, there is a lot of blood during the operation and hemostasis must be continued, but the process can promote swelling.”

From our body point of view, plastic surgery is a kind of damage process, when our body is damaged, there is a reaction of inflammatory. If the surgery is severe enough, our body could be swollen more.(This image is not related the contents of the article.)
From our body point of view, plastic surgery is a kind of damage process, when our body is damaged, there is a reaction of inflammatory. If the surgery is severe enough, our body could be swollen more.(This image is not related the contents of the article.)

The period of swelling after plastic surgery, is 3 months to 6 months. According to Dr. Song, it would take 3 months to go down the swelling after double eyelids surgery or nose surgery. But the serious surgeries such as re-operation or osteotomy operation, which is required physician’s high skill, it would take 6 months to go down the swelling. If the swelling continues more than a year, it might be not a swelling, it might be a side effect. If the eyes are the puffy eyelid (also called sausage eyes in Korea), other body may be mistaken for swelling of scar maturation, so periodic check-ups are necessary.

The swelling after plastic surgery is different from general swelling, such as swelling the day after eating a late-night food, so it should be managed with better care.

2 to 3 days after the plastic surgery, it is good to mange the swelling with cold compresses. However, if you keep the cold compresses continue after few days from plastic surgery, the blood tissue will coagulate, and the swelling will get worse by interfering with blood circulation. It is goo to apply cold and warm compresses together. The warm compression helps to blood circulation and to get rid of minor swelling. In the clinic, the equipment that facilitates blood circulation, such as ‘Omega Light’ can be assisted.
Another important factor for managing swelling is post-operative posture. If you have plastic surgery on your face or chest, it is better to elevate your upper boy as much as possible rather than lying down. When sleeping, sitting down, or getting more pillows for make higher position for face or chest may help.

Dr. Song emphasized that cigarette and UV rays are the most important factors to pay attention for swelling management.
Dr. Song emphasized that cigarette and UV rays are the most important factors to pay attention for swelling management.

It is better to move little by little rather than just resting, but excessive exercise can put a strain on the body, so it should be avoided. Light jogging, such as exercise that can raise a little heat, helps blood circulation, and relieves swelling.

Drinking pumpkin juice is well-known to relive swelling. Food may not be the main reason to relieve swelling, pumpkin juice can help blood circulation by relaxing blood vessels. It is good to avoid foods that are too spicy, salty, or strong-tasting, as they further promote swelling.

Dr. Song emphasized that cigarette and UV rays are the most important factors to pay attention for swelling management. Cigarette constricts blood vessels, and UV rays can occur pigmentation on weakened skin by plastic surgery.

“Cigarette constricts blood vessels, lower blood circulation, preventing welling, and adversely affecting would healing hormones. If you do not apply sunscreen properly and expose to UV rays, the surgical site may turn darker. Since wounded skin is more vulnerable to UV rays than normal skin, it is better to pay attention to UV protection until it heals. Make sure to apply sunscreen for at least 3 to 4 months before going out.”


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