We all know the rules of healthy living: don’t smoke, eat well, get plenty of exercise, and avoid unnecessary exposure to sun in order to avoid skin cancer.
These are the choices that will give us long, healthy lives. But what effects do these choices- or not making these choices- have on the results of your plastic surgery?
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which is necessary for proper wound healing. If you are a smoker and you undergo a procedure that involves an incision, the decreased oxygen in your bloodstream can lead to improper wound healing.
Also, if you are getting a facial plastic surgical procedure, smoking can greatly reduce the appearance of the results. The constant squinting against the smoke and the lip puckering motion can cause wrinkles, skin yellowing, and sagging of the skin.
Eating well and exercising have multiple positive effects on your plastic surgery results and recovery. If you go into the surgery healthy, your recovery time will be shorter and less uncomfortable.
Being at or close to your ideal weight is especially useful if you are having liposuction, breast augmentation or lift, or any other surgery done on the body.
Weight loss or gain after surgery can cause the skin to stretch or shift, the breasts volume to increase or decrease, and can have other negative effects on your results.
People in good cardiovascular health will also have excellent oxygen levels in their blood and healthy circulation, which decreases recovery time and helps eliminate unhealthy bacteria and other waste from the wound site.
Sun exposure can also have negative effects on your plastic surgery results, especially if you are undergoing a skin-related procedure like a facelift or laser resurfacing.
UV rays from the sun lead to collagen and elastin breakdown in the skin, and those are the proteins that give your skin firmness and elasticity.
If you’ve had an anti-aging procedure, exposure to the sun can reverse those results over time, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin, as well as risk for developing skin cancer.
Of course, you don’t have to be in perfect health to have plastic surgery! There are steps you can take leading up to your surgery to optimize your results and recovery.
If you smoke, quit at least six weeks before surgery so your body has time to adjust. Don’t yo-yo diet before surgery: slowly get down to the weight you want to be in the time leading up to the procedure. Continue your healthy habits after the procedure.
If you have any questions about plastic surgery in Northern Virginia or want to schedule a consultation, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588.