Downey Plastic Surgery 

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Downey Plastic Surgery patients 4/2006-5/2019


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Recovery & Follow-Up

Dr. Downey or a member of his staff will provide detailed instructions for your post-surgical care and comfort.

Prescription pain medications may be used to treat pain for the first few days after surgery, accompanied by over-the-counter pain relievers, which are prescribed before surgery. Please have your prescription(s) filled before surgery so you don’t have to stop on your way home from your operation.

Dr. Downey recommends using a non-narcotic pain pill, like Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil) first, taking it regularly 3 or 4 times a day, then layering the stronger narcotic pain pill on top of it as often as every two hours, to ensure your comfort. In dosing yourself this way, you can reduce your need for narcotics and lessen potential side effects of narcotics, like nausea, sedation, and constipation. Please call the Downey Plastic Surgery office phone number anytime if you are not able to get your pain under good control.

Depending on the type of procedure, occasionally small soft tubes, called drains, may be placed to pull off fluids for a few days following the operation. You will receive instructions about how to manage the drains before you leave the hospital.

On discharge, the nurse will provide information to you and your family/friends regarding medicines, caring for surgical wounds, bathing, diet and exercise. We will confirm that you made your follow-up appointment for a return visit to the office too.

We can retain for you a professional nursing service, called Vital RNs, who can be scheduled to provide in home or in-hotel observation and support for you after surgery. You would hire Vital RNs if you were well enough to leave the hospital but wanted that extra bit of professional supervision overnight, wherever you were staying. Vital RN services are also helpful for those patients who travel from out of town and have longer outpatient surgeries, like a facelift, breast reduction, or tummy tuck. Sometimes it is a reassurance to have a confident, experienced nurse watching over you, particularly if you are away from your home and staying in a hotel after your operation.

Rest is important to the healing process, so you will need to limit activities following the surgery. Recovery varies from patient to patient and depends upon the surgical method and site of incision, as well as the level of activities in your daily routine. Although it depends on the individual and the type of surgery, most people can return to calm, quiet work about a week following their operation.

Approximately 7 – 10 days after surgery, you will have a follow up appointment at Dr. Downey’s office. It may be valuable to have a number of post-op visits, depending on which operation you had and your speed of healing. There are usually one or two postoperative visits that are required to ensure healing, and drain or suture removal. Subsequent visits are at the discretion of you the patient or Dr. Downey to ensure achievement of the desired high quality surgical result. Our professional desire is to facilitate your completion of this episode of care, which means that medically, your body has healed, that we have achieved our surgical goals, that you are satisfied with your results, and that you can resume your life.

Some operations, like breast augmentation or breast reconstruction after breast cancer, incur the joint responsibility between you and Dr. Downey, of long-term regular follow-up visits. If this is your situation, you will discuss the timing of these visits and the goals of your long-term relationship directly with Dr. Downey.