Our body reacts to every injury with a series of chemical signals. These signals direct how will be the response to the injury. There are consistent processes that take place with each injury irrespective of how small or big the injury is. Whether the injury is a sprained shoulder, a bruise or even plastic surgery, our body reacts in a certain manner.One of the most common responses that we observe while healing after plastic surgery is swelling.

Rate of Swelling

Swelling begins soon after any plastic surgery. Generally, post-surgical swelling increases quickly for the first 2-3 days and peaks on the 4th or 5th day. Then, there is a gradual decrease in swelling which might continue for several weeks or months.

Typically, there are chances of an 80% decrease in swelling by about 6 to 8 weeks. During this period, the swelling decreases at a much faster rate. Post this, the rate of decrease slows down for the remaining 20% to slow down gradually over the next couple of months.

What can you do to decrease swelling?

A decrease in swelling helps in decreasing the physical discomfort and improving recovery time. There are several things you can do to decrease the amount of swelling after plastic surgery. The following techniques can help you succeed in decreasing the swelling post-surgery:

• Let gravity help you

Keep the operated area as elevated as possible. For example, if you had undergone facial surgery, do not bend over for the first few weeks and sleep in a recliner for the first few nights. In case of an arm or leg surgery (liposuction), keep the operated area elevated so that the swelling runs downhill towards your body.

• Minimize with icing

Icing can be extremely useful in the initial days but has been proven to be very helpful for many weeks post-surgery.Generally, you can get sufficient relief by icing for 20 minutes and resting for another 20 minutes. Doing this throughout day and night can help minimize the swelling. Avoid putting frozen objects directly on the skin as this can cause frostbite and damage the skin. Be extra careful with the areas with decreased sensation.

• Rest is a necessity

Do not move or use the operated body part during the initial phase of swelling unless it is necessary.The more you move, the more is swelling. This takes place in few cases, so make sure you consult your surgeon for any recommendations.

• Compression Garments do help

Depending upon the type of surgery performed and the area that was operated, compression garments will limit the amount of swelling. Even though compression garments won't stop all of the swellings but they can decrease a good amount of swelling.

Compression garments are especially helpful in the liposuction recovery process where they are precisely used to decrease bruising. The other common procedures that require the use of compression garments during the recovery process are tummy tucks and breast surgery. Usually, they are used to provide firm pressure. Patients should make sure the garment should never restrict blood flow nor be painful. If you are concerned about the garment being too tight or loose, you should contact your surgeon as early as possible.

• Herbal Supplements may help

Sometimes, herbal supplements like Arnica Montana are marketed and can prove useful to decrease post-surgical bruising and swelling. If you decide to take any herbal supplements, make sure you have an in-depth discussion with your surgeon.

What if my swelling gets worse?

If your swelling does not improve gradually, you must bring this to the attention of your plastic surgeon. This can be a sign of any complication that requires immediate professional attention.

The Last Word

It is very important that you follow all the post-operative instructions and do not take any medical advice from family and friends without your plastic surgeon's consent.

Author's Bio: 

My self Sonia, and I am a health and fitness blogger.