Showering After Plastic Surgery: Navigating the Waters of Post-Op Self-Care
The thought of scrubbing down post-op? It can be scary, to say the least. With all the fresh incisions and body aches, it’s tempting to skip it altogether. But showering after plastic surgery is a must for optimal recovery. Sure, it might require a few tweaks to your routine. But trust us—it’s nothing you can’t handle.
At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, your safety and comfort are paramount at every step of your procedure. That means offering expert recovery tips after surgery. And keeping your incisions clean? That’s a critical part of healing.
Today, we’re on a mission to ease your nerves and help you get the absolute most out of your recovery. Keep reading for Dr. Cat’s post-operative shower guide.
Initial Healing: The Importance of Timed Care
If you think you’re going to get home and immediately have to run a loofah across your incisions, we can’t blame you for being nervous. However, there’s a bit more thought that goes into safe showering post-surgery than that.
For one, you won’t be showering right away. So, go ahead and let out a sigh of relief.
It takes at least 48 hours for your incisions to close completely. Showering too soon could cause your incisions to re-open. The implications? Poor healing, bleeding, potential scarring, or worse, complications like infection.
After about two days, it’s time for your first shower.
Showering After Plastic Surgery: A Step-By-Step Guide
Your post-op cleanse may not be as romantic as sipping your favorite prosecco in a lavender-scented bath, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unpleasant, either.
Here’s how to do it in a way that minimizes discomfort and supports healing after plastic surgery:
Use antimicrobial soap
Heavily fragranced soaps often contain ingredients, like alcohol and allergens, that can irritate your skin. And, in turn, your incisions. Plus, they’re not all antimicrobial.
Dr. Cat’s go-to? Hibiclens, which cleanses your surgical area and prevents infection.
Keep water lukewarm
Hot water triggers inflammation, leading to itchy incisions that you definitely shouldn’t scratch. This is why cool or lukewarm water is best for showering after plastic surgery.
Start with a sponge bath
Since you can’t shower immediately post-op, a sponge bath can help you freshen up in the meantime.
Fill a clean container with lukewarm water and a few drops of antimicrobial soap. Dip a clean sponge (or washcloth) into the water and cleanse parts of your body, avoiding your incision sites.
Avoid the bathtub
It’s a common misconception that traditional baths are better than showers post-op. The truth? Soaking in water increases your risk of bacteria exposure, making you more vulnerable to infection.
Keep your bandages dry
Make sure to keep any bandages or dressings dry, as directed by your surgeon. This means leaving that part of your body out of the water or covering it with a plastic bag, as needed.
Still anxious? We’re a step ahead of you.
Addressing Anxieties: Safe Showering Post-Surgery
Deciding to undergo plastic surgery is a deeply personal choice. Depending on your procedures, recovery can be especially draining—both emotionally and physically.
To calm your worries, here are some additional post-surgical self-care tips:
Lean on your support system
For most invasive surgeries, having a support system in place is key to your recovery. They can help you stick to your post-op instructions, provide food and water so you can rest, and provide whatever assistance you need in the initial healing phase.
Consider a shower stool
In the days after surgery, it’s normal to feel dizzy or weak. A shower stool gives you a stable place to sit and conserve energy when showering after plastic surgery.
Wear clean, comfortable clothing
Whether you’re wearing special post-surgical undergarments or not—wear clean, soft, loose-fitting clothing on top. This will wrap you in cozy comfort as you heal.
Ease up on the heavy skincare
As the founder of MD GLAM, Dr. Cat is all about skincare. But in your early days of healing? It’s best to dial back the potent lotions and perfumes. Instead, opt for gentle, fragrance-free products approved by your surgeon.
Know when to call your doctor
If at any point you develop a fever, more swelling, redness, discharge, warmth in your incision areas, or just feel that something is off—contact your surgeon immediately.
Keep these gentle recovery strategies in mind, and you’ll be soaking in your bubble bath again before you know it.
Real Stories: Post-Operative Self-Care
Like you, many of Dr. Cat’s patients are just as nervous about showering after plastic surgery.
Here’s what they have to say after putting her post-surgical self-care tips into practice:
But Dr. Cat’s recovery insights transcend post-op self-care.
Care Beyond the Shower: Gentle Recovery Strategies
Keeping your surgical area clean is crucial to healing after plastic surgery. But it’s only a piece of your recovery.
Dr. Cat believes in a 360° surgical experience. In addition to her renowned expertise and post-operative shower guidelines, she offers comprehensive instructions for maximizing every stage of your recovery.
Her recommendations for maintaining surgical results beyond the shower include:
- Prioritize rest as needed
- Take gentle walks
- Protect incisions from the sun
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid smoking while healing
- Attend your follow-ups
- Keep a positive mindset
And if you ever need a moment of Dr. Cat’s time? She consistently makes herself available to her patients. This warm, personalized approach is a testament to her commitment to wellness beyond surgery.
FAQs: Showering After Plastic Surgery
The topic of post-surgical showers can raise some rather interesting questions. Here are Dr. Cat’s answers to a few of them:
Can you take a shower the morning of surgery?
Typically, yes. Most providers ask you to shower either the night before or the morning of your procedure. This helps to prevent surgical site infections. That said, this can vary per surgeon.
Can I wash my hair the morning of surgery?
Yes. Most providers require you to wash your hair either the night before or the morning of your surgery. However, they often ask you to avoid products besides shampoo and conditioner.
How long do I have to wait to shower after surgery?
You typically have to wait at least 48 hours before you can wet your incisions without risk of infection unless directed otherwise.
How do you cover a surgical wound in the shower?
If your surgeon didn’t dress your wound in waterproof bandages, you may have to get a little creative. You can use a rubber glove or plastic bag to cover your surgical wound.
What happens if you don’t shower after surgery?
If you don’t cleanse your surgical area as directed, it can accumulate sweat and dirt build-up. This can have a negative effect on healing.
Closing Thoughts: Cherishing and Prioritizing Your Healing Journey
As you can see, showering after plastic surgery isn’t so intimidating. After all, you wouldn’t want to undo your gorgeous results on account of poor hygiene—right?
Dr. Cat is here to make sure that never happens. From your initial consultation to striking a pose for your before-and-afters—you’ll find continuous support at every milestone.