Healing Feelings After Plastic Surgery

Healing feelings are a natural consequence of the disruption of normal anatomy following surgical trauma and injury. The normal process of healing following any injury to the body, whether it is by accident or by surgery, it is basically the same and consists of following sequence of events.

Scar tissue is Mother Nature epoxy glue for the process of healing an individual. The glue begins to set right after surgery and becomes very solid after approximately 3 weeks. At that time, lumps, redness, hardness and stiffness, of all the wounds occur whether on the face, the nose, incisions about the eyes, breast, abdomen or any other part of the body. Some difficulty in moving the muscles around the nose, eyes, cheeks, mouth and neck may be noticed by the patient. These feelings are only temporary provided there is no major nerve damage, which is extremely rare!

It is commonly thought that some people and young people heal faster and better than others and therefore, scar tissue and the healing feeling process occurs more rapidly. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case. Healthy bodies in young people make more of Mother Nature’s scar tissue glue because of the fact that they are healthy. The older the patient becomes the less the tendency to make this hard scar tissue and the shorter time before it subsides.

In addition, skin types are important. People with fair skin and blue eyes tend to make less scar tissue for a shorter period of time during the healing process. People with olive skin, thick and oily skin and dark eyes tend to make the firmer, harder, lumpier scar tissue, which takes longer and more unpredictable time to subside. In addition, the patient probably will have to some degree, symptoms of itching, minor sharp shooting pains, dull aches, pins and needles sensations and other strange feelings that confirm the healing process. These are just some of the typical kinds of healing feelings.

Healing feelings have to be lived through and experienced by the patient until they subside. There is no other course of action. Treatment of these feelings may be done by the judicious use of analgesics such as Tylenol, warm and cold treatments, even alcohol or which hazel swabbed on the surface of the area. However, only the doctor and his staff should recommend these modalities of treatment after consultation and recommendation. In no case should a patient treat himself without medical advice and approval.

Some patients have sensitivities more than others. Each person experiences “healing feelings” in different degrees. They may persist for a prolonged period of time, even as long as one year or sometimes longer. In the usual course of events, most patients do not complain about these sensations for very long, usually a few weeks at most.

When the feeling process is explained to the patient by the doctor and his staff, most patients find these sensations and minor discomforts tolerable until they subside. In some patients these feelings may persist for months or longer.

It is most important to communicate these feelings to your doctor or his staff. They should be evaluated to distinguish them from potential complications such as infection. In the vast majorityof instances, however, there are no associated complications, only the discomfort of Mother Nature’s healthy healing process.

In summary, you should take the attitude that unless the doctor personally notifies you of problems or complications relating to your surgery, the vast majority of your healing feelings and concerns over various areas of asymmetry, lumpiness, stiffness or other details, is for the most part a part of the normal healing process and will resolve to a degree which is totally acceptable to most patients within one year.

Time is the important element in the resolution of healing feelings, asymmetries due to surgery (as opposed to those present before surgery) and “lumps and bumps” problems. At the end of one year or occasionally sooner, there are a very small percentage of patients who will request or require minor corrections or revisions.

Please have patience and enjoy your surgery throughout this period of time. We want you to know how much we sincerely appreciate your giving all of our staff the opportunity to share and participate in your very personal surgical experience.

Thank you,