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Choosing Your Caregiver

by Romiela Thedy, RN

When planning your surgery, it is very important to consider who will be helping you post operatively. Some people believe that they will not need that much help after plastic surgery because it’s an elective cosmetic surgery. That is not the case - surgery is still surgery! Here are a few important things to consider when choosing a who will assist you after your procedure:

You will feel vulnerable

It is important to realize that you may feel very vulnerable after surgery. You will be in pain and feel drowsy from the anesthesia and pain medication (especially within the first 24 hours after surgery). You will also need to get naked in front of this person so that you can change your garments and clean your skin once a day. During this time, it’s therefore important that the person caring for you is someone that you trust and will be committed to helping you.

You’ll need help with daily activities

Post operatively, you will have activity restrictions to ensure proper healing. Because of this, you should expect to be limited in your ability to cook, clean, or care for children and pets. If you have young children or small pets, keep in mind that you will be advised not to pick them up for several weeks after surgery, depending on their weights/sizes. Plan on having these activity restrictions for up to 6 weeks after surgery. Dr. Soto will let you know when you can start increasing activity during your post operative appointments.

You’ll need someone strong

If you are having a tummy tuck or a lower body lift, it is important to keep in mind that you’ll need someone strong enough to help lift you up from your chair or bed to do your scheduled walking. We have had some patients enlist the help of their elderly parents and they confessed that it was very difficult to get up because their help wasn’t strong enough to get them out of the chair every few hours. You will also need help bathing and using the bathroom, especially for the first week after surgery. Keep in mind that being strong doesn’t just mean physically - but mentally too! The person who will be helping you will be expected to get up every few hours with you to walk and may also need to help you care for drains. If someone you know faints every time they see some blood, they might not be the right person to help you with your drains.

To better prepare for surgery, it is recommended that you attend your pre operative appointment with the person who will be caring for you after surgery. During the pre-operative appointment, you and your caregiver will receive post operative instructions specific to your surgery and we will answer any questions that you have so that you can plan accordingly.

Selecting a postoperative care provider is an important decision that should be made only after careful consideration of the requirements that person will need to fulfill. If you have questions about what will be required of your care provider based on the details of your planned procedure, we are happy to help.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.