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Going straight to the beach after cosmetic surgery is not a good idea!

Posted on July 31, 2013

It seems like a good idea to recover from surgery with a relaxing holiday. However, there are some significant issues to consider to avoid unexpected problems.

Firstly, be careful about having surgery just to look good on the beach. Proper recovery takes time. After breast augmentation, swelling takes several weeks to resolve before you can properly choose the right size of bra and swimwear.

Also, particularly if the implant is placed under the muscle, exercise may be difficult and promote even more swelling and delay healing. This includes dancing and swimming!

I also believe that alcohol should be avoided for three to four weeks after any surgery and particularly if it involves eyelid or facial surgery.

There is also a misconception that getting a suntan on a scar will help it to fade. Actually the complete opposite is more likely. A recent scar is already likely to be a little red and with some active inflammation. Sunlight may make this worse and burning the skin is a radiation injury, the last thing a healing scar needs. Tanning a scar rarely works, as the scar itself contains few melanocytes (the cells that produce a deeper colour). When the surrounding skin tan fades, the scar is often left looking very white or even worse, with a speckled darker colour from the adjacent skin.

We occasionally see patients who have had surgery overseas and head to the beach a few days later. It often leads to pain, swelling and in the worst cases, infection and delayed healing of the wounds.

So, a holiday in the first few weeks after surgery is not impossible. It should however, involve plenty of rest, a good healthy diet, and early nights!