First Quarter 2011, Volume 25, Number 4

Innovative ways to optimize your healing

IN THIS ISSUE

Are you feeling the pressure to look younger? You’re not alone

Knowing the laser language and the different types. Which one will work for you?

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Innovative ways to optimize your healing

Your facial plastic surgeon seeks to combine state of the art reconstructive and cosmetic services with nurturance and inclusive care. Your physician is treating the whole patient with supplementary services to reduce nervousness, enhance healing, and maximize patient satisfaction. The following suggestions may help you sail more smoothly through your next procedure-from pre-op to post-op.

Research has shown that the more relaxed and comfortable a patient is before surgery, the better his or her convalescence. Your facial plastic surgeon may recommend a few days before surgery or the day of surgery such things as aromatherapy, relaxing music, guided imagery tapes, reflexology, or acupressure. A massage can improve circulation, deepen relaxation, and provide an increased sense of physical and emotional well-being. This relaxed state helps minimize the release of epinephrine and cortisone; these hormones increase the body’s tendency to swell and bruise. Your physician may also recommend these same treatments to relieve pain and promote healing after your procedure.

Hypnosis is a trancelike state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation, and heightened imagination. Some patients use selfhypnosis to visualize the success of the surgery and the success of the recovery. They focus on the flawless procedure, the healing body, the ease of blood flow, and the return to normal energy levels. Mount Sinai researchers reviewed 20 different studies on hypnosis and surgical pain and found that for those patients susceptible to its effects, adding hypnosis to standard post-surgical care sped recovery in terms of pain, anxiety, and the need for painkillers.

A less well-known treatment is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). The patient is placed into a chamber to breathe 100 percent oxygen at greater than normal atmospheric pressures (usually up to two times greater) for an hour or so. Normally, we breathe approximately 20 percent increased pressure combined with an increase in oxygen, dissolves oxygen in the blood plasma and in all body cells, tissues, and fluids, at up to 10 times normal concentration. This increased oxygen to tissues stimulates growth and repair.

Your facial plastic surgeon may recommend various homeopathic remedies or dietary supplements, e.g., arnica or bromelain, which may help minimize swelling and bruising. Do not take any pills or supplements without the approval of your doctor, as they can impede the healing process.

Discuss with your facial plastic surgeon how you can plan for a stress-free experience that will allow your body to respond and recover optimally after your next treatment or surgery.