When planning your surgery, there are various factors to consider, from your surgeon, to how much the surgery will cost and where the surgery will take place. Postoperative care can often be an afterthought or can often not be thought about until your surgery date approaches. We might have it in the back of our minds that there will be a recovery time, but all too often we don’t actually think about what takes place post surgery and what exactly is involved. So just how important is postoperative care? Having the appropriate level of care, support and guidance post surgery combined with regular follow up appointments, all contribute to a successful outcome. We chatted to Dr Marcus Pyragius, Plastic Surgeon based in Adelaide, South Australia, who is renowned for his exemplary postoperative care and gave us an insight into his postoperative care with patients.
Questions directly after surgery
Following surgery you will want to see your surgeon, so that they can provide you with an overview of how the surgery went. It is standard procedure in Australia for your surgeon to visit you shortly after surgery to see how you are going; ensure you are comfortable, have the right pain management medication and explain to you exactly what the process will be for recovery. They will provide you with all the necessary support and answer any questions you may have.
Dr Pyragius says all day surgery and hospital inpatients are not only informed personally about postoperative care instructions, but are also provided with detailed information sheets that outline what to expect post surgery and any concerns to look out for. “Patient follow up is dependent on the nature of the surgery. If the patient has had surgery where they are required to remain in hospital, I will review them the morning after surgery and daily from thereon in until discharge. These patients will then continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis in my rooms for as long as necessary. With day surgery procedures, the patient is reviewed within 1 week of surgery. With all patients, if they feel they need to see me earlier than their scheduled appointment, I will always arrange a suitable time to see them. I provide all patients with my contact details for both work hours and afterhours. During working hours my Personal Assistant is readily available to answer any queries via phone or email.”
There will be staples, stitches or tissue glue to hold together any incisions made in your surgery. It is important to keep these areas clean and dressed according to the surgeons instructions. Any dressings will need to be changed and kept dry and clean (whether it is by you or your surgeon). You may also need to have stitches removed post surgery. It is important to note, that there is always a risk of infection and you should contact / see your doctor as soon as you see any signs of this occurring.
Dr Pyragius says, “I inform patients about how to manage their dressings including when they are able to shower, when they will need their sutures removed and what signs to look out for if an infection was to develop. All information relating to the possibilities of infections are outlined in the handout I provide patients with. I also advise patients to look out for increasing pain, redness, fever, swelling or wound discharge, as these can all be signs of an infection.”
There is always a risk that complications may occur with any surgery. Your surgeon will outline any associated risks and complications with you prior to surgery and answer any questions you may have. If you do suffer from any complications, you want to ensure that you can contact your surgeon if required. Your surgeon will conduct follow up appointments with you post surgery to ensure that recovery is progressing as it should be.
Time for Results and Healing
It takes time for your body and mind to recover from any operation. Given the nature of Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery, you often need be patient with results as it can take several months for the final outcome to be achieved. This can often cause slight stress or anxiety and therefore you may want to have access to your surgeon to ask them any questions you may have during this time.
With the growing numbers of Australians travelling overseas for “surgery holidays” there is an increasing number being subjected to botched operations and no follow up care in the weeks after the surgery. There are a growing number of deaths and long term effects for those willing to take the chance to not have access to their surgeon on an ongoing basis. This reinforces to us here at the Hub, just how important it is to consider your postoperative care, which ultimately means having your procedure performed by an Australian surgeon in Australia. We have access to some world-class surgeons in this country and it makes sense to consider your postoperative follow up and care as being an integral part of your overall recovery.
You can find out more about Dr Marcus Pyragius by visiting his website or you can phone his rooms which are located in North Adelaide in South Australia, on 08 8267 4000 to arrange a consultation.