Mommy Makeover and Body Contouring surgery have evolved over the years. That evolution includes not only surgical techniques but the actual procedures and pre and post-operative care. In this post, I want to review a few of the most recent changes that you will find at our San Antonio Plastic Surgery office.
Using our new Fast Recovery After Plastic Surgery (FRAPS) protocol, we have begun to treat patients before surgery so that they have less pain after surgery. The FRAPS protocol is very similar to the ERAS protocol that many other surgical specialties are using. In the past we used to keep our patients from eating or drinking after midnight before surgery, now we are allowing clear liquids up to 2 hours before surgery. I am now encouraging patients to drink sports drinks up to 2 hours before surgery. This simple change helps control your Cortisol levels so that your recovery from surgery is quicker than not eating anything after midnight. We also routinely give medicine to prevent nausea and pain before your arrival at the hospital or surgery center. I have found that this helps decrease the pain patients feel after surgery. On the rare occasion when patients have not followed this preop protocol, their pain has been a problem. So preop nutritional support and proactive pain management improve the speed of recovery and decrease the pain of body contouring surgery.
During surgery, we now routinely perform an anesthesia block procedure with a long-acting local anesthetic. When we use Exparel, patients get relief for approximately 72 hours. I have also found that not using drains whenever possible has helped relieved discomfort and increase the speed of recovery for our patients. Almost all Tummy Tucks and Body Lifts are now performed with a Drainless technique. It has become very rare for me to use drains in any body contouring surgery. With the advent of advanced surgical technologies like BodyTite, we are now able to eliminate large incisions and decrease the severity of the operation. Without large incisions, patients recover faster from surgery and can return to work with little to no downtime. Improvements in interop pain management, surgical technique, and less invasive procedures improve the speed of recovery and decrease the pain and discomfort of body contouring surgery.
Postoperatively we have made advances in the recovery from body contouring surgery. We now minimize the use of narcotics as much as possible. This change not only helps decrease the risk of addiction but also reduces the side effects seen with narcotics. These side effects include things like nausea, bloating, constipation, and drowsiness. We also encourage the use of topical pain medicine whenever possible. Patients can return to work faster when they take fewer narcotics. By making the preop and interop changes outlined above, the postoperative period becomes much more comfortable.
The combination of nutritional support, better pain control, improved surgical techniques and procedures, and better postoperative protocols have enabled our patients to return to their normal routine faster. If you are considering Body Contouring surgery ask your Plastic Surgeon about FRAPS and minimally invasive options to get the results you desire.