David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

5 Reasons to Call Your Doctor After Plastic Surgery

when to call after plastic surgeryOur Patient Care Coordinator lists 5 reasons to call our office after having plastic surgery:

I recently underwent some surgery myself and although I love my gynecologist and his staff, I’ll admit I felt a certain amount of anxiety over not having all the information on the surgery preparation process and what my recovery would be like. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect despite the trust I had in the doctor. In the days leading up to my recent procedure, I found myself calling the nurse’s line, again and again, with all kinds of questions. I called so much that I began to imagine the arguments at the nurse’s station as to who had to talk to me this time:) So it got me started thinking about our patients and if they ever hesitate to call us after their procedures.
Your Pre-Op Appointment will answer most, but not all of your questions.

You see, before you have a plastic surgery procedure with Dr. Reath, you’ll come in for a pre-op visit. This visit takes about an hour and allows us to go over your prescriptions and give you your aftercare kit and instructions ahead of time. It’s a chance to discuss how things will go the day of your surgery and provide more detailed info on things like what to wear the day of the procedure, what time to arrive and how to best prepare your “recovery zone” when you get home.

To Call Or Not To Call
Definitely call. I want to go on record by saying: Even though the surgery process is old hat to us, it is new to you. We would much rather you call with questions than lose sleep over the details.

For example if:
You can’t remember exactly what was said during your pre-op visit.
No worries…this happens, after all, you have a lot on your mind and a lot of information to absorb. If you can’t quite remember how to take your medicine or when you can get back to a certain activity, just give us a call.
You are not sure if you can go back to (or start) a certain activity
For the first few weeks following a procedure you will most likely be restricted in areas such as exercise and other medications. If you have a hankering to start back with an activity but worry that it might be too early, just give us a call. P.S. This also works well if you are trying to get out of a certain activity like household chores. Just say “So sorry, I’m disappointed too, but Dr. Reath says I can’t vacuum for at least 6 more weeks!”
You have a spot/area/incision that looks a little different than the rest
It is completely normal for some areas to heal a little differently than others, however, if you are concerned, we don’t want you to worry. Just give us a ring and let us know what is going on. If we think it sounds suspicious, we may have you send us a photo or come in so we can take a look. We are more than happy to set your mind at ease.
You feel a lot worse than anticipated
This is most likely temporary, and tomorrow will be a new day. However, if your general experience is not lining up with the information we gave you during your pre-op appointment, please give us a call. Often we can figure out what is amiss over the phone, and since we take care of all patients after surgery, we may have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you get back on the healing path.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: If you are running a fever, vomiting, have an area that is HOT to the touch, unusual pain in the legs or chest or trouble breathing, or any other alarming symptoms…..These could be signs of something serious. Call our office or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
The point is …We like to touch base with our patients during their recovery; in fact, we will be calling you for the first few days just to make sure you don’t have any unanswered questions or concerns. However, if all of the sudden you think of something you forgot to mention, we want you to call because we are always happy to help. (And we promise not to make you feel silly…I hate it when people do that!)
Our staff has just written another stellar free eBook. The Plastic Surgery Planner is 40 pages of best practices with everything you need to know about planning for your plastic surgery and recovery. It’s a must-read for anyone planning to have plastic surgery.
Plastic Surgery Planner Tips to Manage a Speedy Recovery Download Now

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