Once your cosmetic surgery is done, you will be eagerly counting the days until you will be able to show off the final results to friends and family members. However, in the midst of your excitement, it can be easy to forget that your cosmetic procedure is still a complex surgery. The fact that it is not medically necessary does not take away from the fact that you will need to be on the lookout for warning signs that could indicate serious complications during your recovery phase.

Although the odds of developing such complications are rare, Dr. Paul Pin stresses the importance of knowing what might indicate that it is time to schedule a follow-up appointment at his office. Below are some indicators that your healing process following surgery may not be going quite as expected.

Severe Pain and Discomfort

Any procedure in which the skin is cut open will incur a certain amount of pain and discomfort as the body is healing itself, which is perfectly normal. This pain and discomfort will normally last for approximately a week.

Dr. Pin will either give you a prescription for pain medicine or direct you to take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as Aleve or Tylenol. However, if your pain level has not dropped by the end of the first week after your surgery, you should make an appointment to come back in.

Excessive Swelling

You should expect to see swelling following your surgery. In fact, it is one of the most common side effects you will notice. Swelling is the body’s way of isolating the incision site from the rest of the body in order to prevent any infection from getting to other parts of the body. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you should expect any swelling to last for anywhere from 10 days to two weeks. Swelling that lasts longer, or is red or hot to the touch may indicate an infection, requiring immediate medical attention.

Bruising That Does Not Fade

Aside from swelling, bruising is the other most common side effect following any surgical procedure. Bruising is another part of the body’s defense system against spreading infection once the body is cut open.

Most of your bruising will start to fade by seven to 10 days after surgery. If the bruising starts to spread out from just the incision site or becomes hard, it may be turning into a hematoma. This occurs when the blood pools, but is unable to drain. If so, Dr. Pin may need to drain the blood.

Dr. Pin understands that you are looking forward to enjoying the final results from your procedure. Knowing the warning signs that indicate it is time to see Dr. Pin for a follow-up visit is important because you may be at risk of developing an infection. Contacting Dr. Pin at the earliest sign of a problem allows us to address it quickly so you can continue to heal from your surgery.