Episode 25: Rapid Surgical Recovery Techniques

Published on May 7th, 2020

On this episode of The Natural Plastic Surgeon…

Dr. Barrett: This is huge for recovery, okay? So if you could have localized pain relief in the, in the, your chest or in your tummy, especially the plication from a Mommy Makeover, you don’t need to take opioids, right? You don’t even, sometimes you don’t even need to take Ibuprofen to help with your pain. 

 

You are listening to The Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Barrett, Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon located right here in Beverly Hills. I specialize in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. This podcast is dedicated to those deciding if plastic surgery is right for them and revealing all the latest beauty secrets. Let’s get started.

00:50 RECOVERY HACKS

Dr. Barrett: Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Barrett. We are on Episode 25 of The Natural Plastic Surgeon and today, put on your seatbelt folks, keep your arms and hands and legs inside the vehicle at all times. We are gonna talk about recovery hacks. How to recover from surgery. How to prepare from surgery, how to recover from surgery like a boss.

Okay, these are all the tips if I were to have surgery, that I would recommend each and every one of you do. Whether you get surgery by me, or you get surgery by another plastic surgeon. These are great ways to speed up your healing, reduce your pain, improve your results, reduce scarring, okay? So we’re gonna just dive in. And I’ve got a bunch of products out here in front of me, I’m gonna talk about each one of them. 

So if you’re listening on the podcast, I will talk about them and you can actually check out my YouTube so you can actually see what these look like. And check it out for yourself. Okay?

01:35 OPTIMIZE HEALTH PRIOR TO SURGERY

So, first thing I want to talk about is, what is my, what is my recommendation for someone who’s considering surgery. Let’s say, you know, whether it’s a Mommy Makeover or breast augmentation, BBL, liposuction. What we really want to do is optimize your health prior to operation. So I would say, starting two weeks prior, keep an even keel, right? 

01:50 LOW-INFLAMMATORY DIET

Don’t go out partying. Focus on your sleep. Focus on your diet. We want to have a low inflammatory diet, okay? So that means avoiding gluten. Even though if you’re not gluten sensitive, you want to avoid wheat. You want to avoid dairy. You want to try to stay closely to a, kind of, a loose paleo diet, right? Raw things, stay away from processed foods, stay away from, you know, oils that are not natural. So anything like canola oil, french fries, stuff like that, that can really jack up your inflammation. 

Because what happens if you go to surgery and you have a high level of inflammation, you have a higher rate of bleeding. And I can tell when I operate on somebody who has a high rate of inflammation in their body, I can tell by the amount of bleeding that they have and how much swelling they have right away, right when I do the surgery. Someone that’s really healthy, when I go in and do their operation, the operation runs smoother, and there’s less swelling, there’s less bleeding, there’s less bruising, okay? 

02:50 EXERCISE REGULARLY

So the, keep, you know, keep that in mind. The, the two weeks prior to your operation, make sure you’re exercising every day, right? If you’re gonna get a mommy makeover and your tummy tuck, you’re gonna need that reserve strength. You’re gonna need that buildup of energy that you can work towards prior to the operation so that you can recover like a boss. Okay?

03:08 QUIT SMOKING AND DRINKING ALCOHOL

So, diet, exercise, absolutely no smoking. I don’t operate on smokers. Stay away from smokers, stay away from drugs, stay away from alcohol. No alcohol. Alcohol thins the blood, raises the inflammation in your liver prior to the operation. Not a good situation, lowers your immune, immunity, okay? So those are things that you want to avoid prior. 

03:26 HEALFAST SUPPLEMENT

Now we carry a supplement in our office called HealFast. This is something that we recommend you take prior to your operation. It has several different ingredients in here. I’m gonna go through each one of them okay? So, for the, for the pre-op, it has vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B, folate, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, glutamine, arginine, and a couple bioflavonoids and a probiotic blend.  If you can only do anything, do this, okay? If you have other options, if you, if you want to get a little more involved, start taking garlic. Do curcumin. I’ve got a whole list here: resveratrol, garlic, glutathione, multivitamins, spirulina. But if you don’t have any of that, this product actually works pretty good. There’s other stuff out there. This is just one that we carry in our office that’s called HealFast. And it’s actually designed by a group here at UCLA that, kind of, looked at a lot of independent studies of things that help optimize people prior to surgery. 

04:30 VITAMIN C DEFICIENCY

What happens if you have a vitamin C deficiency? Well, your wounds don’t heal. And it doesn’t really help you, right, to start taking vitamins for your deficiencies after your operation if you’re already deficient going into this. Because it takes, it takes several days for them to build up in your system. So this way, when you start taking this a week ahead of time, or two weeks ahead of time, this way, you’re gonna have all the nutrients onboard so your body is gonna be ready to handle the stress. Okay?

04:55 ANXIETY AND SURGERY

Now, if you have anxiety, I get a lot of people that ask me about, do I prescribe Ativan? Or do I, do I prescribe something like Valium? And I absolutely don’t because I think it’s, it’s the worst thing you can do for a patient and I believe in not harming my patients. Okay, yes, you’re anxious. There’s breathwork that you can do. There’s 4-7-8 breathing, which is described by Dr. Weil. And basically you breathe in for four seconds, hold it for seven, and then you exhale for eight seconds, nice and slow. See already my heart rate’s lower. Okay, if you do that four times in a row, I guarantee most of your anxiety will be gone. Your heart rate will most definitely lower and this has been clinically proven. Okay? So whether you, you use this prior to going into surgery, the night before or whatever, or just to get to sleep every night like I do, 4-7-8 breathing is, is one major way to do it. 

05:50 MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTATION 

Another one is magnesium supplementation called Natural Calm, it’s a little powder you put in a drink, and you take a little bit of that before you go to bed, it helps calm your nerves a lot. I actually recommend that postoperatively too for a lot of my breast augmentation patients, because it relaxes the muscles if you get muscle spasms. Okay? That product’s called Natural Calm. We’ll put that in our show notes. We’ll put the HealFast in our show notes, the website as well. 

06:15 CBD

And the last thing that we recently started carrying in the office, which I’m really excited about, is Wild Health CBD, all right? There’s lots of different CBD products out there. In case you don’t know, CBD comes from hemp. And you can get THC from marijuana, cannabis, which makes you high, which doesn’t really help you with your healing very much. And then there’s CBD in there which actually does help you with your healing and your anxiety. It has been clinically shown to help people with anxiety. 

So if you’re having anxiety prior to an operation, pick up some CBD, we carry it here in the office. I personally recommend Wild Health CBD. You can check out their website. I’ve actually chatted with their CEO of this company. They have the best extraction method. They use the best MCT carrier oil in it. And, you know, the last thing you want to do is be taking CBD every day with a highly inflammatory oil as a carrier, okay? So that works on anxiety, pre-op, and we’ll talk, we’ll talk more about that post-operatively as well, because it helps with pain. 

07:15 PRE-OP CHECKLIST 

So your pre-op checklist: exercise every day, good paleo-friendly, kind of, paleo, loose paleo diet, no processed foods, even keel, no partying, no ragers, no smoking. And then we talked about vitamin supplementation to make sure you’ve got everything up on board. Probiotics, yes, you can take a stronger version. There is some probiotics in this. But you can take a stronger version and prebiotics to maintain a healthy gut food for those bacteria to work on. Right? 

So it’s not just the bacteria, the presence of the bacteria, but they need things like sweet potato, bananas, they need all that fiber. Artichoke hearts or Jerusalem, Jerusalem chokes. Those are things that really help fortify the food for your bacteria to thrive on to produce a lot of the things that help us, right? That help the gut-brain connection and to help deal with a lot of the things that happen during surgery. And to help process that bacteria in your gut. Yes, it will help you get rid of a lot of the toxins that are produced by your body when you go under anesthesia. So you want to optimize that. So a minimum of two weeks, that’s the protocol there. Okay. 

Let me go through here. I’ve got a couple other things. Okay, good.

08:25 PREGNANCY TEST

So now surgery, make sure you’re not pregnant. So, we do a pregnancy test right before any operation. So if you think you might be pregnant, we will test it. But I, you know, a couple months ago, I had a patient who was coming in for a breast augmentation. It’s so funny, she was trying for several years to get pregnant, and they gave up. And so she came in, she took a pregnancy test right before breast augmentation, came back positive. So we couldn’t do her operation, but she had a blessing in disguise and, and she went on to, to get pregnant and keep the bab, and, and do whatever she wanted to do, and everything turned out great for her. But if you want to have the surgery done, don’t get pregnant. Okay? So, all right, moving on, that was a very isolated instance. But that’s why we test for pregnancy prior to any operation. 

09:13 INCISION PAIN

Now recovery. Recovery starts with how I do the operation. And this is really where I think I differ and I wish a lot of surgeons would pay attention right here. All right, the, if you talk to any anesthesiologist, if you, if you talk to anybody that studies pain, the brain is not the only part of your body that senses pain. Okay, so when I do an incision for breast surgery, I’m injecting numbing medicine at that site. So even though the patient’s completely asleep, brain doesn’t feel it, thalamus is shut off, that sensation is felt by the spinal cord. And guess what? It has its own, kind of, primitive brain in and of itself too, that can sense that something happened and then upregulates inflammation, right? And when you upregulate inflammation, things hurt. It’s like if you’ve got an infected splinter on your hand, and you touched it over and over again, hurts right? When it’s red and angry? That’s because there’s an upregulation of cytokines in that area that cause sensitivity and pain. Well guess what? The same thing happens during surgery. So we want to calm that down with pre-injection of numbing medicine, as best we can, prior to the operation. 

10:20 LONG-ACTING PAIN MEDICINE

Now the other, the other component to that is we have long-acting pain medication called Exparel. Now, Exparel is a lipofied Marcaine. So Marcaine lasts six hours on its own. Lidocaine lasts one to two hours, that’s the stuff they use at the dentist’s office. They’ll, like, inject in your teeth. But with Marcaine it lasts six hours and when they lipofy it, and they put in this product called Exparel, it lasts three days. This is huge for recovery, okay? So if you could have localized pain relief in the, in the, your chest or in your tummy, especially the plication from a Mommy Makeover, you don’t need to take opioids, right? You don’t even, sometimes you don’t even need to take Ibuprofen to help with your pain, okay? It dramatically improves your recovery. 

I have, most of my patients, I, I call them right after their operation. And if they had the Exparel, they are, they’re talking to me like normal people. If they didn’t get the Exparel, they’re, they’re struggling. And it, and it, and it hurts and we charge $490 for this just because medication’s very expensive. We can’t offer it to all of our patients. Some places do. Hospitals are using it now. That decreases length of stay in the hospital. Orthopedic surgeons are using it for hip joint surgery. Talk to your doctor if that’s your situation. But it is a game changer, in terms of pain relief. And pain relief impacts your overall recovery. 

11:40 OPIOID USE 

The less opioids, guess what, even though I prescribe Norcos, I’m not a big fan of them. There’s a big problem with opioids in this country and my patients, they really, it’s not like they have a drug problem or anything like that, but opioids are really bad for your system. They, they basically work by blunting your pain receptors in your body. It’s not helping any of the inflammation. It’s not, it, it’s not actually reducing the source of the pain. It’s just blocking stuff. And the other things that it blocks are intestinal gut motility. So you get constipated. You feel bloated. You feel nauseous. Oftentimes, I have patients that sometimes take their first Norco and they throw up. So I really try to reduce my patients taking the opioid pain medications as much as possible. If you go to a hospital nurses are just, like, oh, you want morphine? Oh, you want a lot of it? But guess what, you’re doing a disservice to your patient, when you are offering them tons of pain medication.

I get it, sometimes you need it, and I do prescribe it. And sometimes it’s the only thing that works. And, and that’s why it’s there. But if we can think of ways to bypass the use of opio, opioid pain medication, then we’re gonna have a faster recovery. Both you’re gonna feel better, you’re going to have a better appetite. You’re not gonna feel as nauseous. You’re gonna have less swelling in your body and your pain will be ultimately better managed. 

Okay, you definitely don’t want to go into surgery on pain medication. So if you are taking opioids, you do need to know that you want to taper that down prior to getting surgery. I rarely operate on somebody who’s on chronic long-term pain medication, because it’s just impossible to control their pain after surgery. They’ve already, your receptors, guess what, they get used to having opioids in your system. And so they start to downregulate and it, it doesn’t take very much for that person to experience a lot more pain.

13:20 CBD IS A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO OPIOIDS

Okay. What else can you use for pain? Well, back to our friend Wild Health CBD. Okay, you take a little bit of dropper, I’m gonna open this up right now. You take a little dropper of this and you can see it looks green and that’s, that’s on purpose. Okay, there is pure CBD out there that is just clear, completely clear and tastes like nothing. But I prefer this because it has a lot of the, a lot of the cannabinoids and a lot of the natural products from the hemp plant that I think are beneficial, and so do they, that help, kind of, augment the response. 

Now let’s dive into what the heck is CBD? All right, so CBD is a cannabinoid. And everybody have, everybody, every human has cannabinoid receptors in their body. They have a CB1 and a CB2 receptor. CB1 has a lot to do with anxiety and mental function, CB, CBD, CB2 has a lot to do with pain and inflammation. So what CBD does is it actually enhances your own body’s ability to communicate with these receptors. So, in the case of anxiety, it helps boost neurotransmitter signaling that helps reduce anxiety levels. When it comes to pain and inflammation, it helps them, helps make a more robust response for your own body to heal and connect with these CB2 receptors in your body to reduce inflammation and to reduce pain. So there’s a lot of people out there that swear by it. A lot of chronic pain, and a lot of chronic pain patients started taking CBD after years of unsuccessful treatments with opioids and it works like magic. Okay, so if this is you, check with your doctor obviously, but it’s been a game-changer. 

14:57 CBD HELPS WITH SLEEP

Now the other thing that CBD does, it also helps your sleep. I actually track all of my sleep with this little ring. It’s called the Oura Ring. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes if you guys want to check it out. It’s a great way to track your sleep. It measures body temperature, heart rate variability, deep sleep versus REM sleep when you go to bed at night. Deep sleep is that restorative sleep that happens the first four hours of your sleep, and what CBD does is it actually extends that and makes that easier to get to. 

So if you have problems with sleep, especially after surgery, CBD is really great. You take a little dropper, put it underneath your tongue, let it sit for a few minutes and you’re are good to go. You can also take it during the daytime too and it has positive effects as well. So yeah, I take this, I take about 100 milligrams to 150 milligrams every night. Doesn’t make you high guys, I’m sorry. There’s plenty of marijuana out there if that’s what you’re looking for. I don’t recommend marijuana after surgery. Edibles and things like that are okay, but smoke and stuff like that is bad for your, bad for your healing.

15:50 HEALFAST POST-OP SUPPLEMENT

Okay, now the other product is the HealFast post-op. Now this has a lot more products in it, like glutamine, and bromelain complex and things that help, kind of, scavenge some free radicals that happen after surgery. I think that you, this is a good starting point. But if you really want to take it to the next level, get Thornes Extended-Release, Sustained-Release Glutathione to take right after your operation. Because what that’ll do is that’ll scavenge a lot of the free radicals from the anesthesia and a lot of the damage that happens to, kind of, help clear it out of your body. Activated charcoal is good. I’ve got a whole list here: curcumin, resveratrol, garlic, glutathione. We talked about multivitamin here. And spirulina.

16:35 SPIRULINA AND ARNICA

Spirulina is, has an amazing effect on, on helping scavenge free radicals and helping calm down inflammation. And it’s a great source of protein. And it’s vegan. Then we have Arnica. I recommend you take Arnica. Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is, it’s kind of like Ibuprofen, but it doesn’t cause leaky gut, okay? Leaky gut is, is, happens, and I, I do prescribe Ibuprofen. It works better than opioids. But taking too much of it can cause gastric upset. It can cause ulcers and can cause leaky gut syndrome. Okay, so I, I prescribe antibiotics for my operations, because sometimes we’re using implants and bacteria love to hop on the body when there’s surgery being done. So I do prescribe, I do have perioperative antibiotics. I don’t like that I have to do it. It’s not great for your gut. It causes problems long term if you don’t replenish the bacteria in your gut. 

So the Arnica will help, kind of, prevent leaky gut syndrome. It helps with swelling, it’s a natural way to do it. Ibuprofen is a, is a great thing for the very first few days and then switch over to Arnica or take Arnica the whole time. It will reduce your swelling and the bromelain in here is high concentration, it will reduce your bruising, okay? 

The other product is the HealFast. It has all the good stuff in there too, just lower amounts. And all the other products I, I recommended for you, you should take. To help speed up your healing, reduce your inflammation and so forth. Okay, so that’s, I think that’s kind of it for supplementation after surgery. 

18:06 PROBIOTICS AFTER SURGERY

I did talk about antibiotics. I do recommend a stool softener to help keep things moving when you have a bowel movement. I prescribe Colace. Lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of fiber to, kind of, keep things going and, and help keep the bacteria happy. Go out, get a really solid probiotic. There’s a company called Seed, S-E-E-D. If you go to their website, they have subscription service. I think they have the most evidence-based probiotics out there in the market. It’s all about the strains, it’s not about the colony, colony-forming units, okay? 

So Seed, they actually, they actually treat the certain bacteria so it can actually make it to where it needs to go. It doesn’t get destroyed in the back, in, in the stomach, which a lot of, lot of probiotics, they don’t even make it to where they need to go. So Seed.com for your probiotic. It’s a subscription service. It’s something I take every single day. But if you do it prior to surgery, start it at least a month prior. So you’re not having any, you’re gonna get a die off, you’re gonna get some strange things happening. But you want to be, kind of, normalized by the time your surgery comes, comes along. So I would start that at least a month ahead. 

And then I would take it for the rest of your life. I think there’s a lot of evidence that shows that probiotics and prebiotics will help you live longer, especially if you look at Blue Zones, where they, certain indigenous populations, they eat certain vegetables that are great prebiotics. These, these people live longer. Okay, so that I don’t want to dive into a rabbit hole on that too much. But that is the probiotic I recommend. 

19:30 INCREASE FOOD INTAKE AFTER SURGERY

Okay, so…all right, so moving on. What differs from the different operations? Well, you know, I think all of them, especially fat transfer procedures, you need to make sure that you’re getting enough calories in. So take your normal diet and then add about 20% more calories to help heal you from that operation, at least that first week to two weeks. Do not worry about gaining weight, your body needs those extra calories. That needs that protein to heal. So we want macros, we want good macronutrients. We want protein, we want fat. And we want good, slow-release carbs. Slow-release carbs are sweet potatoes, potatoes, things like that, that are going to, kind of, slowly release in your gut and provide a good source of prebiotics and fiber for your gut. Versus fast-release things like processed foods, french fries, things like that. 

20:22 EXERCISE

All right, now, I also want to talk about, we talked a little about preoperatively. We talked about exercise. And yes, exercise is really important because when you’re, when you’re post-surgery, you’re gonna be relying, depending on where we operate, you’re gonna be relying on different muscles that may or may not be conditioned well enough to, kind of, support the amount of effort that you’re gonna be needing them for. So a good overall exercise plan is great. Things like, you know, CrossFit, very functional-based stuff is good. Overall weight training is fantastic. It also stimulates some good pathways for healing. So that you can, you can upregulate these pathways prior to your operation, so that when you do get the operation you’re primed and ready to, to build connections, build tissue and heal. 

21:09 BLOOD CLOTS AND MOVEMENT 

Afterwards. Movement is key, okay? The biggest thing I worry about after surgery are blood clots, we don’t want to get a blood clot. Blood clot is where blood pools in your veins and it can happen at the time of surgery, or it can happen after surgery. And that blood pools and it forms a clot as if you were to cut, you know, get a scab, it bleeds and you get a scab. Well the same thing can happen inside in your veins. And so that’s why during operation we have, we have blanket warmers. We have table warmers. We have leg squeezers that squeeze the legs while you’re under anesthesia because we’re trying to keep that flow, that movement going. 

We try to limit our operations to less than six hours because we know that statistically DVTs, or deep venous thrombosis, these blood clots, are lower when we stay under six hours. There was a lot of other risk factors that goes into it. And sometimes we prescribe blood-thinning medications after the operation to help reduce that chance. Now the problem with a blood clot is that it could travel. It could travel to your lungs, it can travel elsewhere and cause problems. And this can be life-threatening, people can die from this. It’s the biggest thing I worry about for surgery. And you’re much less likely to have this happen if you are up and moving right after the operation. 

So I tell everybody, when you finish your op, I don’t care if it’s a big Mommy Makeover, why not get up and move around before you go to bed? I prescribe compression garments so that it helps squeeze a lot of the blood out of the, out of the veins, and we recommend you wear that for at least 24 hours after your operation. But the biggest thing is get up, move around. That helps prevent the blood from pooling and collecting and causing blood clots but it also helps your circulation, helps the lymphatic flow. 

Humans were designed to move. If you, if you dive into it, if you look at the recent, maybe a couple months ago, this article in Scientific American about humans. We, we evolved, how we different from chimpanzees, chimpanzees evolved to sit around in trees. If you look at a chimpanzee, it could be lazy its whole life and it never develops diabetes, it never develops any problems. Humans on the other hand, if you sit around and sit on the couches, you know, you’re gonna get problems. Because our whole genetics, everything we’ve evolved over the past 800,000 years, we evolved to move, okay? 

So you gotta keep moving, we’re going to heal better, you’re going to heal better when you move, you’re going to get less, you’re going to get less buildup of toxins. You’re gonna get things circulating out. So little gentle massages, and lymphatic massage is great. But the biggest thing if you can just get up and walk three times a day, you’re gonna recover like a boss, okay? It’s hard to do. It’s hard to do, but if you lie in bed, you, most of your recovery, you have a high risk of having major problems. And you’re not going to recover as fast. The bed puts you closer to the grave. That’s what they always told me in residency and in training, and I saw myself. If you’re stuck in bed, you’re not getting out, you’re, you’re not gonna do well, okay?

23:56 SWIMMING

Okay, so what else? Swimming? Swimming is kinda bad because typically the water can seep into incisions. So I don’t recommend any of my patients swim until at least six weeks after. So hot tub, jacuzzi, bath tub all falls within that category. Shower is generally okay. I have people shower the next day. It just feels good. Just gets a lot of that junk off of you and the water running over you, if done correctly with our Steri Strips, you won’t get, you won’t get water into your incisions. Okay.

24:22 WHY WILD HEALTH CBD? 

So we talked about vitamins and so forth. Let’s see…Now to dive in a little bit more about the CBD that, I had another question about why, why do we actually go with CBD? They’re really the only company that grew their own hemp and they use a cryogenic ethanol extraction. All right, so that’s, that’s a way better process than some of the other stuff out there. In fact, I can, kind of, tell you a little bit more about this. Is it, as opposed to CO2 or hydrocarbon-based extraction methods, it’s effective, efficient and safe. And, and, and this is a product that, you know, these people use. They don’t mind giving it to their children and it’s a, it’s a product that I really stand behind. A lot of the stuff that’s out there, you really don’t know what they’re doing. You don’t really even know the CBD quality or the content of it or how they extracted or what those oils are and if they’re inflammatory or not. So that answers the question why, why Wild Health CBD. We’re actually looking to get somebody from their company on the podcast to, kind of, dive in a little bit more. I’m so fascinated by this product, and how they do it, the difference, so we can share that information with you as well. 

25:36 TYPES OF RECOVERY 

Okay, now, let’s talk about a different type of recovery actually. So I do want to dive into a little bit of the, the HealFast before I talk about the LightStim. Now the HealFast has, like I said, it has glutamine, arginine, bromelain, quercetin, probiotics, vitamin C, citrus, bioflavonoids, zinc, vitamin B complex, A, magnesium, selenium, folate, copper. These are all things that sometimes if you are deficient in, your wounds won’t heal.  Glutathiamine, studies have shown decreased wound infection rates and improved healing, potent antioxidants, cellular protection from sites of inflammation, injury and stress. This is probably the most important thing. They have a good dose of that in there, but I, I recommend that you get Thorne’s Sustained-Release so you have stuff going 24 hours, okay? 

26:23 BROMELAIN 

Bromelain–that’s my, one of my favorites. It’s a pineapple extract with a range of, wide range of potential therapeutic effects. Anti-clotting, anti-swelling, anti-inflammatory benefits. Helps get rid of debris and accelerate wound healing and decrease the bruising. So you’re gonna look better, quicker. 

And quercetin, this is a new one that I’ve been, kind of, learning about. Bioflavonoid found in onions. Regulates histamine and inflammation, like bromelain, reduces bruising and swelling, aids with pain control. It’s a great one to take after a big, long Iron Man too. So anyway, we’ll, we’ll put the link to the HealFast website in the show notes so you guys can actually check out, they have some of the best combination of stuff that I’ve been able to find, post-surgical, and my patients love it. 

27:07 LIGHTSTIM 

Okay, now, the fun one. So if you can hear this right now, this is our LightStim, okay? And this is using red light and infrared therapy to increase circulation and blood flow. So what’ll happen is there’s big versions of this and there’s a small one. You can actually buy this in the office and take this home. And if you hold it over an area for about five minutes or even 10 minutes, even better, you will see an increase of capillary flow. You’ll see the whole area start to lighten up. And I do this on a bigger scale every morning for 20 minutes. Helps set my circadian rhythm. I wake up at 4:30 every morning, and I use a bigger version of LightStim, it’s called a Joovv. For the front of my body and the back of my body, I stand at my standing desk, naked. And that way everybody, every part of my body gets the red light and infrared light. But what it does is it really fires up your thyroid hormone, fires up everything. And so you really get on a good circadian rhythm, increases circulation, speeds up recovery, decreases bruising and swelling tremendously. All through this increase in circulation, kind of, response. There’s also some evidence about a dose dependent response on mitochondria to help increase energy production, which is a bonus over incisions if you’re trying to heal. It’s completely safe to use on surgical sites and areas especially for liposuction. Works wonders on the swelling there.

Okay, so we have a big panel that we use in the office and then we recommend people get one of these, take it home, hold it over the area, especially for breasts. Five minutes here, five minutes there, you’re gonna see a better, you’re gonna see a faster healing result with, with the LightStim or red light therapy. But again, that’s, this is new stuff that’s coming out on a larger scale. It’s actually been shown to reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and a whole host of other things that we’re just starting to recover. There’s a reason why Olympic athletes are hopping in these red light therapy beds in between their performances so they can recover faster and there’s some Tour de France people that are doing the same thing. But guess what? It works for surgery patients just as well. 

29:20 ACTIVITY 

Okay, so I’m just gonna go through my list here. I think we’ve covered pretty much everything that we do. Activity. You know, I, I’m a big believer in exercise. I don’t have my patients exercise the first two weeks. It’s just too much to have, it can cause bleeding or can be, increase swelling. I do have my patients walk three times a day for the first two weeks, generally. 

And then at two weeks, I want you to do some cardio. I want you to get your heart rate up. I don’t want you to work areas that we might have done surgery on, so for tummy tuck patients, no core for six weeks. For breast augmentation patients, no upper body for six weeks, no heavy lifting, so forth. But the rest of your body, get it moving. It’s going to, it’s gonna make you feel better. You’re gonna get stronger. You’re gonna, you’re gonna heal and recover faster. Because all of the cytokines and regulatory hormones do so much better if you start to stimulate a little bit of exercise. Plus you’ll get back to work faster, you’ll be, you’ll be feeling better and so forth and have a lot more energy. It’ll also help with depression and your mood as well, which is super important.

30:20 COMPLICATIONS AFTER SURGERY

Okay, guys, so that…oh, you know what, one more thing. What’s are some things to worry about after, after surgery? If you have a fever. If you have a fever over 101, that’s a problem, and you wanna call your doctor. If you have pain that’s not relieved with medication, you should call your doctor, okay? It’s, it’s getting worse, things getting worse are not good. Things should be getting better. Swelling, redness, foul odor, discharge, all that stuff is pretty bad. Persistent nausea, vomiting could be a sign that you’re extremely dehydrated and you need to get IV fluids. Those are things that, kind of, kind of, spiral out of control and, and, and you might need help. 

So I always recommend my patients to drink glass of water or glass of Gatorade, at least one, it’s, once an hour after your operation. Because your anesthesia is gonna, is gonna knock off your osmoreceptors in your body. You’re not gonna be able to sense whether you’re thirsty or not. And if you get dehydrated, especially after a big surgery, you’re not gonna know it and the first thing you get is nauseous. Trying to drink water when you’re nauseous just doesn’t work. So that’s why I recommend all my patients start right away, drinking lots of water, lots of fluids, getting some calories in will help that absorption and help you get some energy back even faster. 

So that’s it you guys. That is how to recover like a boss. If you have any more questions, feel free to, to let us know. But these, these are my, my tips, my hacks, the basics for recovery. You can check out more on my website, DrDanielBarrett.com. We have a whole section on it. But thank you for tuning in. Hope you enjoyed. 

 

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