Hospital Stay after Cosmetic Surgery

Staying in the hospital after cosmetic surgery is a question many patients ask about. There are many benefits and several myths about hospital stays. The truth is, most patients across the country go home after almost all types of cosmetic surgery. I do most of my surgery out of a hospital setting where my patients have the option to stay or go home. While most of my patients go home after the surgery, many choose to stay overnight. Why? For some it is just the convenience of not having to go home and deal with kids, or having to drive a long distance to get to home. For others, it is the peace of mind knowing that they are the most safe place they can be after a lengthy operation. The main issue is safety. All patients need to begin their recovery in a safe and comfortable place, where they can be watched and cared for. For many this is in the comfort and privacy of their own home, together with a very responsible friend, relative or private nurse. Operations like breast augmentation, routine liposuction or eyelid surgery are perfect for going home. They are short, sweet and uncomplicated. Other operations, like tummy tucks, facelifts, rhinoplasty,  and breast reductions lend themselves well to staying overnight. While these patients can certainly go home, I believe that staying overnight gives them a jumpstart to a better recovery. These operations tend to be a bit longer and have some additional issues such as special positioning, potential bleeding, the need for help with getting in and out of bed and help with drains when and if they are used. The nursing services in the hospital are trained to deal with these issues. Immediately after surgery the nurses can be responsible for this care. The next morning, when the patient is more alert the nurses are better able to instruct them, giving them reassurance to go home and begin their recovery with confidence

Certain operations are most suited for overnight stays. For these procedures, I recommend they stay overnight in order to not only improve their recovery but to reduce their risks of surgery. Most patients who have body lifts, extended tummy tucks, large volume liposuction, comprehensive facial surgery, or combinations of two or more procedures would be included in this group. These types of operations can be long and it’s nice not to have to home directly after such a long anesthetic. Patients can easily be treated for any pain or nausea, using a variety of different medications. I think the biggest benefit is the fact that they can continue to receive intravenous fluids, which not only decreases nausea but also keeps you well hydrated and reduces blood clots (DVT). Sequential compression stockings (SCDs), continued throughout the night, have been shown to be effective in reducing blood clots known as deep venous thrombosis. or DVT.

In summary, while hospital stays after tummy tuck are not necessary, there is great value in using them if they are readily available. In planning your surgery you need to consider not only the surgery, and the facility where the surgery is performed, but also the best environment for you to begin your recovery. No matter whether you go home or stay overnight, the best time to prepare for after surgery is well before the operation begins.

What do you think? Let me know. 

Dr. S