Whether it’s elective or not, inflammation or swelling after surgery is a reality anytime you go under the knife. Inflammation, which is actually an inflammatory response, is a part of the body’s immune response to injury, among other things, and often goes hand in hand with pain. In other words, more inflammation, more pain.
How long does inflammation last after surgery?
Unfortunately, swelling after surgery doesn't have a timecard, so the best answer is an estimate. Typically, your most severe inflammation will occur in the first few days to weeks after your procedure, reducing to more mild or moderate swelling over the following three to six months—but it’s not uncommon for swelling to take up to a year to go away.
What is best for inflammation after surgery?
While all post-surgery inflammation can’t be prevented, there are a number of ways to reduce this inflammation, increase your comfort, and speed your plastic surgery recovery. Dr. Barrett has curated (and personally uses) three of the best natural products to reduce inflammation after surgery and aid in your recovery.
Providing relief without the “high” found in THC-based products, CBD reduces inflammation by affecting the signals in the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are found in the body’s central and peripheral nervous systems. Dr. Barrett recommends Wild Health CBD: a full spectrum organic CBD that’s formulated with 1500mg of pure, therapeutic cannabidiol per bottle, and in addition to its anti-inflammatory effect, it also provides relief for pain and anxiety while also promoting more restful sleep.
Arnica montana, known colloquially as simply “arnica”, originates in Europe and is a flowering plant related to the sunflower that typically blooms in the summer. Its use as an herbal medicine goes back centuries due to its analgesic and antiinflammatory properties. Today, it’s most often used in the form of a topical gel or cream, as an oral supplement, or as a tea to treat bruising and inflammation prior to, or after injury or surgery. It’s an effective, holistic way to decrease the inflammation after surgery that occurs in your body without causing a leaky gut that can happen with traditional anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or aspirin. However not all arnica products are alike. Arnica Recovery Complex, in particular, is formulated to speed recovery up to 50% from surgical procedures and dermal filler injections. Its blend of all natural ingredients is the only combination of arnica montana and bromelain and is free of dyes and artificial colors, with no reported side effects.
Red light therapy is a key therapeutic treatment for inflammation that works by penetrating the body at the cellular level with specific wavelengths of light, reducing swelling and supporting tissue repair and regeneration. LightStim in particular, combines this therapeutic light energy with patented technology as an inflammation after surgery treatment in an easy-to-use, at home device. It accelerates the body’s recovery process by increasing circulation and is even FDA cleared to relieve pain. When used right after surgery (and beyond), it can help significantly with swelling, bruising and even with post-surgery scarring.
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