Doctor Visits After Cosmetic Surgery

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When should I expect to see my doctor after my surgery?

Robert Kotler, MD
Every operation has a certain routine post operative course, and depending on the procedure, there may be 1 or more visits in the first week. But you should know ahead of time what's routine.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.)
For example, if you have nasal surgery only for cosmetic purposes, you will be seen 5 days later, at which time we'll take off the little splint. Nothing else needs be done by us during that period of time. And the little packing or tampon that we put in the nose the day of the surgery, the patient pulls out the next day themselves at home. It doesn't even need an office visit.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.)
Now this assuming that everything is going according to the plan, and by the way, the post-op instruction and advice sheet says this is what you can expect and if you don't, if this isn't happening, or if something is happening that is not on here, call the doctor. And we're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by cell phone, by home phone so there is no reason why they can't be in touch. But they know what to expect and they have all the tools to tend to themselves.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.)
On the other hand, the patient who has the 6 hour face and neck lift and upper and lower eyelid surgery, and maybe even a nose thrown in, we need to see them the next day. We need to check them, and we need to see them the following day. There may even be a little drainage vacuum tube that we have to take out that has been pulling fluid out of the tissues so the face doesn't swell. And we tell the patient, you know what, we may have to see you for another day yet. And these things are all determined as you go along so they know what to expect.

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.)
So it depends on the patient. The patient that bruises a lot that's probably going to have a little more swelling, that little suction tube may have to stay in an extra day. I've told the patient that ahead of time. I say, "Based on your history, I think you may need this not the usual 2 days, but 3 days, but we're going to play it by ear. We'll see how you look the next day."

Robert Kotler, MD (cont.)
So when we finish an operation at 3 in the afternoon, that patient is going to be seen by 8 or 9 the next morning. We're not going to wait until the end of the day to see them, because what if something needs attention? It's too late. We need to see them and attend to things when there's lots of help around, consultants available, whatever we need. It's all common sense.