Plastic Surgery Questions

When is my first appointment after surgery?
  • If you have an unexpected clinical concern, you can call our office at any time, as instructed on the written post-operative instructions received in our office at the time of scheduling surgery: Patient Coordinator (Ms. Melanie Lewis, RN, BSN), Administrative Coordinator (Ms. Inga Dixon, Exec. Assist) at (703) 992-9233 or the on call service at (703) 732-7183.
  • The first postoperative office visit is about 1-10 days after surgery, depending on the type of the surgery performed. Breast reduction patients should call to have drains removed on post-operative day 3-5, and will require another office visit 1 week later. Facelift patients are seen the day after surgery, while all other cosmetic patients, on average, are seen one week from surgery.
  • Please note that after any surgery, you need to call our office to schedule your post-operative office visit.
How long does the dressing stay on?

This varies with the procedure performed. Facelift patients have dressing removed next day, while in other cosmetic patients dressings are removed within a week from surgery.

Activities and ambulation?

Light activities are permitted, though can cary from patient to patient and type of procedure performed. Ambulation is encouraged, as tolerated, whenever possible. patients should refrain from any strenuous activities and exercise for at least 4 weeks.

How long will the sutures stay in?

Upper eyelid sutures are removed 7-8 days after surgery, as are some of the facelift patient sutures. Remaining cosmetic patients usually have sutures that stay in and dissolve on their own.

When can I take my steri-strips off?

Depending on the procedure, steri-strips should stay on for at least a week, and in some patients until the sutures are removed.

When can I get in the shower?
  • Head & Neck cosmetic patients can shower next day but they must keep their hair dry for the first three days, at which time they can wash their hair and discontinue the application of ointment, if prescribed.
  • Upper or lower extremity patients may shower after they take their dressings off, usually about 6-7th post-op day.
  • Patients who had a procedure done to their trunk, on average, may shower after drain removal, approximately a week after surgery.
  • While sutures are in place, patients should NOT take a bath, go into a jacuzzi, a pool, a lake or an ocean. After taking a shower, while sutures are still in, gently clean the incision with medical rubbing alcohol.
How soon can I go back to work?

Depending on your job, most patients take a week off work, while some need 10-14 days off. A few select patients, especially abdominal and trunk surgeries might require more time off (3-4 weeks). Each patient is given recommendations based on their individual presentation; type of surgery performed and job requirements.

How long will it take for me to heal from surgery?

Although a number of variables may affect the healing timeframe, incisional healing usually takes about 2-3 weeks, while more complete healing may take anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 3-4 months after surgery.

How often can I get pain medication after surgery?

You will be discharged from the hospital with a prescription for pain medication and the office may refill it one more time. If you continue to need more pain medications, you need to call our office to define why you have prolonged pain. Please note that Dr. Ducic is not a medical pain specialist and prescribes no medications for purposes of medical management of chronic pain. If prolonged pain management is required, beyond expected/normal recovery period, it is recommended that you follow-up with your pain management specialist or primary care physician who will monitor how much medication you require. In order to minimize pain medication side effects, and prevent long term narcotic use issues, Dr. Ducic strongly encourages patients to have only one medical provider prescribing and monitoring what and how much pain medications are given to you.

I live out of state will I have to come back for follow-up?

For our patients that live out of state we recommend you have the sutures and incision looked at by a local physician around 3 weeks after surgery. If there are any questions or concerns you can call our nurse Melanie Lewis, RN, BSN at (703) 992-9233. Dr. Ducic would like for you to call the office or send an email at 3 weeks and at 3 months to give us an update on your outcome from surgery.

I have swelling in my forehead and eyelids, is this normal?

Yes, for patients who have the periorbital and or facial cosmetic surgery you may experience swelling that will last for a couple of days to a week. If your swelling appears severe with excess pain, feel free to call us so we can arrange a time for you to be examined.

When can I drive?

Depending on the surgery, most patients can drive when they are no longer taking pain medication. If surgery is performed on a leg or arm used for driving, it is recommended that you wait until the sutures are removed. Please note that safe driving is your responsibility, so you should ensure that your safety and the safety of others is not compromised.