Cosmetic Surgery for Travelling Patients

Many Filipinos working abroad start coming home to the Philippines for holidays. It has been my experience that many of our Filipino balikbayans decide to have cosmetic surgery with only a few days remaining in their vacation.

Last week my brother referred a friend who wanted blepharoplasty immediately because she was scheduled to leave for abroad the next day! I requested my brother to tell his friend to defer her plans for the surgery.

My advice for those who are contemplating cosmetic surgery in the Philippines as part of their vacation, is to allot from one to two weeks recovery period after the operation. This much time is needed for the swelling to subside and for the bruising to disappear. The first 3 days after the operation are especially critical, since many of the complications after surgery occur within this time period.

Stitches will also be taken out during this time period of 1 to 2 weeks after the operation. Plastic surgeons usually do not use absorbable sutures for skin closure as these incite more inflammatory reaction and more scarring. Instead we use non-absorbable sutures made of nylon or similar non-reactive material which will need to be taken out early to avoid ugly scars. Patients who undergo blepharoplasty usually have the stitches taken out after 3 days. For other facial plastic surgery procedures, stitches are taken out 5 to 7 days post-op. For stitches in the chest and extremities, stitch removal may be delayed up to 2 weeks post-op to ensure that the wound is closed.

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