How to Reduce Swelling after Surgery or Treatment
MediAesthetic Self-Help Guide.
Are you thinking of visiting an aesthetic clinic in Johor Bahru?If there’s one thing we fear other
than the surgery itself –it’s the pain and swelling that follows, and we all want to know how to
reduce swelling after surgery or treatment.
Unfortunately, that swelling is simply your body’s way of getting what it needs to the affected
area to facilitate healing, and that’s pumping lots of body fluids into the cells and setting off an
Excessive swelling isn’t only debilitating at worst. It can burst open seams of closed incisions and
impairing healing, slowing it down and potentially causing unsightly scars. Not only is this a risk
for poor after-surgery healing but also leave wounds open to infection.
Fortunately, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few simple steps that you take to deal with
the misery, unanimously recommended by surgeons and doctors alike! So when the anaesthetics
start to wear off and the pain starts flooding back in, you’ll know what to do!
First, we need to establish what the negative effects of what we’re trying to relieve so that we’re
on the same page:
When blood vessels rupture underneath the skin blood starts to fill the space in between tissues in
the affected area. This appears as patches of purple discolouration on the skin and is sensitive to
the touch. Some people who have suffer from poor blood coagulation are more likely to develop
What is Swelling?
Swelling is the result of fluids collecting in the tissue as a result of infection, disease or injury. It
results in enlargement of the affected body part, accompanied by the symptoms of inflammation;
pain, redness, hotness, and numbness.
Now that we’re clear on that, let’s move on to the tips!
1. Eat foods rich in anti-inflammatories.
The anti-inflammatory diet consists mainly of a balanced diet that anyone would benefit from.
Include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish or fish oils. Avoid gobbling down too
many high-carb, low-fat foods such as sugar and grains. Below is a further breakdown of the
nutrients that you should be getting:
Found in abundance in stem of pineapple, bromelain is an enzyme with strong anti-inflammatory
properties that’s effective at reducing swelling and pain.
A plant flavonoid with strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll lots of it in
capers, red onion, citrus fruits, leafy green veggies and apples.
It’s important to know that bromelain and quercetin should only be taken after surgery as it may
cause excessive bleeding and other serious complications.
2. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE).
Probably the most comprehensive, textbook approach on how to reduce swelling after surgery or
treatmentis what’s affectionately abbreviated as RICE, or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
Because swelling and its intensity is influenced by how much body fluids and inflammatory
components is reaching the affected area, it makes sense that you would want to reduce it.
Just as it says, take some time off. Moving around will aggravate the affected area (in this case,
where the surgical incision was made). Stop or take a breather from any physical activity, or do
something else, preferably something that leaves the affected area out of. So if you’re recovering
from a double eyelid surgeryit’s best to keep your daytime expeditions to a minimum to
minimize exposure to the sun, airborne germs and nasty people.
Although studies aren’t able to show with definitive proof that ice therapy works as a post-
operative treatment (also called cryotherapy for those of you who like big words), they do support
the idea that it generally does more good than harm.
Here’s the rationale: when ice is applied, the coldness does two things. First, it causes blood
vessels to contract, narrowing it and slowing down the flow of fluids. Less fluids means less
bloating and less inflammatory elements to aggravate the symptoms. Second, it causes
metabolism (in other words, cell activity) in the cells to slow down.
As a general rule, apply an icepack to the affected area for about 10 to 20 minutes at a time, three
or more times a day. Keep in mind that you should not apply the ice directly onto the skin. You
should use an icepack that you can buy or make your own using a plastic bag, water and some
rubbing alcohol. A bag of cold peas also works pretty well, which conforms to the shape of the
This step involves applying pressure to the affected body part through the use of elastic bandages.
You’ve probably already noticed the trend: compression helps alleviate swelling by, yup, lightly
restricting the flow of fluids to the offending body part. How tight should the bandage be? Not
too tight, as this will cause the area below the affected area to swell. Other signs that it’s too tight
is when you feel numbness, prickling needles, coolness in addition to the swelling.
The river runs downstream! Usually they do, it depends on the whims of gravity. With the source
of the river (mountain, reservoir, etc.) as an analogy for your heart, make sure that the swelling is
kept slightly elevated above the heart. Pillows are a comfortable option, whether it’s your head or
your legs/arms, just as long as it’s raised above the level of your heart.