Using technology in your post operative recovery period

A smartphone.

While much of our web site is dedicated to learning about cosmetic surgery and preparing for your procedure, we would like to talk about the recovery period following any cosmetic surgery procedure.

In your pre-operative appointment, which usually occurs the week before your surgery, Dr. Rodriguez and the Surgical Coordinator will review your post op instructions. They will give you a description of what you should expect following your cosmetic surgery.  Topics usually discussed include:

  • how long to wear the garment
  • when you can shower
  • when you can drive
  • drains- when do drains come out
  • pain pumps and pain control
  • swelling and bruising
  • when to contact  the office
  • when to call Dr. Rodriguez directly on his cell phone

Perhaps the most reassuring post op instruction is the fact that Dr. Rodriguez likes all patients to contact him directly by cell phone during the immediate post-op period. Thus, all surgery patients are given Dr. Rodriguez’s cell phone number. Not all surgeons are willing to give up their privacy, but Dr. Rodriguez feels that this is the best way to give you piece of mind following your surgery.  Getting direct access to your surgeon also eliminates a lot of back and forth with the  answering service during this very important period.

But cell phones can do a lot more than place a phone call!

These days most patients have smartphones, or phones that can take pictures, send e-mails, and text.  Another way that Dr. Rodriguez uses technology during the post op period is to answer questions about redness and swelling following your cosmetic surgery procedure.  All surgeries involve some amount of redness , swelling, and discomfort. However, some complications will start to present themselves with an unusual l amount of swelling and or redness. Whenever Dr. Rodriguez suspects such a situation he will always insist on the patient coming into the office to be examined, no matter what time or day of the week it is.

A photo that shows what a breast looks like.

However, sometimes the patient is vague about the symptoms and it may be hard for Dr. Rodriguez to judge over the phone whether you should come in sooner than your next scheduled appointment.  In these instances, when a patient calls with a question or description of a particular problem they are having, he will ask the patient to send a photo of the operative site to him by e-mail or text.

In most cases he will be able to tell from the photo whether you need to be seen in the office right away.  This is a great tool for both Dr. Rodriguez and the patient, as it often times will save everybody an unnecessary extra trip to the office!

Our patients love this system, because they know that Dr. Rodriguez is ‘only a phone call away’ and when in doubt, a picture says a thousand words!

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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