Body Heat Improves Plastic Surgery Recovery

Plastic surgery, like all surgeries, is associated with a risk of hyperthermia. General anesthesia has been known to reduce body temperature. Hyperthermia occurs when the body temperature is below 36 degrees celsius. Plastic surgeons take precautions to maintain body heat during plastic surgery and thereafter. Plastic surgery patients are pre-warmed prior to surgery through forced air and heat resistant blankets. Plastic surgeons continue to use advanced methods to keep patients warm during surgery. It was noted at the 2008 American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery meeting that plastic surgery patients should stay warm during surgery, in the recovery room following the procedure and at home hours after plastic surgery. This is because the level of body heat may impact the healing process in a variety of ways, including:

  • Hyperthermia impedes the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. The delivery of oxygen to the tissues promotes healing of plastic surgery incisions and underlying treatment areas
  • Hyperthermia delays wound healing. Wound healing plays a role in the final appearance of the plastic surgery procedure.
  • Hyperthermia increases the risk of bleeding during or after plastic surgery.
  • Hyperthermia is associated with an increased risk of infection at the surgical site

Tips to Bring on the Body Heat

  • Be certain to wear clothes that will keep you warm on the day of your plastic surgery procedure.
  • Be certain to be warm in the pre-op room. If not, ask for as many blankets as you need to stay warm.
  • Don’t be afraid to request more blankets in the recovery room. Unless you are shivering, it may be difficult for staff members to detect that you are getting cold until the temperature monitor steps in to warn the staff member of a drop in your body temperature.

This information cannot replace the advice of a plastic surgeon. It is important to ask for their recommendations about maintaining body temperature in plastic surgery.

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