The short answer is no, I don’t think you need a nurse at home after cosmetic surgery. But before everyone starts throwing digital vegetables at me via the comments section, hear me out. So…what am I thinking?!
Need a nurse at home after cosmetic surgery? Not necessarily
Why do you go to your cardiologist for heart issues? Because they specialize in that medical field. And just like any profession, nurses have their own specialization as well. Neurosurgical nurses work in the neurosurgery ICU. Dialysis nurses work in dialysis. They’re very familiar with the postop course, details and complications associated with that area.
For the same reason, cosmetic home nursing care should have its own specialized nurses. But that’s not always possible. I recognize the difficulty for a home health agency to staff specialized nurses for every eventuality.
While I recognize the burden by those agencies, I still want a nurse familiar with cosmetic procedures if my patient insists on having a nurse at home after cosmetic surgery.
What could go wrong?
Here are a few examples why. If a home health nurse, who is a cardiac nurse by training, sees a cosmetic patient at home with lower leg swelling, one of the first concerns may be fluid overload or congestive heart failure (CHF). Understandable because lower leg swelling is a symptom of CHF. But in a cosmetic surgery patient that’s had a tummy tuck or thigh lift, that’s totally normal. This may concern the nurse, and in turn the patient, leading to an unnecessary trip to the ER.
The examples don’t even have to be that complex. After a tummy tuck, the incision can look kind of gnarly. If you’re a nurse unfamiliar with postop cosmetic incisions (or any incision for that matter), you may be frightened when you pull back the gauze.
A nurse with a cosmetic background would feel right at home in these very likely scenarios. But as I said, a cosmetic nurse isn’t always available. If you can’t find a cosmetic nurse, the next best option is to have your doctor’s cell phone number. In this day and age of texting, a simple text with a photo of the area of concern could allay a patient’s fears in seconds and avoid a costly and wasteful trip to the ER.