Often patients ask when they will be go home after their cosmetic surgery. I will explain that they’ll go home mid or late morning or early afternoon depending on the procedure. There’s a look of surprise in their face because they ask, “oh, the same day?!” And I explain that an overnight stay will not be necessary. Just as they are surprised they’re going home the same day, I’m surprised they think an overnight stay will be necessary in the first place.
Is an overnight stay necessary after cosmetic surgery?
While I’m always quick to point out that cosmetic surgery is real surgery, the procedures aren’t necessarily long and certainly don’t have a great deal of blood loss. Procedures that are long or have significant blood loss can affect blood pressure. If blood pressure is labile, or not stable, it’s certainly appropriate for a patient to stay in the hospital overnight. In other words, there’s a reason some procedures require an overnight stay. Just because someone is having surgery doesn’t automatically require an overnight stay.
Therefore, you have to assess the type of procedure someone is having and if blood pressure is stable and blood loss is minimal, it’s appropriate to go home the same day. And since cosmetic surgery is often characterized by stable blood pressure and minimal blood loss, patients can safely go home.
Additionally, if a patient doesn’t need to be in the hospital overnight, they’re potentially avoiding hospital-acquired infections that can be resistant to antibiotics. Aside from avoiding these superbugs, why stay in a hospital if you don’t have to? Wouldn’t you rather recover in the comfort of your own home? Depending on the procedure, most oral pain medications will be enough to take the edge off. Oral medications won’t necessarily eliminate your pain but even the strongest of pain meds won’t do that.
So next time you’re considering cosmetic surgery, don’t assume an overnight stay is necessary. Recovering at home may be the best medicine.