Cosmetic surgery and cryotherapy treatment work extremely well together. The best plastic surgeons are now recommending cryotherapy to their patients after surgery and other procedures. Cryotherapy is the brief application of cold temperature to the skin. Cryotherapy has been shown to accelerate surgical recovery by reducing inflammation, pain and complications. It is also effective for reducing bruising and the formation of scar tissue.
Why cryotherapy after surgery?
Cosmetic surgery patients seek to enhance their physical appearance. A temporary but unavoidable side effect of any surgical procedure is the post-operative period of pain, swelling and bruising. Surgery is inherently injurious to tissue and skin and activates the body’s natural response to stress and trauma. Inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal—red blood cells initiate the inflammatory process and white blood cells accumulate to fight potential infection. Inflammation is necessary to heal in the short term—but longer term inflammation can be injurious and may slow down the healing process. For plastic surgery patients, long-term inflammation can delay and distract from the positive cosmetic outcomes they are seeking.
Ice has historically been used to reduce post-operative pain, swelling and bruising. Ice promotes healing and inhibits inflammation by lowering the temperature and metabolic rate of injured tissue and constricting blood vessels and blood flow. Once the cold is removed—highly oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood flows to the injured area reducing pain, bruising and swelling.
Why is cryotherapy better than ice?
Cryotherapy is more effective, comfortable and efficient than regular icing. Ice operates at roughly 32 degrees Fahrenheit—cryotherapy operates at roughly -220 degrees Fahrenheit. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits of cryotherapy are much more powerful than icing techniques. Cryotherapy is also much more efficient—ice application requires 20 to 30 minutes while cryotherapy treatments take 2 to 5 minutes. Cryotherapy is also much safer to the skin than traditional icing—the moisture content in ice makes it potentially damaging to skin and tissue. Cryotherapy occurs in the absence of moisture, removing any risk of frostbite or cold “burns”. Cryotherapy is an extremely safe, effective and efficient treatment for post-operative healing and recovery.
Whole Body and Local Cryotherapy: What is the difference?
we offer two types of cryotherapy for post-cosmetic surgery clients. Whole body cryotherapy exposes the client from the neck down to temperatures in the range of -200 to -220 degrees fahrenheit. Whole body cryotherapy provides systemic pain and inflammation relief. Systemic means that inflammation and pain throughout the entire body (including the GI tract and the brain) is reduced. Whole body cryotherapy activates the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines and pain-relieving biochemicals. These cytokines and biochemicals are blood-borne and cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, inflammation and pain throughout the body, including in the head, face and neck, are reduced. Post-operative clients experience a reduction in pain and swelling in all parts of their bodies, including at the surgical site.
Whole body cryotherapy is also a great option for post-operative patients because of the psychological benefits. Surgery can be traumatizing both physically and emotionally. Occasionally post-surgical patients feel depressed. Whole body cryotherapy triggers an endorphin release which improves mood and promotes positive thinking. In addition to the endorphin effect, as pain and inflammation subsides, so does negative thinking and feelings of depression. Whole body cryotherapy addresses an important component of post-operative healing—feeling better emotionally!
Local cryotherapy is also recommended for post-cosmetic surgery patients. Local cryotherapy is the spot application of very cold air to points of pain, swelling and bruising. Local cryotherapy can also be applied to the face. CryoFacials provide excellent benefits for patients receiving facial cosmetic surgeries. Swelling and bruising is greatly diminished, making the patient look and feel better in less time.
What about lymphatic drainage massage?
Cryotherapy is an excellent treatment to use in conjunction with lymphatic drainage massage. Inflammation is fluid—as cryotherapy reduces inflammation, this fluid must be detoxified from the body through the lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage massage is a great way to accelerate this detoxification process. When used together, cryotherapy and lymphatic drainage massage can dramatically accelerate healing, inflammation reduction and positive outcomes for cosmetic surgery patients.
What are your pre-operative protocols for cosmetic surgery patients?
Pre-operative cryotherapy is recommended to reduce pain and inflammation prior to surgery. Lowering inflammation prior to surgery inhibits bleeding during and after surgery—a less inflammatory environment accelerates healing and recovery. Whole body cryotherapy has also been shown to reduce anxiety and stress—pre-operative cryotherapy is a great idea for patients who are nervous about their upcoming procedures. Pre-operative cryotherapy also works to familiarize patients with the treatment prior to surgery—making post-operative treatments easier.
We recommend one to two sessions of whole body and/or local cryotherapy prior to surgery.
What are your post-operative protocols for cosmetic surgery patients?
we customize post-cosmetic surgery protocols for each client. We work with your surgeon to design and implement a cryotherapy treatment plan that will reduce swelling, pain and bruising as quickly as possible. Treatment plans differ according to the type of surgery performed. In general, cryotherapy treatments will initiate after your first post-operative visit with your surgeon. The surgeon will remove surgical dressings, drains and sutures. This is the ideal time to start cryotherapy treatments.
Cosmetic surgery packages are available in packages of 5, 10 and 20 treatments. These can be used pre and post-operatively. Depending on the type of surgery performed, we will work with your surgeon to recommend whole body and/or local cryotherapy to minimize surgical side effects and to maximize positive outcomes. We works closely with surgeons to personalize cryotherapy treatment to ensure patients look and feel beautiful as quickly as possible.
What cosmetic procedures benefit from pre and post-operative cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is an excellent treatment for nearly all surgical procedures. Cryotherapy is especially appropriate for plastic surgery recovery because clients tend to be healthy and have high expectations for positive outcomes as quickly as possible. Plastic surgery procedures that respond well to cryotherapy treatment are:
2. Brazilian Butt Lifts
3. Breast Augmentation
4. Breast Reduction
7. Blepharoplasty (eye lid, upper and lower)
8. Facial implants
9. Fat grafting
10. SmartLipo + Liposuction
11. Body Contouring
12. Neck and Arm Lifts
13. Face Lifts
14. Ear surgery
15. Hair transplants.
Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures and Cryotherapy
Since both whole body and local cryotherapy reduce swelling, pain and bruising, it is a great option for less invasive, non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Cryotherapy will reduce temporary side effects and have you looking your best very quickly. Injectables can sometimes cause swelling, mild bruising and cyst-like eruptions below the skin surface. CryoFacials work directly to reduce these side effects. When these treatments are applied to the whole body, whole body cryotherapy is a great option for addressing systemic inflammation, pain and bruising.
2. Dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Radiesse, Belotero and others
3. Skin Rejuvenation and Resurfacing
4. Laser Surgery
6. Dermal Peels
7. Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment