For most people, summer starts shortly after Memorial Day and the beach trips, boating and vacations are highlights of this season. For a number of people, the lull in their industry allows for some time off, and with it, they choose to use their vacation time to get surgery. With some exceptions, such as with my practice, summer can be a dangerous time to get surgery.
Why? There is a very normal turnover in the health care providers of hospitals that have a large component of teaching and training medical students. In May and June, the experienced doctors in training, who’ve typically spent 3 to 6 years in residency, will graduate and move on to other hospitals. During the summer months, they’re replaced with new, inexperienced doctors fresh out of medical school.
This “July Effect” as its known in the medical community, accounts for an increased hospital death and complication rate of up to 34 percent in just the month of July. While its so important for the doctors of the future to gain skills and experience, be aware that you might be a part of their learning journey if you’re choosing a summer surgery at one of these teaching facilities.
You can rest easy if you’re getting your elective surgery at a hospital or surgery center that doesn’t use residents. You will be in my care, with my full attention when you choose any surgical procedure at Davinci Plastic. This means you’ll be in the hands of a Triple Board Certified surgeon with the highest level of training, experience and results.
Have you been wanting to get a body or facial improving procedure that requires a downtime not normally allowed for in the midst of a busy season of life or work? This is a great time to take care of the procedure you’ve wanted, then rest, recover and relax. You won’t have to worry about the “July Effect” in the sense of your healthcare, but your personal care in how you take care of yourself after surgery during the hot summer months like July, will be crucial to a healthy recovery with the best results possible.
Here are some ideas for staying safe during your rest time after summer surgery:
- Keep out of the sun. The surgery site will be very delicate. While it’s pink and healing, it will be more susceptible to sunburn even the first several months. The scars can also darken when exposed to the sun too soon. So cover up if you have to go outside and keep any exposure brief.
- Stay Cool. This is another reason to stay out of the sun. Any bandages or compression garments will make you feel even warmer than normal. Any sweating will not only be uncomfortable, but increase risk for infection. After surgery, in the sweltering summer months, air conditioning is your friend.
- Hydrate, but not in the pool. While drinking water is important all the time, it’s especially helpful after surgery. It helps the body heal and flush toxins. Being dehydrated contributes to many discomforts after surgery, including nausea. But don’t resort to hydrating and cooling off in the pool, ocean or lake. Standing bodies of water can harbor bacteria, so going swimming can increase your risk for infection.
Summer time can provide a great break in between busy seasons of life. Taking the most precautions and putting yourself in the best hands possible will give you the best results. To talk about the results you’re looking for, schedule a consultation at www.davinciplastic.com.
Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon