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Is My Swelling Getting Worse?

Surgery is a major event that can cause a lot of stress on the body. One common side effect of surgery is swelling. Swelling can be uncomfortable and even painful, and it can also slow down the healing process.

While it's normal to experience some degree of swelling after surgery, it can be frustrating when the swelling appears to get worse rather than better as time goes on. In this blog, we'll explore some of the reasons why swelling can get worse after surgery.


Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or trauma, and it's one of the primary reasons why swelling occurs after surgery. When the body experiences trauma, such as surgery, it releases inflammatory chemicals to help repair damaged tissue. However, these chemicals can also cause swelling and redness in the affected area.

Inadequate Compression

Compression garments are often recommended after surgery to help reduce swelling and promote healing. However, if these garments are not worn as recommended or are not fitted properly, they may not provide adequate compression. This can cause swelling to worsen over time, rather than improve. It's important to follow your surgeon's recommendations for compression garment use and to ensure that your garments are properly fitted.

Eating Salty and Processed Foods

Salty and processed foods can cause the body to retain fluid, leading to increased swelling. It's important to avoid these types of foods in the days and weeks after surgery and to focus on a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Strenuous Activities

Strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or vigorous exercise, can also contribute to swelling after surgery. It's important to follow your surgeon's recommendations for activity levels and to avoid any activities that could put a strain on the affected area. This may include avoiding certain types of exercise or taking time off from work or other daily activities.

Inadequate Rest

Rest is important to prevent swelling after surgery because it allows the body to focus its energy on healing the affected area. When we engage in physical activity or stress the body, it can cause the blood vessels in the affected area to dilate, which can lead to increased swelling. Additionally, movement can cause friction and strain on the affected area, which can also contribute to swelling.


Smoking can cause constriction of the blood vessels, which can lead to decreased blood flow to the affected area. This can impair the body's ability to heal and increase the risk of swelling and other complications.

Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which can impair the body's ability to heal and increase the risk of swelling. Additionally, alcohol can increase inflammation in the body, which can further contribute to swelling and other complications.

If you're experiencing swelling after surgery, there are several things you can do to manage it. First and foremost, it's important to follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions, including any recommendations for activity, medication, and compression garments. You may also find relief by elevating the affected area, applying ice or heat, or booking a session for lymphatic drainage.

You may book a CONSULTATION with Bodies of Atlanta to know more about your post-op needs.

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Bodies of Atlanta

2752 E Ponce De Leon Ave Suite E Decatur GA 30030

Phone: 404-263-4245

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