A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Something magical happens at 40 days of post operative recovery.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon tells her patients to give it 40 days (that’s about 6 weeks) and then something magical and mystical happens. 

Forty days has been a mystical period of time for millennia.

I’ve been thinking about the 40 day phenomenon lately.  First of all (in case all of you pagans missed Ash Wednesday), it is Lent and Lent lasts 40 days.  And second of all, my husband recently passed the magical and mystical 40th post operative day and indeed, he feels like he has turned a very sharp corner with his recovery from knee surgery.  He’s back to his usual and cheerful self.

I am always telling my patients to “give it 6 weeks”.  It is at that point patients say, “I’m glad I did this” instead of saying,  “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”  This 40 something number of days of recovery seems to hold for many, many different procedures whether it’s a face lift or a tummy tuck or ankle liposuction.  And it’s not that patients don’t look okay much sooner, it’s just that they don’t feel quite right.  They are often fatigued and grumpy and emotionally fragile.  And then ………. on the fortieth day, all was wonderful.

Forty days has been found to have significance in many religious and pagan stories and traditions. .  Check out this website for more on the magic and mystery of forty days. 

Thanks for reading.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: Postoperative Care | Tags: ,

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