We can always count on Cardi B to keep it real. Last month, the 26-year-old rapper had to cancel several shows to properly recover from plastic surgery. But this week, in typical Cardi fashion, she showed her fans exactly why she had to cancel…and boy does it look painful.
Over the weekend, Cardi posted a closeup video of her extremely swollen feet and ankles. They're so swollen, you can even see imprints from her shoes on her skin. “Look how swollen my feet get every time I take a plane, imagine my body," she wrote. “Reasons why doctors told me to chill on shows.” OK, now we get it.
Cardi revealed in May that she recently had liposuction—after already sharing the news that she underwent a post-pregnancy breast augmentation. In an Instagram Story she posted shortly after canceling performances, she said that swelling has been a scary side effect of the two different surgeries.
"My doctor was like, ‘Yo, you cannot be doing all these shows because you’re not fully healed,’” Cardi said in the video. "I gotta get better. The way that my body be swelling up when I catch planes and s—t, it’s so scary that I be freaking out. Like I really be freaking out."
We don't blame her for freaking out. But swelling is actually a very common side effect of plastic surgery. Michele Shermak, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Baltimore, tells Health, "The body has a systemic reaction to surgery. The initial reaction is usually the body just kind of holding onto fluids through inflammation for about four days. That's the first period of swelling, but the second can last about four months."
So why were Cardi's feet swollen if she had surgery on her stomach and breasts? "It's all gravitational," Dr. Shermak says. "If we do surgery on the legs, for example, the ankles will swell. If we do surgery on the stomach, the pubic area will swell. If we do surgery on the face, the neck will swell." Interesting, right? She went on to say, "It's a continuous body region. Everything is connected. So, because it's gravitational, the feet are the area that see the most swelling, even for torso procedures."
Dr. Shermak believes that Cardi has probably been experiencing more swelling while flying because on a plane, she's not up and moving around as much. Sitting still for too long can decrease blood circulation in the legs and result in blood clots. "I always tell my patients to wear the seatbelt loose, hydrate well, and try to walk around during the flight," she says.
As far as reducing swelling goes, Dr. Shermak says it's important to rest, elevate the area of the body that's swollen, apply ice packs when sitting or lying down, and cut back on sodium.
A rep for Cardi previously told People that she admittedly didn't rest enough after her procedures. “Cardi was overzealous in getting back to work; she didn’t take the time necessary to fully recover from her surgery." Dr. Shermak says rest is key to recovery, so hopefully Cardi's break from performing helped her body get the down time it needed.
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