Preparing for your plastic surgery procedure is an important part of the treatment process. By carefully following your doctor’s pre-op instructions for cosmetic surgery, you can ease into recovery and minimize the possibility of complications. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding how to prepare for your treatment during your consultation. Each procedure will have different preoperative directions. However, there are some general guidelines that apply to most treatments.
Preparing for Surgery
In the weeks leading up to your procedure, there are steps you can take to minimize the stress of your treatment and encourage a speedy recovery.
Nicotine interferes with the healing process and can cause serious complications. It is best to quit smoking and avoid using other tobacco products at least a month before surgery.
Change Your Medications
Certain medications, such as those containing aspirin or ibuprofen, can interfere with normal blood clotting and cause prolonged bleeding. Make sure to give your doctor a full list of all medications you are taking so they can adjust your dose or recommend alternatives.
Arrange for a Ride Home
Most plastic surgery procedures take place under sedation or general anesthesia. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home from your procedure. They may also need to stay with you for a day or so to help you with some daily tasks.
Take Care of Errands
Fill any necessary prescriptions and take care of your preoperative shopping list a few days before your procedure. You probably won’t want to go grocery shopping for at least a few days after your treatment, so make sure you are prepared.
Report Any Signs of Illness
If you notice symptoms of a cold or other illness in the week leading up to your surgery, make sure to report them to your surgeon’s office. They may recommend rescheduling your appointment for another time when you are in better health.
Prepare Your Recovery Space
Depending on the type of surgery you are undergoing, your recovery may take a few days or a few weeks. It is a good idea to prepare an area where you can feel comfortable while you heal. Gather plenty of pillows and some forms of entertainment, such as books or movies. You will likely need a lot of rest and may have limitations when it comes to sitting or laying in certain positions, so you should create a space where you will enjoy the downtime.
On the Day of Your Surgery
Shower as Directed
The day of or the night before your procedure, you should shower using antibacterial, fragrance-free soap. Clean skin reduces the risk of infection. In addition, it may be a few days before you can shower after the surgery.
Do Not Eat or Drink
Starting at midnight the night before your surgery, you should not eat or drink anything, even water. Having anything in your stomach can increase your risk of complications, so avoid candy, gum, mints, and any beverages. At most, you can ingest a small sip of water if you need to take medication.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Choose loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and a shirt that does not have to be pulled over your head. Generally, the best choice is pull-on pants and a buttoned or zip-up shirt. Flat, slip-on shoes are advised as well.
Remove Jewelry and Contacts
You should not wear any jewelry to your procedure. If you have contacts, take them out and wear your glasses instead.
Avoid Makeup and Other Products
Do not apply products such as makeup, creams, lotions, hair gels, sprays, perfumes, or deodorants on the day of your surgery. These products will add bacteria to your skin and increase your risk of infection.
Arriving for Your Procedure
It is a good idea to arrive early for your surgery. Bring your insurance card, a photo ID, and any other forms requested by your surgeon. You may want to take the opportunity to introduce the individual driving you home to the staff at the office as well.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
In addition to these general guidelines, it is crucial to follow any specific directions you receive from your surgeon. Contact a plastic surgeon for more information about preparing for cosmetic surgery.