After you have selected your Plastic Surgeon and scheduled your appointment for your cosmetic procedure, there are several things that you can do to help you look and feel your best during the post-surgery healing stage. Taking these precautionary steps ahead of time will ensure a smooth transition to your most beautiful recovery.
Four Weeks Before Surgery: Make sure you have and use on a daily basis proper skin care products for hygiene, sun protection and, if necessary acne control. Focus on good nutrition and getting regular exercise. Most importantly STOP SMOKING COMPLETELY and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Be sure underlying medical issues are under control, such as blood pressure, medication levels, etc, and that required medical clearance and/or required laboratory studies have been checked. If you use insulin, be sure the dose for day of surgery has been planned. Schedule the appropriate time off work from work for recovery. Hire or make sure you have help at home if needed. Be certain a responsible adult is confirmed to drive or accompany you to and from surgery, and to stay with you around the clock for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
Two weeks before surgery: Prepare and plan your schedule for the day before, the day of, and the first few days after your procedure. If you are having a facial procedure be sure to schedule hair appointments for color and/or perms prior to surgery since these are not recommended for at least 4 – 6 weeks post-surgery.
You will typically have a pre-surgical appointment to review specifics of your procedure. At that time, you’ll receive final instructions and prescriptions. Fill your prescriptions for pain medicine, sleeping medicine, anti-anxiety medicine, anti-nausea medicine, GI supplements, and anti-viral medicine or antibiotics if needed. STOP taking any and all medications that can increase your chance of bleeding or delay healing. Medicines to completely avoid include, but are not limited to: ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, MEDICATIONS CONTAINING ACETYLSALICYLIC ACID, VITAMIN E, ST. JOHN’S WORT, GARLIC, GREEN TEA, ESTROGEN, CORTICOSTEROIDS, CHEMOTHERAPY, and others. If you regularly take these medications and/or other supplements, and you haven’t told your surgeon, please let her or him know right away so appropriate management can be arranged.
One week before surgery: Confirm day of surgery plans, review prescription orders and instructions, and shop for necessary items. This may include surgical preparation solutions, cool compresses, gauze, ointment, extra pillows, waterproof bed pads, and/or other items. Call your surgeon’s office if questions arise about what you will need. Locate the most comfortable areas for you to gently recline during recovery. Record TV shows, schedule streaming videos, arrange magazines, books, and/or other diversions you’ll want to have easy access to during the early period of healing.
One day before surgery: Pack your bag for the day of surgery. This should include any necessary paperwork, personal identification, all prescription medications, and warm cotton socks. If you are having facial surgery, bring large framed dark tinted sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat or light scarf. Confirm your route to and from surgery with the responsible adult who will drive you. Confirm plans with your 24-hour support person.
Most importantly relax. If you’ve done all the necessary preparation and pre-planning and selected a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon you trust, you’ll enjoy the process and love the results.