Once you’ve made the decision to have plastic surgery, whether it’s rhinoplasty, a facelift or another surgical procedure, and have met with your surgeon and discussed your options, the next step is getting ready for the surgery. While your plastic surgeon will give you specific pre-operative instructions and a timeline to follow, there are a few things you can do generally to get ready for any surgery. Preparing for surgery can reduce the risk for complications, make you feel better quicker and make things go more smoothly after the procedure.
Cut Out Vices
The few weeks before your plastic surgery are the ideal time to just say no. Most surgeons will recommend you quit smoking at least two or three weeks before the procedure. Tobacco and cigarette smoke slows down your body’s circulation, which can make it difficult for it to heal. Using any type of tobacco product in the weeks before your surgery and in the weeks right after it, can increase your risk for developing complications, as well as making your recovery take longer.
You’ll also want to cut out any alcoholic beverages a few weeks before the surgery. Alcohol increases bleeding. Like tobacco, it also slows down your body’s ability to heal and can put you at an increased risk for complications, such as infection. After your surgery, you’ll want to wait at least a few days, or until your doctor says it’s okay, before drinking again.
Talk to Your Doctor About Supplements
Supplements before surgery can be a tricky subject. Some supplements, such as certain herbs or vitamin E, can increase bleeding. Either at your consultation or at some point a few weeks before your procedure, make a list of all the supplements you take and show it to your surgeon. He will let you know which ones you should stop taking before the surgery and when it is safe to start taking them again after the procedure.
Your surgeon may also recommend that you start taking certain supplements, to help reduce bleeding or swelling or to generally improve the healing process. For example, some surgeons recommend taking arnica after the procedure, as it can help reduce swelling or inflammation. Other vitamins your surgeon may recommend include vitamin A, vitamin K and bromelain. Only take supplements as recommended by your surgeon or after getting the go-ahead from your surgeon.
Watch Your Diet
What you eat before surgery is important. You want to aim for a nutritious, balanced diet in the weeks before and after your procedure. If you don’t already eat a lot of vegetables and fruits each day, increase the amount you eat, so that you’re eating some sort of produce at each meal.
It’s also a good idea to watch your salt intake in the weeks leading up surgery. Salt can raise your blood pressure, which can increase your risk for complications during or after surgery. You’ll want to limit salt after the procedure, too. Excess sodium in the diet makes you more likely to retain water and have swelling.
Pick Up Prescriptions and Tie Up Loose Ends Before Surgery
Since you won’t be feeling your best the first few hours or days after the procedure, it’s a good idea to take care of any small details a day or two before it. If your surgeon has given you any prescriptions for pain relievers to take after your surgery, fill those prescriptions before you go in for the procedure.
Stock up on ice packs or freeze ice cubes, then transfer them into zip-top bags so that you have plenty of ice ready to apply to the site, to reduce and keep swelling down. Set up an area of your home to rest and recover in, whether it’s a chair in your living room or your bed. After rhinoplasty and other facial surgery, you’ll want to keep your head elevated, so make sure there are enough pillows to prop you up.
Find a Support Buddy
Having a supportive network is important for your health and recovery. Having at least one person who can bring you to the surgical center and pick you up afterwards is an absolute necessity, since you won’t be able to drive after surgery. You also want to have someone stay with you overnight that first night home and help you move from a chair to your bed or to be there if there are any issues. This person can be your spouse or partner, but if he or she isn’t available, pick someone else you can trust and rely on.
The person you ask to help you should be supportive and positive. You don’t to listen to someone who’s going to criticize your decision to have surgery or someone who doesn’t really understand how to support or help another person.
Remember to follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter in the weeks and days leading up to your surgery. Every patient is different and your surgeon will have customized your pre-surgery instructions to meet your needs.
To learn more about what to do to get ready for plastic surgery, get in touch with your surgeon. In the central Florida area, you’ll want to contact nationally recognized facial plastic surgery specialist Dr. Ross Clevens, the only board certified, practicing surgeon in the area. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Clevens, call (321) 727-3223 today.