“How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery” by E. Fitzgerald
by Health/Beauty Blogger Erika Fitzgerald
It is normal for patients going into surgery to feel anxious, and because plastic surgery is typically elective, it is common for doubts to arise. Keep in mind the success and satisfaction rates of people who have previously undergone cosmetic procedures. In many cases, these surgeries have been positively life-altering. So, what are the best ways to prepare for plastic surgery, both mentally and physically?
Here are several tips to help ease pre-surgery nerves:
The key to feeling confident going into surgery is keeping open communication with your surgeon and support system, whether that is the office staff, family, or friends. Your surgeon and support system will be able to guide you through the process by answering questions, providing emotional support, and helping with any pre-surgery planning.
Don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon as many questions as possible — a qualified surgeon will be more than happy and able to provide detailed answers. The more you know, the less anxious you will feel. Building a strong relationship with your surgeon beforehand can also help with establishing trust and confidence.
It’s also important to openly communicate your medical history, including all medications and supplements you’re taking, with your surgeon. New Beauty Magazine contributor Brenna Fisher discusses the risk of mixing certain supplements with surgery in a blog post. Many patients will fail to mention supplements they are taking to their surgeon because they assume they are natural, and therefor unimportant. However, a report from Michigan State University published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons discusses the dangers of mixing some herbal supplements with drugs prescribed before and after surgery.
Being entirely open and honest with your surgeon will allow for peace of mind with the best possible results and the least risk of complications.
Having everything you will need during your recovery period organized beforehand is an essential step when preparing for surgery. On his blog, Dr. Marc DuPéré provides recommendations for preparing for plastic surgery in Toronto:
- Pick up all post-op medications at the pharmacy a few days prior to surgery.
- Prepare groceries and light meals ahead of surgery. Proteins such as chicken, fish, and lentils are essential to proper healing. A low-sodium diet can help reduce swelling.
- Prepare the room where you will be recovering. Stock it with everything you will need: bottled water, snacks, entertainment material, medications, and most importantly your surgeon’s contact information.
- Shower or bathe prior to surgery, as you will likely will not be able to immediately afterward.
- If you are having breast surgery, purchase a comfortable sports bra that will fit your post-op breast size.
Know the Rules
Understanding what you should and should not do prior to surgery will also calm any pre-op nerves. You should always discuss this step in detail with your surgeon, as the rules will vary depending on the individual and the surgery. Some general rules to keep in mind include:
- Do not eat or drink after midnight before surgery, including water and all other liquids.
- Avoiding all blood thinners to minimize bleeding during your procedure, including medical, herbal, and alcohol.
- On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing that will be easy to change out of.
- Smokers should completely refrain from smoking 3 weeks before and after surgery, as smoking can negatively affect the procedure, results, and complication rate.
- Refrain from physical activities for about 4 to 8 weeks after surgery, or follow specific instructions from your surgeon on this.
It is also wise for patients to have their surgery performed during a time of minimal stress, when there are no major stressors in their everyday lives. Avoid having surgery during times of turmoil — work or marital struggles, moving, depression or anxiety. Plastic surgery will be a much more pleasant experience for patients who go into it in good spirits feeling well-prepared and optimistic about the outcome.