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Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery

You have been wanting facial plastic surgery for some time now.  We feel young.  We feel great!  But a quick glimpse of our reflection shows us we are beginning to look older than we feel.  When you have made the decision to have a face lift, or any other facial cosmetic procedure, you will want a few tips to help with preparing for your plastic surgery.

Your research is complete.  You have had your consultation, and selected your surgeon.  Soon the day for your surgery will arrive.  What can you do to prepare for optimum results prior to your procedure?  Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your facial plastic surgery.

Preparing for your Plastic Surgery Mentally

All surgeries come with risks of complications.  While plastic surgery techniques have advanced to reduce swelling and bruising, you will still need to prepare yourself mentally for the procedure, potential complications, and the recovery process.  Do your homework prior to your procedure to prepare and educate yourself. This helps you understand what to expect in terms of results, your appearance immediately after the surgery and the healing process.

Prior to your procedure, it is helpful to focus on keeping your stress levels minimized.  Anxiety makes our bodies less efficient, and it can compromise our immune system.  Tension restricts blood flow to your capillaries, leading to less healthy cells  and potentially an increased risk for infection.

There are many wonderful techniques to reduce your stress levels.  These include practicing yoga, meditation, and even relaxing hobbies or sports.  Pamper yourself before your surgery and replace your anxiety with excitement and confidence.

Surgery Preparation Weeks Ahead

For a few weeks to your procedure, preparing for your plastic surgery includes preparing your body in general.  You will want to support your body in its healing and recovery process after your procedure.  The healthier you are beforehand, the faster you will heal after the procedure.  Take these steps in the weeks and days preceding your facial plastic surgery.

  • Stop Smoking.  Smoking makes your capillaries constrict, which reduces blood flow and weakens your immune system.  Stop smoking weeks before your surgery, and don’t start again until your doctor clears you.
  • Stop Drinking.  Alcohol increases bleeding, and it also interferes with your immune system, which can lead to complications.
  • Tell your plastic surgeon about all the medications (prescribed, over the counter, and narcotic use), so that he or she can prepare for potential complications.  Your surgeon may ask you to stop using certain medications until you have healed from your surgery.
  • Eat fresh, healthy foods, and drink plenty of water.  Avoid packaged foods.  Instead choose fruits, vegetables, and whole foods which boost the immune system and generally make your body work better.  Avoid salt and carbohydrates, but do eat lots of plant based foods and protein.
  • Do not eat salicylates in the weeks prior to your procedure.  They contribute to bruising.  To minimize dark bruises after your surgery, avoid eating almonds, berries, cherries, citrus fruit, peaches (and similar fruits), grapes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day leading up to the surgery, but take it easy on the vitamin E.  Focus instead on vitamin A, C and Bromelain.

In addition to preparing your body from the inside, consider your outer appearance.  Do you get that haircut in advance?  You might want to wait on a haircut until after you heal from your surgery.  Longer hair will help hid any bruising. But, you will want to color your hair in advance, as your scalp may be sensitive for awhile after your procedure. Manicure and pedicure appointments prior to your procedure might be a nice treat, so that you look your best as you recover.

Preparing Your Environment

It is a good idea to prepare your home, your family, and your place of work for this interruption in your schedule as well.

Your Home

You will definitely want a comfortable recovery area after your plastic surgery procedure.  You will likely feel pain or wooziness afterward, so you should prepare your home in advance.  Have the house cleaned, stock the fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, and prepare meals in advance or arrange for a friend or family member to do it for you. Create a comfortable place to rest with your favorite pillows and blankets, (extra pillows to prop your head up and maybe some for under your knees), and make sure you have plenty of entertainment on hand, whether you prefer books, movies or your tablet.

Another important tip, make sure you have a large stash of ice packs too.  These will keep the swelling down, ease some of the pain, and prevent some bruising. Some other supplies you may want to have on hand:  pads to protect your mattress from oozes; gauze and peroxide for cleaning wounds; Bacitracin, Neosporin or other antibiotic ointments; water and other drinks at your bedside;  your surgeon and pharmacy telephone numbers handy; and stool softeners or laxatives.

Preparing Your Family to Help Out After Your Surgery

Immediately after your surgery, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home, but also consider that you will need assistance or help with your normal driving obligations.  Make advance arrangements for someone to run errands, take the dog to the groomer, or pick up groceries and prescriptions.  Someone to help with household chores is need as well.

Preparing for Work Absence After Your Plastic Surgery

You should take time off from work after your plastic surgery in order to allow yourself to heal. Talk with your surgeon about expected recovery periods and any limitations you might expect.

Days Before Your Surgery

When your plastic surgery procedure is less than a week away, follow these steps to help prepare your body.

  • Wash the area gently, but firmly at least once every day.  You may get better results with once in the morning and once in the evening.  If you are having a face lift, be sure to wash behind your ears.
  • Continue taking your vitamins as directed.
  • Your surgeon may ask that you don’t eat anything 24 hours prior to your procedure.  If he or she gives you this instruction, be sure to follow it.

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery Hours Before

On the day of your surgery, eat a light meal, unless your surgeon instructed you not to do so.

  • Attend to your hygiene as usual, but don’t apply makeup, chew gum, or take breath mints.
  • Don’t wear contacts, tight clothes, or jewelry.  Make yourself as comfortable as possible by wearing loose clothing and glasses.
  • You may want a scarf and dark glasses to wear afterward.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure.
  • Show up on time for your pre-surgery sedation.

Preparing for Your Plastic Surgery Success

Keep in mind, you are in charge of your body’s wellness and recovery.  Preparing for your plastic surgery procedure can have a big impact on your healing and recovery.  Always ask your surgeon questions and share your concerns, so that you feel educated and prepared for the procedure.

Plan ahead to allow yourself the time to relax and heal.  And, before you know it, you will be enjoying your new appearance confidently.

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