If you have an upcoming plastic surgery, your surgeon will provide you with a specific list of instructions and how you can best prep for the surgery. But before you receive these instructions, there are a few ways you can prepare for your operation and help ensure your body will heal quickly after the procedure.
Meet With Your Primary Physician
Before scheduling any plastic surgery, meet with your primary physician to discuss the procedure you want and see how it will affect your current medical state, if at all. As your primary physician, they will be able to tell you how the procedure will affect you and whether you should have it soon or wait.
If you have already had this discussion with your doctor or have already scheduled your procedure, you will still need to meet with your primary physician to receive medical clearance. Typically, this appointment takes place at least one month before your surgery. The point of medical clearance is to ensure you are physically healthy close to the appointment, thus reducing the risk of possible complications.
Avoid Alcohol, Nicotine, and Certain Medications
You should stop drinking, smoking, and taking certain medications at least two weeks before your procedure. All three of these substances can have adverse effects on your recovery and make you more prone to surgical complications.
This may be difficult to do for long-term drinkers or smokers. If you suspect it will be challenging to refrain from alcohol or nicotine, openly disclose this to your primary physician or plastic surgeon and discuss possible side effects.
Aspirin and any other blood-thinning products should also be avoided because they heighten the risk of excessive bleeding. Consult with your primary physician or plastic surgeon if you are on other medications; discuss whether you should (or can) lower the dosage or cut these out of your regime entirely until after you have recovered.
Increase Water, Fiber, and Physical Exercise
As there are certain substances you should avoid before your surgery, there are other things you should incorporate more of into your daily routine and diet. It is best to begin drinking more water, increasing your protein and fiber intake, and integrating more exercise into your lifestyle. The sooner you make these changes, the better prepared your body will be for the surgery and recovery period.
Drinking more water is often the easiest change. You can either drink more water by itself or mix it with a flavoring to make it more appealing. In terms of diet, there are many sources of fiber and protein that you can add to your diet, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, lean meats, and fish.
Physical exercise is a broad category, but a good rule of thumb is to stick with whatever exercise you are most comfortable with. Any type of exercise is helpful, whether it is walking or weight lifting. However, be careful not to push yourself too hard or put too much stress on your body.
Have A Support System In Place
You will likely need help with daily activities after your plastic surgery. Depending on how extensive the procedure is, you may even need help to care for yourself. Arrange for help from friends, family members, or outside agencies.
If you are worried about how much help you will need, below are a few tips on how to reduce the workload post-surgery:
- Transportation – Arrange for transportation to and from the surgery; have the driver’s contact information on hand in case your surgery runs long
- Food – Stock up on quick meals, such as soup, and easy-to-eat foods like applesauce and oats; for extra prep, prepare and freeze meals ahead of time so that all you have to do after surgery is thaw, reheat, and eat
- Entertainment – Plan for ways to keep yourself entertained after surgery; movies, books, puzzles, games, and crafting are all common ways post-op patients fend off boredom
- Necessities – Gather all of your essentials together and keep them near your bed or wherever else you plan to recover; items such as phone chargers, medications, and visual or hearing aids should be kept nearby
When arranging for care after your surgery, it is best to be open about how much help you will need and for how long. Arrange for care well in advance instead of waiting until the last minute so that family and friends can make sure their calendars and schedules are clear.