When you’re considering plastic surgery, safety should always be one of your primary concerns, before surgery, during it and afterward. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, safety has become a particular concern for many people, not only those thinking about plastic surgery. Whether you are considering breast augmentation in the midst of the pandemic or are just dipping your toes in at the moment, wanting to learn more about it, there are things you can do to make the procedure as safe as possible.
Choose Your Plastic Surgeon Carefully
Perhaps the most important thing to do, from a safety perspective, when considering breast augmentation, is to choose the right plastic surgeon. Beyond safety, there are additional reasons to choose your plastic surgeon with care. You want a surgeon who has a track record of producing great results and who has a good demeanor and bedside manner.
One thing to pay close attention to is whether or not the surgeon is board-certified. To earn board certification, a surgeon needs to complete additional training beyond medical school, pass an exam, and complete continuing education. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is responsible for certifying plastic surgeons.
Along with checking for board certification, also make sure that the plastic surgeon you are considering specializes in breast augmentation. Plastic surgeons who focus on breast surgery are likely to be aware of the specific challenges of procedures such as breast augmentation and are more likely to know how to perform the procedures in a way that provides the best results while protecting a patient’s health.
Check Out the Surgical Facility
Most breast augmentation surgeries aren’t performed in a hospital setting but instead are done in an outpatient surgical facility. For safety reasons, make sure you check out the surgical facility before deciding to go forward with the procedure. You want to have your surgery in a facility that is clean, technologically advanced, and accredited.
During the pandemic, it’s also important that the surgical facility follows the CDC’s guidelines and that it has a COVID-19 policy in place. The staff and patients at the facility should all wear masks and wash or sanitize their hands frequently. Ideally, the facility will screen staff and patients before letting them into the facility and will ask them to maintain social distance during the time they are in the building.
Follow Any Pre-Surgery Instructions from Your Plastic Surgeon
After you’ve chosen a plastic surgeon, had a consultation with him, and have decided to go through with breast augmentation, you can expect him to give a list of instructions or things to do to prepare for the surgery.
Following those instructions is an essential part of making your surgery as safe as possible. For example, your surgeon will most likely tell you to quit smoking or vaping and to avoid certain types of medications or vitamin supplements. He isn’t just telling you to quit smoking because of general health reasons. Using tobacco products before and in the weeks after surgery can increase your risk of complications.
The same is true of certain medications and supplements. Taking vitamin E, for example, can increase your risk of bleeding. If you take any medicines that are on the list of things to avoid before breast augmentation, ask your surgeon what an appropriate alternative might be.
Be Upfront About Your Medications and Allergies
During your consultation, your plastic surgeon is likely to ask you about any medications you take or any allergies you might have, including allergies to drugs or anesthesia. Your best and safest option here is being honest and upfront about every medication you take or any allergies you know you have.
As mentioned, one or more of your current medications might be on the list of those that aren’t recommended before elective surgery. If that is the case, your surgeon needs to know so that he can discuss all of your options with you.
Find Someone to Drive You Home After Surgery
After breast augmentation, you can most likely expect to return home the same day, once the anesthesia has worn off. Even after you’ve woken up from the surgery, it’s common to feel a little groggy and out-of-it. You might be taking medications to ease any discomfort that make you feel drowsy.
For that reason, you need to have someone drive you home from the surgical facility. Since the person who takes you home should take care of you once you get there, the safest thing to do is enlist the help of your partner or spouse, a close friend or a relative. More likely than not, the staff at the surgical facility won’t be comfortable letting you get in a taxi or Uber.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Post-Surgical Instructions
Just as it was important to follow the instructions your surgeon gave before breast augmentation, it’s also essential to follow any instructions he gives for after the surgery. Those instructions might include when to return for a follow-up visit, what activities to avoid during recovery, and what types of medicines are safe to take.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking Questions
Another thing to do to make your breast augmentation as safe as possible is to ask the plastic surgeon any and all questions you have about the procedure, its preparation, and the recovery process. Dr. Paul Vitenas is a Houston-based, board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation. He performs more than 500 breast surgeries a year and is happy to answer any questions you have about the surgery and safety. Book a virtual consultation with Dr. Vitenas today or call us at 281-484-0088 to schedule an appointment.