You’re ready! You’ve decided to have plastic surgery, such as a breast lift, liposuction or rhinoplasty, and you’ve gone ahead and consulted with a plastic surgeon. The date is set for the surgery and now all that’s left to do is get ready.
After you’ve scheduled your surgery, you’re likely to get a list of “do’s,” from your surgeon–things you can do to help you prepare for the procedure itself and for the recovery period. But there are also a few “don’ts” you should be aware of before your surgery.
You’ll want to avoid some of these things because they can interfere with the procedure itself. Other activities are best avoided because they can needlessly complicate your life. As you get ready for your surgery, try to avoid these five things.
Don’t: Take Lots of Supplements
For the most part, the best candidates for plastic surgery are people who are in good health. So how can you make sure you’re healthy and ready for surgery? Logically, you might think that taking lots of vitamins and supplements could help you prepare for surgery–but not so fast.
While popping a vitamin or taking an herbal supplement might seem like a good idea, the reality is that doing so can lead to complications when it’s time for surgery. For example, vitamin E is a blood thinner, which can increase your risk of bleeding during surgery.
For that reason, many surgeons recommend avoiding any vitamin E supplements in the weeks before your surgery. If you take a multi-vitamin, check to see if it contains vitamin E. If so, you might want to hold off on taking it until after you’ve had a chance to fully recover from surgery.
A few other herbs and supplements can also make surgery riskier. St. John’s Wort might interfere with the anesthesia your surgeon gives you, while fish oil might increase your bleeding risk. If you do take supplements, review your list with your surgeon. They’ll let you know what to cut back on or eliminate as you prep for surgery.
Don’t: Eat a Salad
Your surgeon will most likely recommend that you fast for several hours before your surgery, especially if you’re undergoing general anesthesia. Along with fasting for the recommended timeframe before surgery (usually no food or drink after midnight the night before general anesthesia), it’s a good idea to carefully consider what you eat during the day before your procedure.
Although in almost any other instance, a surgeon would be happy to tell you to eat a salad, it’s not a great choice the day before plastic surgery. As you prepare for surgery, it’s best to avoid any foods that are high in fiber and that will take a while to digest. You want your system to be as clear as possible before your surgery.
That said, as soon as you’re able to eat again after your procedure, feel free to dive into a salad or other high-fiber meal. Doing so will help you avoid any post-surgical constipation.
Don’t: Schedule Any Big Events or Trips Immediately After Surgery
It’s essential that you give yourself an adequate amount of time to recover after your surgery. You don’t want to feel as if you’re in a rush or as if you’re patiently waiting for your results to appear.
Hold off on scheduling big events or dashing off to an exotic locale immediately after plastic surgery. At the very least, you’ll want to give yourself a couple of weeks to rest and recover. After that initial recovery, it might still be a few weeks or even months before you’re 100% again.
Nicotine found in cigarettes and other tobacco products can interfere with your body’s ability to heal by affecting blood flow through your body. It can also interfere with anesthesia and cause a range of complications or even impact your final results.
For these reasons, your surgeon is likely to recommend that you give up smoking or using other tobacco products starting at least two weeks before your procedure, but preferably at least four weeks. You’ll want to continue to avoid tobacco products for another few weeks after your surgery, too.
Don’t: Be Shy About Asking Questions
After theconsultation with your surgeon and after you’ve set a date for surgery, it’s likely that you will have a few more questions about what to expect, what you should do and what recovery will be like. Don’t be shy about calling up your surgeon and asking any questions that come up in the days or weeks between your consultation and your surgery.
Plastic surgery is a major commitment, requiring a significant amount of time and money on your part. You want to feel as confident as possible about the procedure and the surgeon you’re working with before you decide to move forward with it.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Houston area with nearly three decades of experience. He’s available to answer any questions you have about plastic surgery
and to help you prepare for your procedure. To schedule a consultation, call 281-484-0088 today.