General Pre-surgical Instructions

October 29, 2012

When it comes to plastic surgery, there are a number of measures that patients can take to promote a speedier recovery and make them more comfortable after surgery. Here, Atlanta plastic surgeon Marcus Crawford has provided complete pre-surgical instructions for our plastic surgery patients.

Stop Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes actually reduces blood flow. This can delay a patient's healing after surgery, making it important for patients to quit smoking before surgery. Plastic surgery patients should stop smoking one month before and one month after their surgical appointments. If you smoke cigarettes and wish to undergo plastic surgery, your first priority should be finding a way to quit smoking, if not permanently, then at least for the two-month period around your surgery.

Healthy Diet

In the weeks leading up to your surgery, you should maintain a well-balanced diet that includes lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. In addition, patients should be sure to drink at least 64-ounces of water. As you get closer to your surgery, try to decrease your sodium intake, as sodium can increase swelling after surgery. You may also want to eat some of the foods that may be beneficial to healing, such as spinach, beans, beets, and fresh pineapple.

Avoid certain Medications, Vitamins, and Herbs

Certain medications should be avoided for at least three weeks before surgery. A general list of medications, vitamins, and herbs to avoid include:

  • Blood thinning medication
  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, and Naproxin
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants
  • Echinacea
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Ginseng
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Vitamin E

During your pre-operative consultation, you should disclose all medications, herbs, and vitamins that you have used in the past few months. Dr. Crawford can let you know if it is safe to take them in the weeks leading up to surgery, or if you need to halt their use. Do not take any new medications, herbs, vitamins, or supplements before surgery without first asking Dr. Crawford if they are safe for use.

Grocery and Drugstore Shopping

A day or two before surgery, you will want to do enough grocery shopping to last for two weeks, and stop by a pharmacy or drugstore to fill any prescriptions and pick up any after care supplies. Be sure to compile a complete shopping list to ensure that you will have everything you need during your recovery period.

Household Chores

Many household chores will put undue strain on you during your recovery. That is why you should be sure to have all of your laundry done, fresh sheets on the bed, the house cleaned, and errands completed in the day or two before your surgery. Be sure to have a comfortable area set up for your recovery, including plenty of pillows, fresh towels, tissues, water, crackers, and entertainment at your fingertips.

The Night before Surgery

The night before surgery, you should avoid all food and drink after midnight. You should also be sure to abstain from drinking alcohol the day before, and at least a few days before surgery. Shower and wash your hair the night before surgery, as you may not be able to shower for a few days after surgery. Make sure that you have someone to drive you to and from surgery. Try to get a solid eight hours of sleep.

What to Wear to Surgery

The day of your surgery, do not wear make-up, lotion, contact lenses, or jewelry. Do wear comfortable clothes that will be easy for you to get in and out of after surgery. If possible, wear a button down shirt so you don't have to pull a shirt over your head.

For more detailed pre-operative instructions, contact Crawford Plastic Surgery.

Add new comment