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How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

With your upcoming plastic surgery now only a week away, you’re probably taking some time to think about what you should be doing to prepare. Your surgeon provided you with a tips sheet, but there are still some things you should be doing to prepare for the big day. Even a light surgical procedure requires careful preparation, so consider this guide to help you get ready.

We’ll cover everything from choosing the right surgeon for the job to readying mind and body, and making recovery preparations.

1. Ask Questions

Choosing the right surgeon is perhaps the most important preparation you can make before surgery. The right surgeon can perform your surgery quickly and efficiently. Not to mention, the right surgeon is a medical professional you can trust, making you more comfortable with the overall process. If this is your first surgery, you may feel a bit nervous.

Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have of the surgeon. In the pre and post-surgery phases, asking questions is highly encouraged, especially if you’re new to plastic surgery. Don’t worry about your surgeon feeling a certain way about you asking questions—surgeons will be happy to make you feel better about the procedure.

You can ask questions about the operation itself, the recovery phase, or even the surgeon’s credentials.

2. Ready Your Mind and Your Body

As much as you need to ready your body for plastic surgery, you also need to put emphasis on readying your mind. Stress can cause difficulties during surgery and you want to enter the operating room in as calm a fashion as possible. Practice breathing exercises if you’re feeling anxious about your surgery, and go to bed on time and eat healthy in the weeks leading up to your operation.

If you have any doubts about your surgery, be sure to perform the necessary research or ask the right questions of your surgeon to put your mind at ease. Be sure you have a good support system at home to help you before and after your surgery.

3. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial before a surgery, since you may be unconscious for the operation. Drinking plenty of water helps keep the skin and other bodily systems hydrated and functional. Drink lots of water before your surgery and be sure to go to the bathroom prior to.

The recommended water intake for an adult is around 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses per day, or anywhere from 48-64 ounces.

4. Eat the Right Foods

Eating healthy before and after surgery can not only aid in the body’s recovery process, but can also provide the body with much-needed ingredients. Vitamins and minerals from healthy, nutrient-dense food nourish the body and create a sense of health and confidence.

Foods like green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and whole grains are good options before and after your surgery. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s diet guidelines for the night before your surgery and the days leading up to it.

5. Avoid Smoking Before Surgery

Smoking is an incredibly harmful habit, and can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of the surgery. The more time your body has to heal from the damages of smoking, the quicker you’ll be able to recover post-surgery.

Smoking also reduces elastin in the skin, which can make it sag. Additionally, smoking has been proven to lower the efficacy of the immune system, which can jeopardize the operation and recovery processes. Smoking can cause compromised healing, which can increase the likelihood that you develop scar tissue.

Heart and lung complications from smoking may increase your risk of having a cardiac incident during the procedure as well. But the biggest culprit is nicotine, a chemical that shrinks blood vessels and can therefore compromise healing, or even cause dead skin, with many plastic surgery procedures.

The bottom line? Smoking is harmful in a variety of ways, and does nothing but cause aesthetic and functional damage to the body. Prospective plastic surgery patients can benefit from ditching the habit a minimum of 6 weeks before surgery. Many plastic surgeons will refuse to perform surgery on smokers, or even cancel their procedure if they have been unable to quit.

6. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of pre and post-surgery phases. Getting enough sleep helps your body heal quicker and shortens the overall recovery process. Before surgery, you want to get plenty of sleep so you enter the operating room feeling refreshed and alert.

Choose a comfortable, quiet environment to rest the night before. Separate yourself from family members or pets to get a better night’s rest. 

7. Make Recovery Preparations

The recovery process can be lengthy, depending on your surgery, your overall health, and your habits post-surgery. Before you enter the operating room, you should have a plan in place on how you’ll recover. Make sure you get your position covered at work, you account for any potential complications, and your family or friends can help with certain tasks. You may feel slightly exhausted following your surgery, so don’t make plans for any intense activities.

Recovery preparations should also include financial plans. Be certain if you can afford your surgery and how you’ll pay for it. Financial plans must be made prior to surgery.

8. Follow Instructions From the Surgeon

After your surgery, the surgeon will provide you with care instructions, what to expect, and schedule your follow up appointment. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions. There may be temptation to ignore certain rules on foods and activities, but following the surgeon’s guidelines is the best way to recover on time.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions at this stage, either. If anything is unclear or unaddressed, it’s better to bring it up with the surgeon to be sure.

The Bottom Line

Preparing yourself for plastic surgery requires good hydration, a good diet, and giving up certain destructive habits like smoking to increase your recovery time. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s guidelines after your surgery and make the right preparations for your recovery. Good luck!

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