Though cosmetic surgery procedures are becoming ever more popular, it is important to remember that these procedures are indeed surgery, and therefore require thought and preparation. Knowing how to prepare for plastic surgery is key.
There are some factors to consider ahead of time, including how to prepare for your procedure, what to do post-procedure and even understanding topics you might not have considered like plastic surgery confidentiality.
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Preparing For Your Plastic Surgery Procedure
Depending on the type of procedure you are undergoing, there are various planning steps you should take. There are some general steps all patients should take during the planning process for all plastic surgery procedures.
Here are some basic guidelines:
Consult with your plastic surgeon to discuss the different changes that will occur in your body, your goals and the possible outcomes. The surgeon will also discuss the risks, benefits, and any complications.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form during your initial consultation. Signing this form allows surgeons to photograph you before and after the procedure. These photographs act as a point of reference and remain within the patient’s records.
- In the business office, we will discuss the estimated costs. You will receive a written estimate. Prepayment is often due prior to the date of the surgery, and insurance typically does not cover cosmetic procedures.
- Prior to the procedure, you will be asked to come in for examination so your overall health can be assessed.
What should you avoid before plastic surgery?
As part of preparation for your plastic surgery, there are a variety of different foods, drinks, supplements and medication you should stop to get the best results from your treatment.
During the consultation appointment with the plastic surgeon who will be performing your procedure, you will be given more detailed instructions, we have put this handy list as a reference guide.
If you are a smoker, it is crucial that you stop smoking. Especially during the weeks just before and immediately after surgery.
Why? The nicotine in cigarettes has a negative impact on blood flow which can impede the success and results of the procedure as well as prevent your body from healing properly.
You also need to be careful about using products designed to help you stop smoking. Nicotine patches, e-cigarettes and nicotine gum are just as bad.
Ideally, you should look at avoiding all smoking and nicotine related products for at least a month before and after your treatment.
There are a number of good reasons why you should avoid drinking alcohol before surgery. For one thing, as you probably already know, alcohol acts like a blood thinner.
It is crucial while you are having surgery and during the recovery period that your blood and blood vessels are as normal as they possibly can.
When you are under the knife, skin, tissue and even muscle is cut and moved which causes bleeding.
The thinner your blood is, the harder it may be for the surgeon to stop the bleeding. This is why our surgeons will not work on patients who have not followed the instructions to abstain from alcohol properly.
Another big reason why you should avoid alcohol is that it can cause the skin to dry out. Drier skin is harder to work with and stitch and scars are more likely to develop.
Green Tea – surprisingly, this powerful antioxidant-rich beverage can be problematic when you are under anaesthetic , can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
Fruits and vegetables – generally seen as an important part of a healthy diet, it is recommended you avoid fruits, vegetables and any food high in fibre that will take longer to digest, like whole grains.
Vitamin E – as well as having blood thinning properties, this vitamin can also impede the recovery process and your body’s natural ability to heal. Though there is some evidence to suggest it may be helpful for healing, much of this evidence is for wounding via radiation, i.e the sun, rather than beinghelpful for surgical wound healing.
Fish Oil supplements – Omega-3 fatty acids are normally extremely healthy. Not before surgery though, as these supplements can increase bruising and bleeding.
How can I heal faster after plastic surgery?
Each type of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedure has its own recovery time. However, there are a number of ways you can help speed up the healing process.
Supplement Your Diet
Although we discussed some supplements you should avoid before and after surgery, not all of them cause problems. In fact, the following vitamin supplements can be incredibly helpful before and after a surgical procedure.
Vitamin A – helps to protect against viral and bacterial infections and is crucial for the production and formation of collagen. All important for healing. This may help with the appearance and recovery of scars
Vitamin C – surgery depletes your body’s levels of vitamin C, so it’s a good idea to take some before surgery and afterwards to speed up the recovery period as it too will boost your immune system and help produce collagen.
Light Exercise – the last thing you may want to do is participate in any exercise immediately after surgery. While it will depend on the directions of the surgeon, for many treatments, gentle physical activity like walking can give your immune system a boost and enhance the body’s natural healing process.
This is, of course, treatment dependent and you should always follow your surgeons aftercare advice to the letter.
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Making Sure to Preserve Your Confidentiality
Something rarely considered in preparation for plastic surgery. Patients should approach the situation as though they are interviewing prospective interview candidates for an employment situation, and ask about the procedure including how confidentiality is protected.
Medical professionals must store patient documents in a secured location, they may not disclose patient information without consent, and they must produce a copy of their confidentiality agreement prior to conducting procedures.