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Cosmetic Surgery Countdown: How to Prepare for Surgery

Any type of surgery is not only a procedure, it's a process. During your initial consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the details of your procedure and what to expect before, during, and after surgery. There is not a set amount of time necessary to wait between the consultation and the surgery, but a few things need to be taken care of before the procedure takes place. The process will vary depending on the procedure you will undergo, but you can use the following timetable as a general guideline to prepare for an invasive procedure.

8 months – If you are having a procedure like a tummy tuck where a BMI of below 30 is recommended and you aren't quite there, give yourself some time to reach that number before the procedure.

7 months – Surgery is often scheduled months in advance. If you are traveling from out of town, the sooner you schedule your traveling arrangements, the better. Sometimes patients who are from out of town come to a consultation wanting to have their procedure the same week or even the following day. As long as the requirements are met and the surgeon's schedule permits, you can have your procedure when you wish. Keep in mind that you may want to take time to review any risks or alternatives presented to you during your consultation.

6 months – If you are getting a breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift done, you should be finished breastfeeding 6 months prior to surgery.

2 months – Request time off from work about 2 months before your procedure. If you have a strenuous job, it is recommended that you take 2 to 3 weeks off from work. If you have a desk job, take at least 1 week off.

6 weeks – Quit smoking. Smoking can inhibit the healing process and can cause skin death after surgery.

1 month – Make arrangements for someone to take care of you for 2 to 3 days following surgery.

3 weeks – Visit your primary care physician for a physical exam to be sure you are in good health for the surgery. Three weeks will provide plenty of time for lab results to come back if testing is necessary. You should also stop drinking alcohol for at least 3 weeks leading up to surgery. Alcohol can increase bleeding and the chance of infection.

2 weeks – Stop taking blood thinners, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Vtamin E, 2 weeks before surgery. Also stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs used for arthritis as well as all anticoagulants. These drugs affect how the blood clots and can lead to postoperative bleeding.

1 week – Do not get sunburned or tanned before surgery. It is also recommended that you avoid garlic, red wine, spicy foods, and salty foods the week before surgery. Get all your prescriptions filled at this time, and buy a surgical garment if it is necessary for your procedure.

3 days – Since you will not be cooking or cleaning for at least 10 to 12 days, be sure you have meals prepared. Do your laundry and any necessary cleaning before your surgery date. Make arrangements for someone to drive you home from the procedure.

1 day – If you will be put under general anesthesia, do not eat or drink after midnight the day before your procedure. If you are getting a facial procedure done, such as a face lift, you should not have mousse, gel, or hairspray in your hair.

The day of surgery

  • You may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, but do not swallow any liquid.
  • Do not chew gum or use breath mints.
  • Do not apply makeup, fingernail polish, deodorant, hair pins, or lotions.
  • Do not wear jewelry.
  • Do not wear contacts, and bring a case for your glasses if necessary.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.

Remember that there is no need to rush your surgery since you will have the rest of your life to enjoy the benefits. Always follow your surgeon’s advice for preoperative and postoperative care. At the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery, we want you to arrive on the day of your procedure comfortable and confident that all your questions have been answered.

If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure around the Columbus, Ohio area, contact Dr. Shah to schedule a consultation. Please call (614) 482-2123 today, or fill out our contact form.