Preparing For Your Facial Plastic Surgery Procedure
There's lots to be done as your big day draws near.
What should you have on hand for your recovery? When should you stop taking ibuprofen? Who is going to watch your kids? What will you be able to eat?
Fret no further. We make it easy for you with our information-packed article on preparing for facial rejuvenation. (Articles on preparing for specific procedures such as facelift, eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty can be found throughout this website.)
You will likely have a preoperative visit or two with your surgeon before your surgery, to go over any last-minute details. This is also a great time to ask any lingering questions about your surgery and the associated risks, recovery and costs. Your surgeon may have some advice on how to calm your pre-surgery jitters as well.
In addition, you may need some lab work — including a complete blood count — before your surgery. These tests will help make sure you are healthy enough to undergo your surgery.
Your surgeon should also provide an information packet that explains everything you must do and know before your surgery date. The packet should include a list of all the medications you should not take for up to two weeks before and after your surgery. This list will likely include aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding risks during and after your surgery. We supplement your doctor's information with our A-to-Z list of medications to avoid before surgery as well.
Your surgeon may advise you of the benefits of homeopathic remedies like bromelain and Arnica montana to help reduce swelling and bruising. These must be taken before your surgery for maximum benefit.
If you smoke, you should stop for at least two weeks prior to and two weeks after your surgery date. Smoking significantly impairs circulation and therefore can affect wound healing. Discuss the best ways to kick the habit for good with your surgeon.
Preparing for your recovery can help things go a lot smoother. We suggest that you:
- Clean your house (or have it cleaned) before your surgery.
- Plug in a nightlight so you can easily find your way to the bathroom at night.
- Stock up on recovery food items — including frozen or prepared meals, pudding, gelatin or other soft, bland foods — if your surgery will affect your ability to eat.
- Make sure your bed is set up with lots of pillows to elevate your head. (Tip: A comfortable recliner may work better for you than a bed in the early days of recovery.)
- Arrange for child and/or pet care during the initial recovery phase.
- Purchase all of your medications and dressings before your surgery, including antibiotics, antibacterial soap, a thermometer and bags of frozen berries or peas to help reduce swelling.
- Place all medications in either a weekly pill case or in labeled containers marked with the times they are to be taken. Keep them nearby.
On your nightstand during recovery, we suggest you keep:
- Bottled water
- Your medications
- A remote control (with new batteries)
- Fully-charged phone next to your bed
For your entertainment during recovery, we suggest:
- Renting some must-see DVDs, downloading some best-sellers onto your Kindle or iPad, and keeping your fully-charged laptop or cell phone on hand.
- Placing a journal and a few new pens nearby if you plan to keep a diary.
The Night Before Your Surgery
If you are feeling jumpy before your surgery, take a deep breath and carve out some "you-time." Try a relaxing bath with lavender and some music. Afterward, wash off any residue with antibacterial soap, following your surgeon's directions. Wash your hair the night before surgery and remove all fingernail and toenail polish. Try to get a good night's sleep. Good luck!
Yael Halaas, MD, FACS
60 East 56th Street
New York, NY 10022
Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD
The Aesthetic Institute of New York & New Jersey
44 E 65th St.
New York, NY 10021
Kopelman Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Center
1200 E. Ridgewood Avenue, Suite 1A
Ridgewood, NJ 07450