Deciding to get plastic surgery is an important decision. Once you’ve done your research and decided a procedure is right for you, analyze the cost, and choose a doctor, and finally have the procedure scheduled, it’s just a waiting game, right? Not quite.
Surgery can be a lot for your body to recover from; the more prepared you and your body are, the smoother and more comfortable your recovery will be. Here is a timeline with steps you can take to ensure your body is in a peak position to undergo surgery and recover smoothly.
4 Weeks Prior
It’s time to start prepping your calendar. Make your plans to miss work. Look ahead at your schedule and see what needs to be shuffled. Will your kids need to be picked up and dropped off at school or events? Do you have work travel scheduled? Are there any significant events you will need to reschedule?
Some surgeons require a physical before your procedure; this is the time to get that completed. You might want to ask your surgeon about preemptive scar treatments including lotions or gels to prepare the skin before surgery. Consider purchasing any post-surgical garments you might need. Many cosmetic surgeries suggest compression garments. Call your doctor to find out what is recommended or provided.
3 Weeks Prior
We’re getting closer! Now is time to intentionally care for your body. One of the best decisions you can make for your body; this close to surgery is to stop smoking and drinking. Even if it’s only a temporary change, it will make a difference to your recovery.
While you’re at it, stock your kitchen for your optimal health. Buy all your favorite fruits and vegetables, plan meals of lean protein, and many fresh foods. Start making a list of things to do during recovery, order any books you’ve been wanting to read, or start compiling a list of shows to binge.
When patients plan fun activities to do while they recover, the process is much more enjoyable. Consider investing in a few creature comforts, like purchasing new ice packs, comfy slippers, a stylish bathrobe, or a sleep mask.
2 Weeks Prior
Double-check your medications; as surgery approaches, some prescription drugs might be dangerous. If you have concerns, call our office. It’s a good idea to start taking a multivitamin if you don’t already, especially something with vitamin C. (Anytime your body is in recovery, your immune system needs extra support, you don’t want to catch an illness while you recover!)
Speaking of supplements, if you take vitamin E (often women take this for better hair, skin, and nails), it’s essential to take a break, as it can cause excess bleeding. (Vitamin E and surgery do not pair well.) Remember to mention all herbal supplements you are taking to your medical team to avoid any possible interactions.
You’ll also want to stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs and anticoagulants. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t be taking, don’t hesitate to call our office. We will be delighted to help.
It’s also an excellent time to stock up on probiotics. Along with surgery, comes pain medication, and a common side effect of pain medication and anesthesia is constipation. Being proactive and taking a quality probiotic can help ease this unfortunate side effect. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.
1 Week Prior
It’s getting closer! One week pre-op is a wonderful time to reduce your sodium intake. (Sodium can increase your odds of your body swelling and retaining water.) 1,200-1,500 mg is an acceptable daily target. Remember to eat many fruits and vegetables, try to eat nuts and high protein meals. Remember hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking lots of water will keep your body functioning at optimal levels.
Another factor to consider is refilling any regular prescriptions you take. (Consider how long you’ll be at home recovering and try to reduce any errand running during that time) It’s also an excellent time to get your haircut or take care of other self-care appointments.
It’s also the time to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and start assembling your recovery area. You’re going to want to set up a comfortable place to sit or rest with activities you’ll do while you recover. (Don’t forget to move the phone charger to this area!) The most important thing to focus on this week is adequate rest and nutrition. Treat your body well so your body will be in the best condition possible to recover.
2 Days Prior
It’s getting closer! Two days before surgery is a perfect time to get those final details in order. If your surgery involves a hospital stay, make sure your bag is packed with everything you might need. It’s a good time to double-check your transportation; who will be taking you to and from the surgical center?
It’s also an excellent time to set up your recovery area at home fully. Think about what limitations you’ll have and what would be extra comforting during your recovery? Things like reading material, or a full DVR, find your most comfy pajamas and make sure they are clean. In addition, stock up on medical care items, things like water bottles, non-adherent gauze, ABDS pads, and if you will be having a procedure that results in post-op drainage, like liposuction, we recommend getting “puppy pads” to protect your bedding and to help keep your surgical area dry. Patients who are having facial surgeries should try to have a stock of crushed ice ready to be used for ice packs. Move daily essentials to easy to reach places so that you can minimize bending and stretching as much as possible. If you have pets that will need care, arrange it.
1 Day Prior
The best thing you can do the night before your surgery is to get a good night’s sleep. Well-rested bodies recover better. Remember not to eat or drink anything after midnight and double-check the pre-surgery instructions given to you by our office to make sure you’ve followed all the necessary steps for your specific surgery. Last but not least, make sure you have transportation to and from the surgical facility as well as someone to help you get settled at home and care for you during the first 24 hours you’re at home.
Why Choose Buckhead Plastic Surgery
Dr. Larsen is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience and many excellent reviews. He has carefully chosen a staff that shares his people-first attitude to ensure your comfort through the entire procedure.
Dr. Larsen prides himself on communicating clearly and providing you with realistic options for your optimal results. He takes great pride in his surgical skill and is known for his kind and direct approach to his patients.
If you’ve been considering a procedure, give us a call today at 404.367.9005 and schedule your consultation. This is your chance to visit our facility, meet our medical team, and voice all your questions and concerns. You’ll be glad you did. Most of our patients report their only regret about their procedure with us is not calling sooner. Call us today.