The Day Before Plastic Surgery
You’re Having Cosmetic Surgery Tomorrow
So you’ve had the consultation, scheduled your surgery, and arranged vacation time from work. The day before surgery, you’ll probably pre-register at the surgery center or hospital, have blood taken to check your iron level and blood clotting abilities, and sign lots of paperwork and consent forms. You may have had pre-op markings done now, or your surgeon may wait until just before the procedure. Markings are done with permanent markers and help guide the surgeon during the procedure. (Body parts look and act differently when you are lying down compared to when you’re standing up, so the surgeon needs to record exactly where those folds and contours are before you get on the operating table.)
One of the most difficult parts of surgery preparation is taking preoperative photos. It’s hard to stand naked in front of someone you hardly know why he or she takes detailed photos of the body parts you are most self-conscience about. Just relax and know that the photographer has done this hundreds of times and will understand your nervousness. He or she will make you as comfortable as possible—both physically and emotionally.
You may be on a liquid diet today, or you may have been instructed not to eat anything after midnight. If you are prone to nausea with anesthesia, you may consider maintaining a liquid diet the day before surgery even if it isn’t part of your pre-op instructions. Abstaining from solid food twenty-four hours prior to surgery often helps alleviate some of the queasiness many patients feel.
Hopefully you have strictly followed your doctor’s instructions for preparing for surgery. It is important that you don’t have any alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or blood-thinning medications in your system when you undergo surgery. These factors can negatively impact your surgical procedure and your recovery. Alcohol, caffeine, and some medications can cause too much bleeding during and after surgery. Nicotine constricts blood flow to the tiny blood vessels in the skin and can keep you from healing properly. And don’t think you can sneak and smoke—it will be obvious to your doctor if there is nicotine in your system.
Post surgical instructions are also critical for a good result. If you are instructed to refrain from exercise, lifting, and sexual activity, make sure that you abide by these instructions. These activities raise your blood pressure and can cause bleeding at surgical sites. If you are instructed to keep ice packs on surgical areas for the first twenty-four hours, be sure to switch them out frequently (have someone there to help you), so that they remain effective. The ice will make a huge difference in the amount of swelling you experience. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your post-surgery instructions, now is the time to discuss them with your doctor and staff. Tomorrow will be a very busy day for all of you, and you may forget any questions or discussion items that aren’t settled now.
Now that you’ve handled all of these items, the only thing left to do is put aside the anxious anticipation and get a good night’s rest. Tomorrow your only job is to show up. The surgeon, nurses, and staff will tend to every little detail to make your procedure go as smoothly as possible and to keep you relaxed and comfortable. Here’s to a quick recovery and great results.