Getting cosmetic surgery isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. As with any other type of surgery, it’s important to adequately prepare for the procedure in order to reduce your risks, achieve the best outcomes, and have the best experience possible.
Here’s how to prepare for cosmetic procedures.
Research your plastic surgeon before committing
If you haven’t yet chosen a plastic surgeon for the cosmetic procedures you want to undergo, ensure that you do your research before committing. You will want to ensure that the surgeon you choose has the right qualifications, adequate experience, and good reviews.
The qualities of a great plastic surgeon include education and training, impressive before-and-after photos, patience and competence, honesty, and clarity. Beware of red flags as well, including lack of photos or reviews, very low cost, little experience with your specific procedure, and poor listening skills.
Research the cosmetic procedures you want to undergo
Before undergoing a cosmetic procedure, it’s important to be well informed. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will go over the risks of complications, the duration, and the steps involved in the surgery, but you should also perform independent research from reputable websites, such as those from medical organizations. The information found on message boards and patient forums should be interpreted with caution. You should only take medical advice from a medical professional.
Achieve a healthy body weight
For body cosmetic procedures in particular, it is very important for you to achieve a healthy body weight before undergoing surgery. Being overweight can increase your risks of complications as well as lead to less predictable results. If weight loss occurs following the procedure, less than optimal results may occur. Ideally, you should have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or lower.
Smoking and surgery do not mix. Smoking can lead to significant healing complications, such as necrosis, infection, and delayed healing of wounds. Most plastic surgeons recommend that you quit smoking at least one month before and for one month after your cosmetic procedures in order to lower your risks of complications.
Stop taking anti-inflammatories before surgery
Anti-inflammatory drugs can increase your risk of bleeding, both before and after surgery. It is critical that you cease taking these medications approximately one month before undergoing surgery. Other medications, vitamins, and supplements may also increase your risk of bleeding, so make sure to discuss all of the medicines you are taking with your surgeon in order to get proper instructions.
Fill your prescriptions in advance
You will be given prescriptions in advance for any antibiotics and pain medications that you will need post-surgery. Because you may be on bed rest and have low mobility during early recovery, it’s recommended that you fill these prescriptions in advance as to avoid having to take a trip to the pharmacy.
Begin fasting at midnight the night before
If you will be receiving general anesthesia for your cosmetic procedures, you will need to begin fasting—no eating or drinking—at midnight on the night before the surgery. This lowers the risks of complications. However, no fasting is required if the surgeon is only using a local anesthetic. You will receive specific instructions based on your particular surgery.
Prepare for your recovery
Not only is it important to prepare for your upcoming surgery, but it’s also important to prepare for the recovery time that will follow. You may need to take a specific amount of time off work to recover. You may need to arrange help for your children or pets during your early recovery. You will also need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for up to one month, and so it would be wise to plan for someone to handle strenuous tasks during that time. This planning will help you reduce stress and ensure optimal healing during recovery.