Congratulations! Now that you’ve decided to have plastic surgery to correct or enhance your features, you’ve made a great stride in your journey toward better self-confidence and self-esteem. But there are a few more steps you need to take before you begin.
Double-board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Guida helps our patients in New York City and Staten Island ensure the best possible results from their surgical procedures by giving them these important tips for careful planning and preparation ahead of their procedure.
A month before your surgery
Your pre-op prep timeline begins about four weeks before your surgery. This is the time to make sure you understand what to expect and begin planning for it. Here are some things to do and think about:
- Ask Dr. Guida about how much down time you’ll need to recover
- Create a to-do list of supplies to buy (gauze, bandages, ointments, etc.)
- Make arrangements for childcare if necessary
- Prepare your skin for scar recovery (ask Dr. Guida)
- Ask questions, discuss your overall health, talk about medications you’re taking
Once you feel comfortable with this information-gathering stage, it’s time to move on to the next phase.
3 weeks before your surgery
Your surgery day is still a few weeks away, so you have plenty of time to start getting your post-operative recovery room ready without rushing at the end.
- Stock your fridge with healthy vegetables, fruits, and proteins
- Put some ice packs in the freezer
- Gather books and magazines to read during down time
- Queue up movies and shows for binge watching
- Have hobby supplies nearby (puzzles, needlework, etc.)
It’s also time to assess your habits and diet. Certain substances are detrimental to your recovery, so talk to Dr. Guida about medications and supplements you take. Also:
- Quit smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow in your vessels, which inhibits healing
- Quit drinking alcohol: Alcohol thins your blood and dries your skin out
2 weeks before your surgery
You’ve done a great job cutting back on drinking and smoking, but there’s more to do if you want to really give yourself the best chance at healing well. Now’s the time to begin clearing your system of substances that may slow down the healing process. If you’re currently taking any of these, stop now:
- Large doses of vitamin E (the amount in a multivitamin is fine, but too much may increase bleeding)
- Aspirin (or anything that contains aspirin)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Any medications that Dr. Guida asks you to stop taking
It takes a couple weeks for your body to flush these substances out, so you want to make sure to get a head start.
1 week before your surgery
The week ahead of your procedure gives you a chance to concentrate on nourishing your body. You’ve eliminated the substances that can hinder your healing; now, begin to support your system with the elements it needs to recover well.
Start by increasing your daily water intake, and get used to a new normal (keep hydrating after surgery). Also, cut back on sodium and amp up your fruit and veggie game.
It’s also a good idea to get your pain medication prescription filled now, so you don’t have to deal with it after your surgery.
And make sure you line up a friend or family member to drive you home on the day of your procedure. You won’t be able to drive yourself.
2 days before your surgery
Put the finishing touches on your recovery area.
Make sure you’ve taken care of all your work, family, and pet obligations for the duration of your recovery.
Get some old pajamas, sheets, and pillow cases ready (in case you ooze or bleed just a bit).
1 day before your surgery
Tomorrow’s the day! And if you followed our guidelines, you’re all set to breeze through your plastic surgery. Just remember — don’t eat or drink anything after midnight tonight. And get a good night’s rest.
Plastic surgery is a big step, so you want to do everything in your power to optimize the results. Dr. Guida believes these guidelines will help you heal more quickly and completely, whether you’re having rhinoplasty, otoplasty, a facelift, sinus surgery, blepharoplasty, or any other medical or cosmetic procedure.
When you’re ready to take the plastic surgery step, you can trust Dr. Guida to guide you skillfully, compassionately, and safely through the process. Schedule a consultation by calling either of our two locations or by booking your appointment online.