Scheduling a facial plastic surgery procedure like rhinoplasty or a facelift is exciting and scary at the same time. You’re excited for the results, but you may be worried about how much time you’ll need to take off or how you might feel after your procedure. All these thoughts are totally normal, and you’re likely to go through some ups and downs before your surgery.
In the weeks leading up to your surgery, you’ll want to take some preparation steps to help ensure that your surgery and the recovery goes well. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to help optimize your results. However, you might find that you’re pretty busy leading up to your procedure! Here are some steps to take in the months before your procedure.
1-2 MONTHS BEFORE: STOP SMOKING AND CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE
If you’re a smoker, the sooner you can quit the better. While smoking is bad for you at any point during your life, it’s especially bad when you’re having surgery. The nicotine and chemicals found in cigarettes can cause anesthesia complications, bleeding, and make you more prone to infection and poor healing. To avoid all those nasty complications, you’ll need to quit a minimum of a month before your surgery, preferably longer. You don’t want to compromise your safety and results for the sake of cigarettes!
This is also a good time to clear your schedule after surgery. Take enough time off from work for your recovery and arrange for childcare and/or pet care at least during the first week so that you don’t try to do too much while you’re healing.
2 WEEKS BEFORE: CHANGE YOUR MEDICATIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS
If you take any prescription medications, then you will need to discuss them with your plastic surgeon and physician before scheduling your procedure. Some of these medications may need to be paused or altered if possible.
You should also stop taking medications that thin the blood, including aspirin and other over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen. Some supplements, like Vitamin E can also increase your bleeding risk. Your surgeon should give you a comprehensive list of medications to avoid in the weeks leading up to surgery.
1 WEEK BEFORE: PREPARE YOUR HOME AND FILL MEDICATIONS
You’re going to have some mandatory downtime after your procedure, so it’s important to prepare in advance to ensure you don’t have to do any bending, lifting, or household chores. It’s a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you for the first few nights after surgery in case you need assistance. You will also need to arrange for a ride to and from your surgical appointment.
Do your laundry, run your errands, and make sure everyone close to you knows that you’ll need complete rest during your initial recovery. Make sure you have loose-fitting, button down tops to see you through the recovery period and stock up on ice packs to help keep you comfortable as you heal.
Set up a recovery area with a recliner to keep your head elevated, magazines, books, and other entertainment, extra pillows, and blankets to keep you cozy. Stock your freezer with crock-pot meals and your fridge with ready-made, healthy snacks that are easy to eat. You should plan to have a week of meals prepped if possible. A healthy diet will help you heal more quickly.
Your plastic surgeon will give you prescriptions for pain medications and antibiotics before the day of your surgery. It is a good idea to fill these well before you need them, as you don’t want to find yourself in discomfort and need to head to the pharmacy.
1 DAY BEFORE: PREPARE FOR ANESTHESIA
Not all procedures require general anesthesia, but if you will be receiving it during your procedure then you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before your surgery and leading up to the procedure. You should also shower the night before and ensure your skin is clean and makeup free before heading to the office for your surgery. You will need to have someone drive you to your appointment, as you will not be able to drive yourself home after receiving anesthesia.
FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS CLOSELY
Your surgeon wants to set you up for success. He or she should provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions at the time of your consultation. It is crucial to follow all these instructions closely and to ask questions if you don’t understand something or you notice anything out of the ordinary, especially during recovery.
If you’re looking for an expert to guide you through the process, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Buckingham can help. Dr. Buckingham is known for his skill, compassion and experience, offering beautiful, natural-looking results from a range of facial procedures. To learn more about designing a custom treatment plan at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX, call 512.401.2500 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham.