So you've done your research and have decided to proceed with surgery. What now? Sit back and relax?
Well prepared patients can enjoy a smoother journey to surgery and in the long term a better recovery.
We hope you find the following information of use when preparing for surgery.
The timing of your surgery is key. Depending on your employment you may need to take differing time off work. For example, if you work in an office you may be able to to return to work earlier than if you work outdoors where the sun and elements can affect your ability to heal quickly. Can you work from home?
The weather also plays a role in time selection. If your surgery requires that you wear a post operative compression garment you may wish to consider the winter months.
Avoid having surgery just before or immediately after a long haul flight. If you have plans to travel make sure you advise your surgeon.
You will need to arrange someone to collect you from hospital and stay with you. Can you arrange someone to care for and help you with children/pets during your recovery. You may need assistance with driving and daily activities.
Existing medical conditions and medications
If you have existing medical issues such as a heart condition or diabetes and take associated medications (Plavix, Asterix, Cartia, Warfarin or Insulin) you may need to get clearance from other specialists involved in your care. Additional tests may be required prior to surgery to ensure you are in good health.
Smoking increases the risks of anaesthesia and surgery and decreases blood flow making surgical wounds less likely to close, less likely to heal well and more likely to become infected. It is recommended that you stop smoking well before surgery and don't recommence after surgery.
Avoid Bruising and excessive bleeding
Stop aspirin, anti-inflammatory or herbal medications including fish, krill oil and Vitamin E to avoid bruising and excessive bleeding. You can also take Arnicka or Bromelian from the chemist one week before to assist with bruising.
Practice Self Care
In the weeks leading up to your surgery it is important to practice self care. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein/iron rich foods. Drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid stress and alcohol in the week before surgery. Patients who prepare in this way usually recover better.
Prior to surgery you will be asked to complete forms for your hospital admission. It is important to read the instructions you are given carefully. Complete your forms well in advance, this is helpful to the hospital and others involved in your care. It can be quite stressful for you if you leave your forms until the last minute.
You may be asked to have a blood test prior to surgery. Arrange to have this test 2 weeks before so there is plenty of time for the results to come back.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the costs involved in your surgery and who needs to be paid when. Usually there will be a fee for the surgeon, the anaesthetist and the hospital. Fund excess and cosmetic fees are usually expected before your surgery. If you have not been provided with the above information contact your surgeon.
Post Operation Information
Read the information your surgeon has provided about recovery. Is there anything you are unclear about? Is there anything you need to purchase before the day of surgery? This will help smooth your discharge from the hospital.
Get To Know Your Hospital
You may find it helpful to visit the hospital before your surgery date to check out the parking and the cafe. Work out how you will get to the hospital. This type of preparation avoids stress on the day.
Set Up Your Recovery Station
Many patients find it helpful to set up an area at home for their recovery. In this area, the may put their favorite pillow, tissues, books/dvd etc. Whatever you think you will need to recover. That way, when you get home from hospital you can get straight into recovering.
The Day Before
The hospital will contact you the day before regarding your admission time and fasting information. Try not to plan stressful activities the day before and leave the surgery day and free of activities so you are ready to go.
Finally, if you are worried or concerned about anything before your surgery speak to your surgeon's office. They will be more than happy to answer any questions.
If you have any other questions or concerns about plastic surgery or the procedures plastic surgeons perform, send an enquiry on our contact page and we will do our best to help.
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