Most patients prepare for their Plastic Surgery by researching several Plastic Surgeons and choosing the one they feel most comfortable with. But, the preparation should not end there. Before surgery, you should take the time to prepare for after surgery.
Non-invasive procedures like Botox, CoolSculpting, and Ulthera do not need any preparation as they have no downtime. But, most Plastic Surgery operations like Breast Augmentation, Tummy Tucks, and Face Lifts require a more involved recovery and will be easier if you prepare beforehand.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this prep work. You may have the will to push through and carry out your daily tasks after plastic surgery; however, you are not doing your body any favors by being stubborn.
Instead of risking your health and results by pushing yourself after surgery, dedicate your time and energy before your surgery. The list below can help you get your to-do list started!
Complete all housework. It’s easy to underestimate how many little things you do throughout the week. Usually, you can manage them a little at a time as you go about your day. That won’t work after surgery. Take care of anything and everything you might have to do before going in for your procedure. After all, no one wants to do dishes or laundry while recovering from surgery!
Move essential items to lower shelves. While recovering, you shouldn’t try to get anything off the top shelves. If you regularly use an item, move it down to a more reasonable height. This step will help you stay independent and safe.
Set out any necessary items on your bedside table. Keeping tissues, bottled water, lip balm and similar items within arm’s reach can simplify your life by quite a bit. You don’t want to be getting up and down more than is necessary. If you don’t already charge your phone on your bedside table, move that as well. Books or a TV remote should be nearby as well.
Place a small trash can in your car. Anesthesia and post-op pain medication can cause nausea. Protect the vehicle that picks you up with a bit of forethought. Your ride will thank you.
Remove any artificial nails and trim your nails. It’s common for patients to itch after surgery either because of medications or dressings. You do not want accidentally to hurt yourself scratching.
Arrange Drivers. Needless to say, the day of surgery you will not be able to drive. But, you should also arrange for drivers you can trust on rely on to take you to your post-op visits.
Plan meals. After surgery, you aren’t going to want to cook. Either buy pre-made meals or freeze your own before surgery.
Schedule child and pet care. Both your kids and your pets will need someone to look after them for a while. You don’t want to scramble for help when you are healing.
Take an appropriate amount of time off work. Depending on what procedure(s) you are undergoing, your recuperation time will differ. Any invasive surgery, however, will require some time off to heal. People tend to be back to work within a week after breast augmentation. A tummy tuck, on the other hand, will usually take four to six weeks to heal, although patients often return to work in as little as two weeks. Make sure you and Dr. Koneru discuss the amount of time off work you will need before surgery. Remember, your body needs time to heal after surgery, and you do not want to return to work too soon. You probably do not want to work if you still require pain medication. Thankfully, with Dr. Koneru’s multimodality approach to pain management, most patients can wean themselves off narcotics very quickly.
Finish any shopping. Any errand that you can complete ahead of time should be taken care of beforehand. Stock up on groceries and have at least one new bra ready to go. You will also want to purchase any gifts (birthday, shower, Christmas, etc..) before surgery so that you do not have to worry about them after surgery.
Get big, plump pillows. To keep swelling and bruising to a minimum, you will need to sit up at a 45-degree angle. The best set-up is the position that works for you. However, if you plan to purchase new pillows to accommodate this change, consider trying a wedge-shaped pillow. Dr. Koneru recommends that patients undergoing a Tummy Tuck or a Mommy Makeover spend at least a week in a recliner.
Buy clothes that are easy to remove. After surgery, you need to be mindful of your bandages as well as your physical limitations. You are not going to pull a t-shirt off over your head after a breast augmentation. Instead, choose articles of clothing that have buttons or a zipper in the front.
Purchase pads to protect your mattress from discharge. It is not flattering to think about, but you may have some drainage from your incision site. You should be prepared to have some drainage and protect not only your mattress but your recliner or sofa.
MEDICATION & PAIN MANAGEMENT
Stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before surgery. Medicines like Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, and Advil will thin your blood. These drugs prevent clotting and could cause bleeding during surgery. You should also stop most herbal supplements at least two weeks before. Ask our office staff about all medications you are taking including vitamins, supplements, and Over the Counter medications.
Get laxatives or a stool softener. Pain medications needed for breast augmentation surgery or a tummy tuck can cause constipation. There are things you can do without medication to help. Drinking lots of fluids, eating a high fiber diet, limiting your postoperative narcotics, walking, and avoiding constipating foods can help. However, in some cases, you might need a little extra help. It’s better to have laxatives or a stool softener available and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Ask about topical pain medicines. Dr. Koneru utilizes topical pain medications that do not cause drowsiness or constipation to help with your pain after surgery. Be sure to ask our staff about prescribing these for you before your surgery.
Stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Smokers experience an increased risk of complications. The increased amount of carbon monoxide in smokers’ systems hinders the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Additionally, smokers heal slower than non-smokers. For some surgeries, Dr. Koneru may ask you to stop smoking for at least three months before surgery.
READY FOR A CONSULTATION?
Preparation can make your recovery significantly more comfortable and get you back to your regular routine. Interested in scheduling a plastic surgery consultation? Located in San Antonio, Dr. Koneru is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience in general plastic surgery. He is extremely experienced in breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, tummy tuck, Mommy Makeover and more. Call (210) 499-5900 to schedule a consultation today!