Tag Archives: plastic surgery

How To Prepare For Plastic Surgery

How To Prepare For Plastic Surgery

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!

 

HOUSEWORK

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.

 

SUPPORT SYSTEM

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.

 

SHOPPING

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!

 

Tax Refund for Plastic Surgery

Using a Tax Refund for Plastic Surgery

It’s that time of year again – the W2s are in and people are filing their tax returns.  The only good thing about taxes are the refunds.  There are many uses for those tax refunds including paying off debt, home repairs and, increasingly, plastic surgery.

This is the time of year we see people coming in who say, “I want to use my taxes for my surgery”.  This is not just a phenomena that we see at my San Antonio Plastic Surgery office, I found an old television report from Arizona where they see the same thing this time of year. With an average refund reportedly just under $3500, the tax refund could be used as a hefty down payment on surgery.  The remainder can be easily financed with one of our no interest payment plans.  Payments for many procedures could be less than $500/month for only 6 months.  If you are having trouble applying for financing for your plastic surgery, just ask Linda for help.

The average refund also easily covers minimally invasive procedures like Botox and fillers.  But most people in our San Antonio Plastic Surgery practice seem to use their tax refunds on things like Breast Augmentation and Tummy Tuck.  With the no interest financing that is available, you don’t even need to wait for your refund to come in.  Just finance the procedure now (if you qualify) and pay off the financing within 6 months when your refund arrives.

While on the subject of taxes, I find it interesting that the IRS feels Cosmetic procedures are not deductible medical expenses.   However, you can deduct Breast Augmentation surgery if you work as an exotic dancer like Chesty Love.  You can also deduct the cost of cosmetic surgery if you live in Brazil.  Shouldn’t we be able to deduct the cost of cosmetic surgery here as well?  For now, we’ll just have to settle on using our tax refunds for plastic surgery.

DASH Diet and Plastic Surgery

I Challenge You to a DASH

It’s no secret that at the beginning of every new year, people are focused on losing weight.  One of the most common questions I get is about what diet do I recommend.  So this year I thought we would try something new and exciting.  I challenge all of you to lose more weight than me over the first 2 weeks of February.  No, this is not a crash diet, but merely a kick start to a weight loss plan for the whole year.  So, if you are game, read on.

We will be following the DASH diet.  DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  It was developed and researched under the guidance of the National Institutes of Health to reduce high blood pressure, but has actually been shown to lead to weight loss.  To me it seems to be a well balanced healthy diet plan that if implemented long term can lead to a significant change in your dietary lifestyle.

Here are the general guidelines of our DASH to health contest

  • All those who wish to participate can weigh in and get their blood pressure taken by Hilda or Linda anytime after February 2nd.  I will weigh in with Hilda on that morning.
  • Follow the DASH diet plan for the next 2 weeks (see the resources below)
  • Weigh out in the office before February 13th.  I will have Hilda check my blood pressure and weight on that afternoon.

Although we will only be checking the change after 2 weeks, I am hoping that everyone will see a significant change and want to continue with the dietary modifications forever.  Everyone that loses a higher percent of weight than me during those 2 weeks will receive a DASH diet book.  In addition, as an added incentive, everyone who loses more than me will be entered into a drawing for a FREE CoolSculpting treatment.  CoolSculpting is a great way to get rid of those isolated areas of fat that just won’t go away no matter how much weight you lose.

The idea for the 2 week challenge came to me when reading The DASH diet for hypertension : lower your blood pressure in 14 days–without drugs by Dr. Thomas Moore one of the researchers that studied the diet.  This book is available at the San Antonio Public Library.  You can also view a PDF of the diet plan from the NIH.  You can also find more information at DashDiet.org and DashforHealth.com.  The latter is a site designed by Dr. Moore that has a subscription option to help guide you at a reasonable price.

Regardless of the diet plan you choose to follow this year, think of CoolSculpting for those stubborn areas of fat that you just can’t get rid of.  We have had good success treating the abdominal area (including that little pooch of Mommy fat after C section) and the love handles.  We have also begun to treat the upper abdomen with the new CoolSmooth applicator to shrink that upper fat that I see in a lot of hispanic women especially.  After losing weight the rolls around the bra strap usually become more apparent and those are perfect for CoolSculpting.  I even see women that are thin everywhere else, but just have big saddlebags and the new CoolSmooth applicator has been a tremendous advance in treating that area.

Good luck to those of you who think you can lose more than me over the course of 2 weeks.  Trash talking is welcome, but don’t try to tempt me into breaking the diet with sweets (you know who you are).  If you have to lose the pounds anyway, you might as well enter the contest for a chance to win a free CoolSculpting treatment.  Even if you did not plan on losing weight but are interested in CoolSculpting, this is a good opportunity for you to win a free treatment.  As they say – What do you have to lose?