How to Prepare Yourself for Plastic Surgery

A woman prepares for plastic surgery.

As a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, part of my job is helping patients know what to expect before, during, and after their plastic surgery procedure. Whether you are having plastic surgery on the face, breasts, or body (or several areas), there are a few things you can do to help ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are my top 4 tips on how to prepare for your plastic surgery procedure.

1. Start with a healthy diet.
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet before and after your plastic surgery is beneficial for healing and recovery. Your body will need all the nutrients it can get to heal properly, especially protein, iron, and healthy fats. This is not the time to skimp on calories, so enjoy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean sources of protein, including fish, chicken, and low-fat beef. Add healthy fats to your diet by incorporating plenty of nuts and oils. Some supplements, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to support immune health and recovery and may be beneficial after surgery. Just be sure to check with your plastic surgeon before taking them.

You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine for 2 weeks before your procedure and for several weeks after. Both of these beverages thin the blood and can promote bleeding. Also, try to stay away from fast food or any other processed products. These items increase inflammation in the body and can make you more susceptible to illness.

2. Exercise.
While strenuous activity is not recommended for a few weeks after surgery, some light exercise can be beneficial before and after your procedure. Exercise promotes blood circulation and brings oxygen to the organs. The key is to take it slow and not push yourself. Don’t start a brand-new exercise regimen or engage in activities that put you at risk for injury. Instead, work to maintain your current fitness level and be patient with yourself as you ease back into your normal routine.

3. Quit smoking.
You already know smoking is bad for you, and it’s also bad for your surgery and recovery. The surgical risks for smokers are much greater than for nonsmokers, and it’s recommended that you stop smoking as soon as possible before your procedure.

Smoking reduces blood flow, which slows your recovery and makes you more prone to infection. Smokers who undergo surgery are more likely to need a ventilator after surgery and are more at risk for developing pneumonia than nonsmokers. Smoking is also a major cause of heart disease, and your risk of experiencing a heart attack before or after surgery is also greater.

4. Make a surgery shopping list.
Many of my clients find it helpful to make a shopping list of things they’ll need during their recovery before their surgery. Items such as magazines, DVDs, frozen meals, moisturizing skin wipes, extra clothing, and cozy socks can come in handy when you don’t feel well enough to be out and about. Avoid items that require a lot of attention to detail and expect to fall asleep about halfway through your favorite show (pain medication can be strong, especially the first couple of days). Be cautious with any “laugh out loud” comedies early on in your recovery—you’ll want to lie still and rest as much as possible.

Additional Tips

It may also be helpful to search your plastic surgeon’s website for other resources regarding your procedure or recovery. The doctor’s before-and-after photo gallery can give you a good idea of your surgeon’s level of skill and what kind of results you can expect. Additionally, procedure pages and blogs can provide you with information about your surgeon’s personal surgical approach and philosophy.

To learn more about my practice or how I can help you meet your cosmetic goals, request a consultation today by calling (480) 214-9955.

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