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Last week, I blogged about What to Expect After Breast Augmentation Surgery. Well, several of my proactive patients wanted to know what they could do before surgery to help their recovery. Great question, so today we are talking about how to plan for your Cosmetic Plastic Surgery.

How To Prepare For Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

First and foremost, Cosmetic Surgery is elective. Since you are making the choice to proceed, you should also plan to succeed with a quick and safe recovery. Making a few arrangements and taking a few precautions can really boost the safety and predictability of your procedure.

Timing Is Everything


Very few of us have a plethora of free time. Recovery takes time, and giving yourself adequate time for recovery is very important. For some procedures, doing too much activity will increase swelling and discomfort, for others, it can reverse the progress made with your procedures. Be sure to ask your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon about how much time you will need and what precautions to take, specific to your body and your procedure.

Plan Ahead

You want to arrange your schedule so that you have the time necessary to take care of yourself. So get your resources organized early, and have your recovery tools ready. Ice packs, prescriptions and a little help from your friends should all be arranged before surgery. With the crack-down on the abuse of prescription drugs, it can take more than one visit to the pharmacy to get pain pills. If you have small children, additional child-care may be very helpful during the days after surgery. Preparing a few days of meals that can be easily warmed up can also help.

Eat A Healthy Diet


Eating healthy is always a good idea, but it is especially important to consume the building blocks your body needs to heal. Balance is important, and more is not better. Supplementing in situations were vital elements of nutrition are lacking can be important, but filling these needs through a healthy diet is always the first choice. In certain situations, like after Bariatric Surgery, certain nutrients may need to be supplemented to make up for the malabsorption these procedures are designed to produce.

Hydration is equally as important. Dehydration contributes to increased nausea after surgery, so stay hydrated before and after surgery. Dehydration after surgery leads to lower blood pressure, decreased circulation and slower healing.

Stop Smoking

In case you haven’t heard this yet, smoking is bad for you. If you’re a smoker, smoking cessation will improve your results, your recovery and your health in general. For some operations, smoking increases your risk of wound healing problems by 600%, and most Plastic Surgeons will ask you to stop at least four weeks before and after them.


Operations that have a problem with smoking include:

Smoking tobacco is bad, but smoking marijuana may be worse, because unlike cigarettes, pot often it is inhaled completely unfiltered. Even casual pot smoking, now legal in California, will restrict the blood flow to the surgical site, leading to decreased healing, prolonged inflammation and swelling and a reduced result. Marijuana is not the only herb you should avoid before surgery.

Avoid Things That Will Make You Bleed

Certain medications, supplements and herbal remedies are known to increase bleeding. You should review your diet, and everything thing else you take before your surgery. Many herbal remedies seem harmless, but those derived from root and bark often contain salicylates, which will make you bleed just like aspirin can. You can find lists of supplements to avoid on the Internet, like this short List from the Otolaryngologist at Stanford, but the best thing to do it to bring all your medications, herbs and supplements to your pre-op visit for your surgeon to review.

It’s Harder To Hit A Moving Object


Keep moving. The better shape you are in before surgery, the easier it will be to get up and move after surgery, too. Be certain to follow your surgeon’s limitation for activity, but do not become a “couch potato”. Early ambulation has been shown to decrease the risk of problems like pneumonia and blood clots, but it will also make you feel better faster. Humans were not designed to sit around.

Ask Your Surgeon

Be certain to ask your surgeon what you can do to speed your recovery. They can tailor their recommendations to you and your surgery, and help you feel better faster. If you are considering Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area, give me a call at (925) 943-6353, and we can go over all the details, together.

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