Top Questions to Ask your Surgeon Before Surgery

As your plastic surgery date approaches, you will need to prepare yourself for your procedure and keep a running list of things to remember before going into the OR. Being fully prepared can help ease your anxiety and get your more excited for your upcoming results and the dream body you’ve always wanted!

One very important tip that can help you feel more ready and prepared for your surgery is speaking directly to your plastic surgeon about any questions or concerns you might have. Your surgeon can give you detailed information on how you can prepare your body for surgery, what things you should be sure to avoid, and what to expect before and after your procedure.

Below is a list of questions you should be sure to ask your plastic surgeon before surgery:

Are My Goals and Expectations Realistic?
It is very important that you go into plastic surgery with realistic expectations for what your end results will look like. While our surgeons are highly trained and have experience in delivering dramatic, life-changing results, there are certain limitation to what plastic surgery can do. Your unique anatomy and starting point will help determine what your results will look like.

What Foods and Drinks Should I Avoid?
You will want to adjust your diet before and after your surgery to be as healthy as possible and ensure your safety. Whole foods, rather than processed foods, are excellent to eat before surgery and during surgery recovery. For example, an orange would be a whole food. Orange juice, though, would be a more processed version of that food. A baked potato is a whole food, while a French fry is more processed and less healthy, having been fried. Chicken breast is better than chicken nuggets, onions are better than onion rings, etc. Aim to obtain most of your nutrition from these whole foods, which is actually a healthy way to eat every day, not just the weeks before and after surgery. Doing so will offer your body more nutritional benefits and will help keep you as fit and healthy as possible!

Additionally patients should avoid foods that are high in sodium, or salt, before surgery and during surgery recovery. Salt retains water and can increase a patient’s swelling after surgery, which will cause your results to take longer to settle in. To avoid excessive sodium intake, patients should try sticking to whole foods instead of prepackaged foods and avoiding adding too much salt to their meals. Some herbal teas should also be avoided before surgery, as their contents may affect your blood pressure during surgery.

What Medicines and Substances Should I Avoid?
Your surgeon can give you important info on medicines and actions to avoid before surgery. Such substances to avoid before surgery include the following:
– No smoking or any drugs 30 days prior to surgery
– No alcoholic beverages seven days prior to surgery
– No birth control pills two weeks prior to surgery
– No amphetamines 30 days prior to surgery
– No ibuprofen or any meds that contain Ibuprofen 30 days prior to surgery

Are there any Supplements I Should be Taking?
Likewise, there are certain supplements your surgeon can encourage you to take before and after surgery to help with your recovery and to help give you optimal results. Your doctor will likely recommend that you take Vitamin C before surgery, as it is also a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune response. After surgery, you can take Arnica supplements, which may reduce swelling, decrease pain, and act as an antibiotic.

Before surgery, you should avoid taking any Vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E and surgery do not mix because Vitamin E is associated with increased bleeding, and this can lead to collection of blood (called a hematoma) that could result in serious complications. Most surgeons will instruct you to avoid supplements with Vitamin E before surgery, so it is important to check your dietary supplements and your multivitamin carefully. However, after the surgery, your health plastic surgeon may indicate that Vitamin E may be appropriate.

What Should I do the Day / Night Before Surgery to Prepare?
The day before your surgery you may be very nervous and excited and should follow your doctor’s orders to ensure a safe, complication-free procedure. Most surgeons recommend not eating or drinking anything after midnight the night prior to your surgery, as it can sometimes make you queasy after surgery. Additionally, you will want to get plenty of sleep the night before surgery. Being well rested will help give your body the fuel it needs to make your recovery go more smoothly.

What Time Should I Arrive for My Surgery?
One of the most important questions you should ask your surgeon is what time you should arrive at your clinic on the day of surgery. Most surgeons require you to arrive hours ahead of surgery to ensure you have plenty of time to be checked and prepared for surgery. The pre-operative process involves checking your vitals, speaking with your surgeon one-on-one, and ensuring you are ready to go.

What Should I Expect Once I Wake up From Surgery?
Patients should have a good understanding of what they can expect when they wake up from surgery. Questions like what medications they should take, how they should expect to feel, and how they should care for themselves during the delicate time after surgery should all be discussed with the surgeon ahead of time. Typically, when patients are well-informed on the post-operative process and the general recovery they will experience, they are calmer and less likely to endure any complications.

By making a point to ask your plastic surgeon each of these questions before you go into the operating room, you will be setting yourself up for the best surgical outcome. By keeping your health in mind, following all instructions on supplements and medicines, and making sure to prepare any needed arrangements before surgery, you will likely have a smooth, stress-free surgery and a complication-free recovery.