Plastic Surgery Blog
So you’ve booked your surgery or are about to book your surgery and now some of the nerves are settling it. It is completely normal to feel nervous. Surgery is a big deal! And it’s a huge day for you. We don’t take it lightly.
But rest assured that we’ve got you! You are in great hands. We do this every single day, and we are one of the busiest clinics in the country. We have seen it all and we do it well, really well.
If you’ve already booked your surgery then you received a package of information with forms and instructions for preparing for surgery. Read them carefully as they will explain in detail everything you need to do to get ready and prepped for the big day. That being said, we know you’ve got lots on your mind and a million questions! Remember, no question is too big or too small.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our patients prior to their surgery.
Someone can come with you to the clinic, and bring you inside. Upon your arrival check in with the front desk. Once you’re checked in we will ask some brief questions and re-confirm caregiver details. You may have a short wait back in the waiting room depending on the case ahead of you.
Once we receive you, we’ll ask your companion or caregiver to head home or somewhere else that is comfortable while they wait for you. Caregivers are welcome to stay at the clinic if they wish, however it will be a few hours as they wait. We also ask that caregivers make sure their cell is on and that they are readily available within a 20-30 minute drive of the clinic during any time of the surgical day.
Your arrival time is not confirmed until 5-6 days before the surgery. Your surgical coordinator will call you to let you know your arrival time. They will also confirm any final instructions with you, and go over the details of what to do with your soap and ointment.
You can expect to be at the clinic for approximately 4-5 hours from start to finish on the day of your surgery provided the surgical day is rolling on time.
When it is time for you to go upstairs to the pre-operative room, it will be just you, and it will be where you’ll meet your nurses, your anesthetist and of course your primary surgeon.
You’ll be asked to change into pajama pants, fresh socks, a surgical gown and robe, and you’ll relax in a recliner with a warming blanket. The nurse will take your vitals, confirm your procedure, and apply an ID band. The nurse will also give you pre-op medication to prepare you for surgery.
When your surgeon sees you to “map you out” for surgery he can also answer any last minute questions you may have. Your anesthetist will also come and ask you some questions and will answer any that you may have.
Your time in the pre-op room can take anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
If you’re having a breast procedure, you’ll need to wear your post-operative garment for one month. For body procedures, you’ll need to wear it for six weeks.
No. All medications are prepared in advance and delivered to the clinic for the day of your surgery.
We treat illness on a case by case basis. We ask that you call us if you’re experiencing symptoms of illness on the day of your surgery and we’ll assess the situation the day of.
It’s safe to have sex at one month post-op.
You have to absolutely stop smoking a minimum of one month prior to your surgery. Even earlier is best, preferably two months! And there’s no smoking for a minimum of one month following your surgery, again preferably longer. Smoking really inhibits healing, so the longer you can stay away from it the better for your recovery.
When it comes to smoking, there are absolutely no negotiations on the rules. You can absolutely NOT have a cigarette to calm your nerves prior to surgery. In short, not a puff or second hand smoke within the above parameters.
Your nurse and doctor will monitor your progress and most of the time more pain medication is not needed. If it is an absolute emergency, your doctor and nurse will assess your need for more pain meds and a refill can be ordered. That being said, this is very rarely the case.
You need to stop smoking marijuana for one month prior and one month following your surgery. You can take edibles/CBD approximately two weeks after your surgery.
We have a great pain management protocol. However, it is surgery, so discomfort is to be expected. Everyone’s level of tolerance to pain is different. That being said, we always ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible and that any discomfort or pain is at a minimum.
Levels of discomfort will also vary depending on the surgery that you’re having. Surgeries like a tummy tuck, extensive liposuction, or body contouring after weight loss tend to be more uncomfortable procedures.
Most patients undergoing breast procedures find the recovery pretty comfortable – in fact we often have to encourage these patients to slow down because they feel so good. However, everyone is different and it’s totally normal and to be expected that you will feel some level of discomfort and pain no matter the surgery.
This really depends on the procedure that you’re having done but you can always expect that you will have swelling and bruising immediately following surgery. Some patients are more prone to swelling and bruising than others and certain procedures will also result in more swelling and bruising.
It’s important to keep in mind that the result you see immediately after surgery is not your final result. Your body needs time to heal and accept the changes made and this takes time. True results are seen several months to up to a year after surgery.
Getting a hospital bed is not mandatory, but could definitely be helpful if you feel you’ll need to be climbing a lot of stairs to get to and from your bedroom, or to and from the bathroom. Again, this also depends on the surgery you’re getting.
If you’re getting a breast procedure, climbing stairs is less of an issue than say if you’re getting a tummy tuck or mommy makeover.
It’s mandatory to have a caregiver for 24 hours following your surgery and this is primarily because of the anesthesia medications that are still in the process of wearing off. Beyond that 24 hours, it’s definitely nice and a bonus to have someone help with meals and anything else you might need (love a good pillow fluffer!) but it’s not absolutely essential.
Keep in mind that you have to take a minimum full 7 days off any kind of work, and this includes housework. You should not be doing laundry, making beds, cleaning up toys or doing heavy dishes. And certainly no childcare for 7 days!
This can be hard for those of us with little ones but it’s necessary to ensure good healing and a great result. If you’re someone who needs the house to be pristine at all times, you should have someone help you out in that first week, for sure.
Feeling nervous about what you’re going to look like after surgery is completely normal. Anxiety can very easily take your mind in all kinds of different directions, making you question the size of implant you chose or any number of concerns.
However, if you are genuinely concerned that you might “hate” your result following your procedure, then you should get in touch with us prior to your surgery.
There is definitely a difference between pre-surgery jitters and the feeling that maybe you aren’t totally ready for surgery just yet. Most of our patients have some level of anxiety before their surgery date, but they know they want to do it and believe they’re going to love the outcome.