As a patient there are several things you can do prior to any aesthetic plastic surgery, to speed your recovery and improve the results:
- Stop taking any medication containing ASA or aspirin at least two weeks, and preferably one month before surgery. These medications interfere with blood clotting, increasing the risk of bruising and excessive bleeding. They are present in many cold and headache remedies. Also avoid anti-arthritis medications such as Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), herbal products, fish oil and high dose vitamins, as all of these can cause bleeding. If any of these medications were recommended by a physician, obtain their clearance before stopping them.
- Notify Dr. Bailey if you take any prescription “blood thinners” and consult the prescribing physician regarding stopping the medication for surgery.
- Drink alcohol in moderation only. Avoid alcohol completely for 24 hours before surgery and while taking any medication after surgery.
- Stop smoking. Smoking interferes with the circulation to the skin. It increases the risk of wound healing problems and loss of undermined skin. If you are having a general anesthetic, smoking increases the risk of pneumonia afterwards. Even if you stop smoking just before surgery it helps, but ideally stop at least two weeks ahead. The same risks and advice apply to smoking marijuana.
- Stabilize blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic medical problems. If you have any medical condition, are taking any tablets or medication or have any allergies, make sure Dr. Bailey knows, and notify your other physician(s) that you are planning plastic surgery .
- If you are on the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy, discuss the relative risks of stopping them or continuing them during the period around your surgery with both the prescribing physician and your plastic surgeon. (They may increase the risk of life-threatening blood clots.)
- Stabilize your weight and achieve any planned weight loss prior to surgery. Do not follow a restrictive diet around the time of surgery, as good nutrition is essential to wound healing. Also avoid losing weight that you are likely to regain after surgery. Weight gain after surgery will compromise the results, and may cause unusual deformities. Generally the risk of complications is higher and results are poorer if you are obese.