When I consult with women and men considering cosmetic plastic surgery at my Sacramento practice, I typically encourage them to see this as a great time to make other lifestyle changes. People who want to look their best can take steps even before getting plastic surgery that will help them during their recovery and beyond.
Before your surgery date, we provide detailed, pre-operation instructions, including directions about what medications to take or stop taking. In this blog post I provide some additional tips about preparing for your surgery.
Start With a Healthy Diet
One of the most fundamental ways to prepare for surgery and recovery is to eat a balanced diet that includes protein, iron, nutrients, and even some fat. The weeks before surgery aren’t the time to start a diet that drastically cuts calories. However, we do advise that you avoid prepared or fast foods that contain a lot of salt, and it’s best to limit alcohol consumption. You’ll feel better and be better prepared for surgery if you select fresh, healthy ingredients for your meals.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and if you already have a routine, keep it up in the time leading up to your procedure. We don’t recommend starting new, more strenuous workouts that could risk injury just before surgery. Instead, maintain your normal fitness levels and concentrate on strengthening your core muscles (the abs and back). This is especially true for patients getting tummy tuck surgery or other body contouring procedures.
If you smoke, you must be prepared to stop for at least 3 weeks prior to your operation. Because smoking impedes blood circulation, you cannot resume smoking until the healing process is complete. Inadequate circulation is a risk factor for blood clots, so it’s critical to stop smoking before and immediately after surgery to ensure a recovery without complications. In the best-case scenario, stopping smoking will be a permanent lifestyle change.
Time to Shop
As you plan for your recovery, you’ll want to make a list of things you’ll need and stock up on those items beforehand. Besides filling your prescription for pain or other medications, here are some other items to consider:
- Get magazines, books, and anything else that you’ll want to keep you entertained during the recovery period. Light-hearted fare that doesn’t require too much concentration is usually best.
- Stock up on single-serving, healthy snacks, moisturizing skin wipes, loose clothing, dressings for incisions, and traction socks (especially if you have wood floors).
Prepare a Comfy Spot
Finally, make sure you have a nest prepared, because other than walking around the house a few times a day to keep your blood circulating, you’ll be resting. Situate everything you’re going to want within arm’s length. This means remote controls, smartphones, the above-mentioned books, magazines, and wipes, and anything else that you’ll want to have handy.
Something else that you can do to prepare for surgery is to learn more about your plastic surgeon’s work. Visit the practice’s website, read the surgeon’s blog posts, and view the before-and-after photo gallery for the procedure you’ll be getting.
If you would like a 1-on-1 appointment to learn about your potential with plastic surgery, contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (916) 929-1833 (Sacramento) or (916) 773-5559 (Roseville) to schedule an appointment.