How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

By Cameron Craven, MD, FACS November 4, 2019 No Comments

plastic surgery preperation

Congratulations on your decision to have plastic surgery. We’re sure you’ve taken some time to fully research your procedure and worked diligently to choose a highly qualified board certified plastic surgeon. Right?

While it may seem like a long process up to this point, your cosmetic enhancement journey is just beginning. There are many things to keep in mind as you prepare for your procedure: numerous medicines to take (or stop taking), dietary changes to begin, bad hobbits to drop, and preparations to make around the house. In this post, we’ll discuss a basic plastic surgery preparation timeline to help make your surgery and recovery a success.

Note: the below timeline is a general guide to plastic surgery preparation. Always consult with your surgeon and their staff to understand what is required prior to surgery. Their instructions will always supersede this list.

Preparation Timeline

4 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Complete your physical if required by your surgeon (depending on the procedure some surgeons require a physical be performed to ensure candidacy).
  • Begin discussing potential scarring with your surgeon. Your provider may recommend starting preventive scar treatments or they may recommend post-procedure scar treatments. Learn more about scarring by reading this post

3 Weeks Before Surgery

  • Find a dependable friend or family member to be your caregiver. This person should be willing to take care of you as well as any children or pets during your recovery
  • Cease smoking or drinking alcohol as they can negatively impact
  • Check with your provider if you should discontinue using any medications (discuss all medications you are currently using)
  • Stock up your fridge with healthy foods
  • Plan how you will spend recovery
  • Purchase any books, movies, etc. so they will be available
  • Purchase cold compresses or ice backs
  • Purchase all necessary compression garments (unless they will be provided by your surgeon)
  • Purchase loose fitting, comfy clothes for recovery (a robe is often a good choice)
  • Discuss the use of Bromelain or Arnica Montana supplements with your provider as these can help reduce swelling and speed up healing

2 Weeks Before Surgery

  • If recommended by your surgeon, begin taking a daily vitamin
  • Discuss if you should cease taking any herbal supplements with your provider
  • Patients may need to discontinue using aspirin, anti-coagulants, or anti-inflammatory drugs as they cause blood thinning or inhibit clotting (consult with your primary care physician before doing this)

Week Before Surgery

  • It may be a good idea to start taking probiotics to counteract the potential for future constipation caused by pain meds
  • Reduce your sodium consumption
  • Start eating a lighter diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and protein
  • Hydrate by drinking plenty of water
  • Fill any prescriptions needed during your recovery period so they are all ready
  • Ensure your caregiver is still able to provide aid including a ride to and from your surgeon’s office
  • Start taking Bromelain and/or Arnica Montana as directed by your surgeon
  • Setup a designated recovery area with wound care items, pillows, blankets, leisure items, water, snacks, and a list of emergency numbers
  • Move any essentials from high shelves to low shelves for easy reaching
  • Get lots of rest

Day Prior To Surgery

  • Confirm your ride to and from surgery with your caregiver
  • Refrain from eating or drinking after midnight
  • Get a full night’s rest

Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.


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