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12 Things to Include in a Plastic Surgery Preparation Checklist

12 Things to Include in a Plastic Surgery Preparation Checklist

If you're planning on having breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, or a full mommy makeover, your recovery after plastic surgery in Scottsdale, AZ, is probably a concern. The good news is that the steps you take today to prepare for your upcoming cosmetic procedure can improve your recovery process and results.

How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

The following dietary and lifestyle tips play a role in helping you avoid complications during surgery, having a smooth recovery, and achieving desirable plastic surgery results.

1. Schedule your procedure when you're healthy and less stressed

Set your day of surgery during a period of considerably good health. Doing so gives your immune system the best chance at a speedy recovery. Many patients schedule their procedure during the fall and wintertime when they can have a few extra days off with paid vacation time.

2. Fuel your body with essential nutrients

Before and after surgery, your diet should include high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, zinc, and selenium. These essential nutrients help build the immune system and heal wounds faster, therefore reducing the chance of infection. Acquiring adequate vitamins and minerals is particularly important when recovering from invasive procedures like a breast lift and abdominoplasty.

3. Increase your protein intake

Protein and calories are some of the most important healing elements. Consuming enough protein and calories before and after surgery is necessary to repair injured tissue, build new tissue and blood vessels, and stimulate the production of cells responsible for healing wounds. Choose clean and high-quality sources of protein and calories, including chicken, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, and legumes.

The standard protein requirement is about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For instance, a 140-pound woman should consume about 50 grams of protein per day (140 divided by 2.2 = 63.6 kilograms multiplied by 0.8 ). However, following a surgical procedure, it's recommended to increase this amount by 1 and a half times to about 95 grams of protein per day.

If you cannot eat the recommended amount of protein, consider adding protein powder in smoothies and shakes. One scoop typically provides 20 grams of protein and only 80 calories. Another good option is to snack on plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. One serving provides about 18 grams of protein.

4. Stop taking certain supplements

Many nutritional supplements can cause adverse reactions during or after surgery. Some of these complications include prolonged and excessive bleeding, cardiovascular disturbances, interference with anesthesia, and interactions with prescription drugs.

The supplements you should discontinue for at least two weeks before and after going under the knife include fish oil caps, ginger, ginkgo biloba, garlic ginseng, ong quai, echinacea, kava, St. John's Wort, and even vitamin E.

5. If your surgeon allows it, consider taking a bromelain supplement

Bromelain is an enzyme extracted from pineapples. Several studies concluded that bromelain compounds are effective in minimizing inflammation, swelling, and pain that can accompany surgical procedures and soft tissue injuries.

6. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water

It's important to drink at least eight glasses of high-quality water daily, especially on the day before undergoing surgery, to help hydrate and cleanse your body. Drinking enough water is crucial before surgery because you will be reducing your fluid intake on the actual day of your procedure. To avoid complications during surgery, avoid drinking anything after midnight before your operation day unless told otherwise by your plastic surgeon.

7. If you suffer from constipation, consider a natural stool softener

Following surgery, some patients experience constipation that persists for several days. Dehydration, narcotics, and anesthetics used during surgery all contribute to this digestive issue. You can prevent constipation by eating a few prunes each day before and after your procedure. Your doctor may also prescribe a supplement specifically formulated to address post-op constipation.

8. Follow your doctor's orders and take a probiotic with antibiotics

Surgeons routinely prescribe antibiotics following an invasive procedure to prevent infections. However, although beneficial, their use can sometimes cause digestive problems. Your doctor may recommend taking a probiotic with an antibiotic to avoid gastrointestinal issues.

9. Do not take aspirin or any product that contains this drug

Doctors do not recommend taking aspirin prior to surgery since it is an anticoagulant (blood thinner) that can cause heavy bleeding during surgery. Daily aspirin therapy must be on pause for a minimum of two weeks before undergoing surgery.

10. Refrain from drinking alcohol for 2 weeks before and after surgery

Alcoholic beverages suppress the immune system and can cause a variety of problems during surgery. Therefore, you should avoid drinking for at least 2 weeks before your procedure.

11. Stop smoking for two weeks before and after surgery

Smoking impairs wound healing because it reduces the supply of oxygen in your body's cells. Also, smoking — whether tobacco or weed — boosts the risk of encountering complications during surgery. You should be aware that most plastic surgeons will deny performing surgery on a patient who cannot quit smoking for a minimum of two weeks before and after the operation date. The bad habit significantly obstructs wound healing and recovery.

12. Try some relaxation techniques

Listening to soothing music, practicing yoga, or taking a meditation class are some examples of relaxation techniques that can help you reduce stress and relieve any pre-surgery jitters.

No matter what type of plastic surgery you plan on having, following these instructions will help you avoid complications and achieve your desired outcome.

Meet Your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Scottsdale, AZ

Dr. Aldo Guerra's extensive experience in breast enhancement surgeries and tummy tucks has made him a top plastic surgeon in Arizona. To schedule your initial consultation with him, dial 480-970-2580 to get in touch with his team. Rest assured that you will be entrusting yourself and your aesthetic goals to one of the best in the industry.


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