7 Things to Have Ready Before Surgery

Dr. David Stoker

Patients ask us questions all the time, usually about the results they can expect and the plastic surgery experience itself. What many people overlook is what to expect after surgery, specifically the handy items that can make your recovery so much easier. These items run the gamut from medical necessities to creature comforts. If you keep these seven items on hand before you go in for surgery, you will most likely find your recovery much more enjoyable.

  1. Your medication should help ease any discomfort during your initial recovery, but not if you wait until after your surgery to pick it up. Save yourself or your caretaker an uncomfortable trip to the pharmacy by filling your prescription in advance. That way, you can have your pain medication and antibiotics ready right when you need them.
  2. Surgical gloves may seem like something that should stay in the operating room, but you may find them helpful at home as well, especially if your procedure involves the use of post-operative drains.
  3. If you have post-operative swelling, as most patients do, gel ice packs are a preferable alternative to ice. They work better, don’t leak, and have rounded corners so they don’t irritate your healing tissue.
  4. A variety of liquids is an absolute must. Most patients crave a little sugar, so juices or sodas are usually ideal for hydration and taking medication. Soups with broth – like chicken noodle – are a great way to replenish after surgery, especially if you can’t handle crunchier foods, as is the case with many people who undergo certain face procedures.
  5. In order to maintain maximum comfort during your convalescence, keep a handful of pillows in different shapes and sizes on hand. You never know what position will be most comfortable for you to rest in following surgery. Having lots of pillows can help support the best position for you.
  6. When it comes to comfort, many patients also find a change of clothes does the trick. Comfortable pajamas are usually ideal to change into after your surgery. After all, you may be in bed for a while.
  7. Ointments like Aquaphor are great for any skin irritation you develop. They can help you stay moisturized, especially if you’re left feeling a little dried out after surgery.

Remember, it is important to stock up on these items before you go in for surgery. You never how quickly you might need them, and your caretaker will appreciate not having to make emergency trips to the corner pharmacy. We have found that having these items goes a long way in improving the comfort of most of our patients.

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