Getting Surgery? Read These Tips So You’re Prepared

Dr. David Stoker

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The decision to get cosmetic plastic surgery is exciting, but it’s natural to become a bit nervous as the surgery date gets closer. At my plastic surgery practice in Los Angeles, we’re dedicated to helping our patients prepare for their procedures and the recovery period that follows.

To help you feel more confident, below I provide a timeline that includes tips on how to prepare so that your recovery goes as smoothly as possible. Additionally, I provide all patients with detailed pre-op and post-op instructions that should always be followed carefully.

3 Weeks Before Surgery

If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to stop. This also applies to the recovery period. Patients who smoke often use their decision to get plastic surgery as a time to make other changes, including quitting smoking. Patients should also stop drinking alcohol at this point. It’s also a good idea to minimize eating foods containing salicylates, chemical compounds that can affect your blood and cause excessive bruising.

If you haven’t done so, now’s the time to schedule time off from work. The amount of time needed depends on the specific procedure.

The Week Before Surgery

Here are some of the ways you can prepare for your recovery:

  • Preparing meals: If you’re on your own, or the chief cook at home, having meals prepped will be one of the best steps you can take. Soups and sauces are great to have on hand. And make sure you have a tray ready for dining in bed.
  • Create a nest: You’ll be spending plenty of time in bed or on the couch. Have books, mobile devices, remotes, and anything else that helps pass the time within easy reach.
  • Get ahead of housework: You won’t be in any mood or condition to perform even minor chores right after surgery. Returning to a tidy home can be an emotional relief, so it’s a good idea to take care of housekeeping in advance.
  • Arrange for help: If you have children, you likely already have child care in place. But even if you don’t have children, it’s a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you for at least a day or 2 as the residual effects of anesthesia wear off.
  • Fill prescriptions: Get any pain medications or antibiotics that your surgeon prescribes before your surgery date so they’re at hand when you come home.
  • Don’t hesitate to call: Plastic surgery practices expect patients to be a little nervous as they count down the days to their operations. If you have any questions or concerns about the surgery or preparations, our friendly staff is more than happy to help.

One other thing to remember is that you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the surgery. You can also refer to one of our earlier blog posts for a list of some items that you may want to have on hand after your surgery.

If You’re Traveling to Our Practice

We see a number of women and men who travel to Los Angeles for plastic surgery, including many who fly in from out of town. Preparing for plastic surgery when you’re away from home can be a little more complicated, but our team is experienced in helping arrange for these circumstances.

Depending on the specific procedure, patients who travel from out of town should plan to spend 7 to 10 days in the Los Angeles area to accommodate post-op appointments. We will mail you an information packet to help fully prepare for your visit.

If you’re thinking about getting cosmetic surgery and researching the best plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation, or call our office at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.

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