Following your surgeon’s pre-op instructions minimizes the risks of complications and helps ensure the best possible outcome. As such, it’s just as important as proper post-surgical care. Here is a checklist for the days leading up to your breast augmentation procedure.
The days before your procedure
- Undergo all of your blood and medical tests well in advance to ensure that the results are made available in time.
Your surgeon will need these results to determine your health condition before performing the procedure. Possible tests include blood screenings, a mammogram, and in some cases a stress test.
- Don’t smoke.
Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood and can therefore interfere with healing. It also increases your risk of developing complications after surgery. You should stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery and abstain from smoking during recovery. Some surgeons even recommend that patients stop smoking an entire month before their operation.
- Notify your surgeon about any prescription meds you’re taking.
Ideally, this should be done weeks in advance to determine whether these medications are safe to consume (both before and after your procedure). If you take blood pressure or diabetes drugs, make sure that your surgeon is aware of this. Also mention any herbal supplements or alternative remedies.
- Avoid medications that contain blood thinners two weeks before and after your procedure.
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, antihistamines, and diet pills are examples of medications that may interfere with your blood’s clotting action. Note that Tylenol is approved by most surgeons.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
Take appropriate measures to avoid the cold, flu and other common sicknesses before your procedure. Notify your surgeon’s office if you develop a cold or any other type of infection in the week leading up to your procedure.
- Don’t shave your armpits for at least three days before your procedure.
Shaving can cause nicks in your skin into which bacteria can enter, leading to a potential infection.
- Prepare your home for a peaceful recovery.
Make arrangements for any children and pets to be taken care of, and take care of all your cleaning chores. This will allow you to focus solely on your recovery and prevent unnecessary stress.
- Prepare a few meals in advance.
Favor foods that are easy on your digestive system (soups, for instance), and stock up on easy-to-grab snacks such as granola bars.
- Purchase a medical compression bra or sports bra.
This will help with your recovery and minimize complications post-surgery. Ask your surgeon for advice — the best type of bra may depend on the surgical techniques employed.
- Set up a comfortable resting area.
Stock up on items that will make your recovery more enjoyable, such as books, movies and so on. Also ensure that you have enough pillows or cushions, and lay down towels in your bed in case of fluid drainage.
- Make arrangements for someone drive you home after your procedure.
Ideally, this person will also be able to monitor you after your operation and call your surgeon if any problems arise.
- Fill up your post-operative prescriptions.
You will be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to be taken after your surgery, but you should fill them before your procedure. Your surgeon may also recommend other items, such as scar creams and gauze.
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The night before your procedure
- Make sure your home is recovery-friendly.
Unnecessary movement should be minimized. Move any high-to-reach items to lower shelves, and place all of your pre-op necessities on a table near you so that they are easily accessible.
- Don’t eat or drink after midnight.
This is a general guideline, but ensure that you follow your surgeon’s specific pre-op instructions when it comes to fasting. Don’t drink alcohol either, as it can dehydrate you.
- Sleep well.
Any kind of surgery is taxing on your body, so get a good night’s rest before your procedure.
The day of your procedure
- Shower and wash your hair in advance of your surgery.
Remember, this will become difficult after your surgery.
- Avoid skin care and beauty products.
Don’t wear deodorant, makeup, perfume, lotions, hair spray, or any other beauty product. Also remove any nail polish — the surgeon need to be able to see your natural finger nail to check your blood circulation.
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing.
Wear jogging pants and socks, and ensure that your shirt buttons up at the front or has zippers so that you can easily remove it following your surgery. Remember to bring your surgical compression bra.
- Don’t wear jewelry.
Also ensure that you remove any piercings if possible.
- Ensure your vehicle has gas and that you prepare any directions (if necessary).
Ideally, you should arrive at your appointment at least 30 minutes in advance.
For best possible results, always follow your plastic surgeon’s pre and post-op instructions.
If you find yourself feeling nervous in advance of your procedure, remember that complications are rare and an overwhelming number of breast augmentation surgery patients are extremely happy with their results.
To find out more about this transformative procedure and to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Gary D. Breslow, MD, contact The Breslow Center in Paramus, New Jersey today!