It is important to be completely open and honest with your doctor regarding your medical history. The following are areas of interest that you will want to discuss at your pre-operative appointment.
- Advise the doctor of all medications, prescriptions or otherwise, that you are currently taking.
- At least 3 weeks before surgery and 2 weeks post operative, discontinue taking asprin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or any products containing these medicines. These medicines interfere with your body’s blood clotting mechanism, and can make surgery more difficult and less effective.
- Note: If you routinely take ibuprofen to control menstrual cramp, you will be asked to take Tylenol or a prescription analgesic instead. Depending on the severity of your menstrual cramping, scheduling your surgery accordingly could greatly increase your comfort during recovery.
- Discontinue taking Vitamin E, Ginko Biloba, Bilberry, Cayenne, Echinaccea, Feverfew, Fish oil capsules, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Kava Kava and Valerian, Licorice Root, Ma Huang (ephedra), Melatonin, St. John’s Wort and Yohimbe. These medicines can have an adverse effect on the surgery and healing process.
- If you smoke, you must quit for a minimum of two weeks pre and post operatively as smoking negatively affects the healing process.
- Alcohol consumption should be minimized for two weeks before your surgery. It is important that you tell the doctor and anesthesiologist if you have consumed any alcohol within this time period so that your anesthesia medications can be adjusted appropriately. It is also important to minimize your alcohol consumption two weeks post operatively.
||Cold Sores/Herpes Virus|
- If you are undergoing any type of facial peel or laser resurfacing, it is critical that you tell your doctor if you have a history of cold sores, shingles, or herpes infection. We routinely prescribe an anti-viral medication to prevent painful outbreak that may reduce the effectiveness of the surgical procedure. This medication is to be taken two days prior to surgery.
||Skin Care Conditions/Regimens|
- Inform the doctor if you are currently taking any acne medication, have a history of taking accutane or have any type of connective tissue disease. It is important to let the doctor know about previous skin peels –glycolic, lactic acid or trichloroacetic acid-whether done at home or in a medical setting. Also, please discuss any skin car products that you are currently using (i.e. Retin-A, glycolic acids, topical Vitamin C), in order that we may completely coordinate your facial care.
- Generally, you are given antibiotics to stave off any infections as a result of surgery. If you are prone to yeast infections, you may want to take full sspectrum acidophilus (good bacteria) supplements that can be found in any health food store. If needed, we can presecribe an anti-yeast medication.
Pre-Operative Hair Care
If your procedure involves sutures in the scalp area, any color or permanent to your hair must be done a minimum of ten days prior to surgery. You may re-color or permanent your hair four to six weeks after surgery. It is possible to get a weave or highlights earlier than four to six weeks postoperative, as the chemical does not touch your scalp, but we ask that you consult your doctor before chemically treating your hair.
Pre-Operative Check List – Items to have on hand before surgery
1. Fill your prescriptions before day of surgery. Your prescriptions (pain and antibiotic) will be given to you at your pre-operative appointment.
2. Amiflora Arnica Gel to apply to bruising 3-4 times per day (DO NOT apply to incisions). This can be purchased at health food stores and some drug stores.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
4. Q Tips
5. Frozen Peas (four bags to be used as ice packs to reduce swelling)
6. Easily prepared soft foods
7. Cotton gloves – if you are prone to scratching yourself while sleeping, purchase cotton gloves to wear at night. You can find them at most drug stores.
Additional items for laser surgery patients
1. Saline water
2. Gauze pads
3. Anti Viral medications (take two days prior to procedure)
Additional items for Septoplasty/Rhinoplasty patients:
Nasal Saline Spray
Food and Beverage
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery
Day of Surgery
Food and Beverage
Do not eat or drink anything the morning before surgery
You will need someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night
What to Wear
Wear a button or zip up shirt, something comfortable and easy to get on and off. Do not wear any jewelry, makeup or use any hair products such as hairspray.
Be sure to tell the doctor and the anesthesiologist if you are prone to nausea or if you are allergic to any medication
On the day of surgery, you should expect to sleep all day. On the first day following surgery you will have a postoperative visit-this is all you should plan to do on this day. When resting, use extra pillows to prop yourself up. Keep the level of your head above your heart to help decrease swelling. Place pillows on each side of your body so you won’t turn over onto your face. Listen to calm and relaxing music. Each day your energy level and ability to do more will increase so don’t worry and keep a positive attitude.
Diet and Nutrition
Proper nourishment is important as it directly relates to how quickly your body is able to repair itself. The outcome of surgery and length of recovery can be imporved when your body is properly prepared for the stress of surgeyr. Below are suggestions that will help boost your immune system and supply your body with nutrients necessary to rebuild wounded tissue.
For the first few days, following surgery, you will not feel like cooking so you may want to prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them. It is important that you avoid excess facial movements for the first few days of your recovery. If you have had lower facial procedures, make sure to prepare foods that are easy to chew and not too crunchy.
- If you find yourself unable to eat solid foods, substitute a meal with a high protein shake.
- Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. Juices and broth low in sodium are also great.
- Eat a variety of dark, leafy greens. These vegetables are a source of vitamin K,
which is needed for proper blood clotting, and iron, which is needed to support the immune system.
- Add pineapple juice to your diet. Pineapple juice contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Avoid spicy foods and products high in sodium ten days prior to surgery. This is
recommended to prevent swelling/fluid retention (edema) for one week to ten
days prior to surgery.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sweets. Sugar of any kind may depress the immune
Avoid excessive facial movement for the first week after your surgery (i.e. laughing, heavy chewing and turning your head. Also, keep your head level - do not bend over. If you must pick something up, bend at your knees and squat. Do not lift anything heavier that a small telephone book. Do not do anything that will raise your blood pressure.
Wound Care - Face Washing Techniques for Laser Surgery
You should clean the treated area 5-7 times per day. It is important for the first few days to get up in the middle of the night and clean the laser area. Clean with chilled saline water. Soft gauze pads may be used to keep any crusting away.
Post Operative Hair Care
After your surgery, you may not feel like doing your normal styling routine - that is okay. You want to avoid excessive tension on your head as it may compromise wound healing.
Once the doctor has given your permission to wash your hair, follow these safe hair washing techniques:
- Avoid excessive heat on or around the healing areas. This includes hot water,
blow dryers and curling irons.
- Avoid any products with color or fragrance for at least two weeks following
surgery (including hair spray).
- Before washing your hair, rinse with medium warm water for five minutes to
soften any remaining dry blood (make sure water not too hot). Shampoo
delicately with a mild soap and avoid rubbing suture lines. Rinse well.
- Your hair may feel a bit drier than usual. You may apply a color and fragrance
free conditioner to the ends of your hair for detangling purposes (DO NOT apply
on or near staples/sutures). After two weeks, you may apply a deep conditioning treatment to improve dryness.
- Gently towel-dry your hair as much as possible. Then, clean both staple and
suture line with equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water. If you must use a blow dryer, hold at least twelve inches from your head to avoid heating staples.
- If you visit a beauty salon, within six weeks after facial or laser surgery, avoid the hooded hair dryer. This is especially important following laser resurfacing.
Make sure you have assistance with small children, as they will not understand that they cannot jump in your lap or be lifted.
Pet Interaction and Care
Do not lift your pets or bend over to feed them. After touching your pet, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly – especially before touching your incision.
Contact Lenses and Sunglasses
The doctor will advise you not to wear contact lenses for about 10 days after your surgery. If you are having eyelid surgery, your eyes may be sensitive to light and feel strained. Sunglasses will help when you are outdoors. If you are having rhinoplasty, please consult with the doctor before wearing glasses on any kind.