Now that your surgery is booked, here are some helpful preparation tips for the weeks before your procedure. These are intended as general guidelines; be sure to follow any specific advice given to you by your surgeon.
1 Month Before Surgery
- If your surgeon advised that you require any tests or X-rays in advance of your surgery, have these done now.
- Particularly if you are having facial surgery, get your last pre-operative haircut. Some patients prefer to keep their hair longer around their ears to help cover stitches and scars while they heal.
- Again, particularly if you are having facial surgery, have a deep cleansing facial. If you wish to have this done by the Skincare Adviser at The Aesthetic Institute, please contact us for more information. If your surgeon has recommended a particular treatment, such as an AK Peel, schedule this now.
- If not already doing so, start an active skincare regime, particularly in the area where you are having surgery. Surgical patients are entitled to a free appointment with our Skincare Adviser either before or after their surgery to get advice on their skincare regime and scar management – you may wish to schedule this for now, or you may prefer to leave it until your stitches have been removed and your wound is healing.
3 Weeks Before Surgery
- Discontinue aspirin and Vitamin E supplements, and any other drugs that cause bleeding, unless otherwise advised by your surgeon.
- Avoid taking multi-vitamins and natural supplements.
- Stop smoking and/or taking nicotine substitutes.
2 Weeks Before Surgery
- If advised by your surgeon, discontinue HRT.
- If you wish, you can begin taking Vitamin C.
- Cut down on wine and spirits.
1 Week Before Surgery
- Schedule any final appointments for hair colouring, for waxing, etc. for this time.
- Particularly for facial surgery, pick up any camouflage cream or concealing make-up for covering bruises if you must go out while you are healing.
- Visit the pharmacy: collect any prescriptions you will need and any supplies for helping with wound management while you are healing (gloves, swabs, antiseptics, etc.)
The Day Before Surgery
- Confirm your hospital admission date and time, and first post-operative appointment with The Aesthetic Institute. If you need letters for work or for the gym, for example, this is a good time to request these from The Aesthetic Institute too.
- Stock your fridge with nourishing easily digested foods and drinks. Particularly if you are having facial surgery, you might prefer soft foods, which require minimal chewing.
- Stock up on magazines, books, DVDs, etc. to keep you occupied and allow you to rest as much as possible while you are recovering.
- Particularly if you are having breast/body surgery, make sure everything you need for the next few days is not on a high shelf, so as to avoid stretching and lifting.
- Pack your hospital bag with nightwear/dressing gown and slippers. If you will be staying at least one night in hospital, be sure to pack your toothbrush and any toiletries you will need.
- If you are due to pay the hospital fee on admission, ensure you have your payment means with you (credit card, cheque book, bank draft, etc.).
- Begin taking Arnica tablets if advised to do so by your surgeon.
- Begin taking antibiotics if you have been prescribed them by your surgeon.
The Night Before Surgery
- Remove nail polish and contact lenses.
- Set your alarm and confirm your travel arrangements to and from the hospital.
- Have a leisurely dinner but avoid spicy food, salty food and alcohol. Begin fasting at midnight; have nothing to eat or drink after this time unless otherwise advised.
- Wash your hair – you may not find it possible or easy to do this in the first few days after surgery.
- Fill the ice trays in the freezer or put any gel packs you have to chill – these may help with post-operative swelling.
The Morning of Surgery
- Wear loose-fitting clothes that are easy to put on and take off. If you are having facial surgery, avoid clothing that pulls over the head. Leave watches and jewellery at home.
- Wash your face and brush your teeth.
- Don’t apply skin creams, make-up or perfumes.
- Change your bed sheets; many patients prefer to use older sheets in case of post-operative wound weeping or bleeding.
- Leave a tray beside your bed with everything you will need in the first day or two after surgery (drinks, medicines, books, etc.)
- Don’t have breakfast unless you have been explicitly advised that it is ok to do so.
- Leave the house early enough to allow plenty of travel time to the hospital.