Preparing for Surgery

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All invasive cosmetic procedures require preparation even so-called “weekend ” surgeries. In order to effect a permanent change invasion of the tissue has to be made which results in a typical inflammatory response along with bleeding. The combination can lead to swelling, bruising and even blood collections (hematomas). As the saying goes ” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It is so very true in surgery. Nothing that I can do during or after the procedure will influence the course of recovery as pre-operative preparation. I therefore give my patients a list of things to do and not do and go over each specific point. #1- No aspirin or aspirin type products, which includes basically all anti-inflammatory meds other than Tylenol. Tylenol is OK everything else is not, like: Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Naprosyn, Excedrin, Alka seltzer, Alieve, Midol, etc,etc. #2- No Vit E or herbal medications such as St. John’s Wart, Saw palmetto, Black cohosh, etc. No fish oil, Co-Q10, flax seed oil, etc. #3- No alcohol. All of the above need to be stopped for at least two weeks. In the case of Vit E, I like one week stoppage per 100 units ingested daily. The reason for this Vit E rule is that it prolongs bleeding: and storage in body fat is dose dependent. Why rules 1&2? Same reason, the products cause bleeding which leads to blood and fluid collections, tissue swelling, bruising, and finally prolonged healing. #4- No protein drinks/bars from health/athletic facilities and no fat burners. Why? They interfere with normal blood clotting or severely potentiate the effects of anesthesia which could lead to vascular/ pulmonary compromise. #5- Day of surgery, no gum or breath mints since the act of sucking or chewing will cause stomach acid secretion which potentially can wind up in the lungs leading to a potentially lethal chemical pneumonia. #6- Nothing to eat or drink for 6-8 hrs before surgery: reason, as above. These basic instructions will make a difference in your surgical experience and healing process, guaranteed.