Surgery always involves a bit of anxiety. It is normal and it is very important to talk about it with my team and I, and with your loved ones. Because plastic surgery is purely elective, everything should be done and organized as to make the experience as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips on how to get ready for your procedure.
1. Always have your procedure when your head and mind are at rest. Best to not have to deal with multiple stressors. So avoid times of serious marital issues, work issues, house move, sad or depressed moods, etc.
2. Mention all your medical conditions and all medicines (prescribed and Over-the-counter) you take to your doctors.
3. A few days prior to your surgery, you should get your post-op medications at the pharmacy (either given to you by Dr. DuPéré or faxed to your pharmacy). Patients can be prescribed analgesics, antibiotics, anti-nausea and anti-constipation medications depending on the type of procedures. Please note that narcotics can give you nausea and constipation. So make sure you have some gravol on hand and anti-constipation agents (lots of fibers, Metamucil, Senokot, Colace).
4. To minimize bruising and bleeding for your procedure, avoid ALL blood thinners – medical and herbal, including alcohol. See our blog on herbal medicine and blood thinners.
5. Do your groceries ahead of time and prepare in advance some light meals for your post-op recovery period: soft protein such as cooked chicken, fish, lentils, etc; soup; yogurt; cottage cheese; juice; fruits; vegetables, etc. Make sure you have enough proteins, as your body needs it for proper healing. Also, a low-salt diet can help reduce swelling.
6. If you are undergoing facial procedures, prepare ice packs to reduce post-op swelling. You can also use packs of frozen vegetables and gel packs; frozen green peas work beautifully.
7. Prepare the room in the house where you will be recovering. Consider a room where no stairs are required to climb for tummy-tuck, thigh and calf surgery, if possible. Set up your bedside with all of your essentials nearby: bottled water, TV remote, reading material, iPad, iPod, telephone, tissues, snacks, medications and your doctor’s contact numbers.
8. On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing (front closing if possible) and safe footwear. They will be easy to get off and on after the operation.
9. No need for jewelries nor make-up on the day of surgery; best also to leave your valuable at home.
10. Please remove finger and toenail polish prior to surgery as we need access to a few fingers for oxygen monitoring.
11. You are NOT allowed any food nor liquid AFTER MIDNIGHT the day before your surgery: so no coffee, no water, no tea, no breakfast, etc.
12. If you are taking heart pills or hypertension pills, you are allowed to take them with a tiny sip of water. If you are taking blood thinners (aspirin, advil, plavix, coumadin, etc.), talk to Dr. DuPéré at least 10 days in advance. Best to ask your own doctor if it is safe to hold those medications.
13. Our office will give you the precise time to arrive at the surgical center. Keep in mind that we ask patients to come early and that surgical time is not always predictable so bring some good books, computer, iPod or iPad.
14. If you were provided with a garment, bring it with you on the surgery day; for breast surgery, bring a comfortable sports bra that will fit your new breasts.
15. Refrain completely from smoking 3 weeks pre-surgery and for 3 additional weeks post-surgery. Smoking negatively affects your procedure, your results, your complication rate and your recovery.
16. You cannot undergo elective cosmetic surgery if you are pregnant.
17. Your major surgery will be performed in a fully accredited surgical center with certified OR nurses and Royal College-certified anesthesiologists.
18. Most patients go home on the same day as the surgery. Most patients stay at the accredited surgical center for a few hours for recovery after which they are discharged home. An adult must accompany you home even if you are taking a taxi. You will be asked to provide name and number of the person who will pick you up. An adult also has to be with you for the first 24hr post-general anesthesia or IV sedation. We also have a service of nurses who can accompany you and stay with you after your procedure. Different levels of caregivers are offered depending on your procedure and the level of care required.
19. It is common to not be allowed to shower and bathe immediately after surgery so have your shower and hair wash right prior to your surgery.
20. Patients should refrain from physical activities for a period of 4-8 weeks after most of the plastic surgery procedures; discuss this with Dr. DuPéré as each procedure is different.
21. All surgical patients are provided with Dr. DuPéré’s cell number for questions or concerns outside the office hours. The VISAGE Clinic staff and Dr. DuPéré are always available to answer any questions you may have during the recovery period. Do not hesitate to call us.
We look forward to having you as patients and clients of Visage Clinics, in both Toronto.
by Dr. Marc DuPéré, Toronto plastic surgeon