You may think you have done everything to ensure a successful surgery and recovery. You have carefully researched procedures and options. You have selected an experienced, board-certified physician who has supported you throughout the consultation process, and you feel confident you can rely on them throughout the phases to come. You have even vetted your surgical center, so you know they can handle any issue. You may think the rest remains up to your surgical team.
However, having a successful surgery and recovery still depends largely on you. You have successfully come this far, but you still have more work to do to ensure the healthiest possible outcome — and you need to begin now, well in advance of your procedure. Don’t worry, though — you need to do just two more things. You need to prepare your body for surgery, and you need to prepare your home for recovery.
The following simple, common-sense tips can help you achieve both goals so that you not only look and feel your best post-procedure but also heal quickly and optimally.
Prepare Your Body
You probably already do a lot of things to keep your body at its healthiest. You exercise, you eat right, and you stay hydrated. Of course, you will want to continue doing those things with increased diligence as your surgery date approaches.
You will also want to increase your protein intake. Your body requires protein to heal wounds effectively, and extra protein now and throughout your recovery will enhance that mechanism when needed most. Plan on increasing your protein intake pre- and post-surgery by about 50 percent.
You will also want to consider taking vitamin supplements. Selenium, zinc, copper and Vitamins C and A all help your body with wound recovery. In addition, homeopathic supplements such as bromelain and arnica montana — derived from pineapples and a type of sunflower — both help reduce inflammation and, taken in appropriate doses, have few negative effects.
Whether you plan to have your surgery in two weeks or six, controlling your alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and avoiding blood thinners such as aspirin will significantly boost your body’s readiness and ability to heal. In fact, many times, your doctor may insist you do all three before approving your surgery.
Prepare Your Home
You may not even need to hear this piece of advice — secure your helpers in advance! After your procedure, you will need some assistance and a watchful eye, especially for the first night. In the following days, you may require help with everything from preparing meals, to changing your dressings, to childcare. Plan who will assist you with what tasks in advance, and make sure you have alternates in case someone you rely on can’t honor their commitments. Most importantly, make sure they understand what you need and when you will need it. Over-communicating your expectations and their role in your recovery can help everyone feel more at ease.
Also, make sure your home has everything you will need to serve as a “recovery center” for the next few weeks. Fill all your prescriptions ahead of your surgery and put them by your bedside. If you don’t have enough pillows, buy extra ones so you can keep your body comfortable. Have extra gauze, tape and other dressing items ready on hand, and have more than you think you will need available. You’ll probably want to have extra than not enough, and you will find it harder to shop after your procedure. Remember too, you will want to make it as easy as possible for your caregivers to assist you.
Lastly, keep all your emergency contact numbers — numbers for your doctor, your pharmacy, your local urgent care facility along with anyone identified in your care plan — all within easy reach. Should an unforeseen circumstance occur, you will not want to search for them. Just as importantly, relax — you very likely won’t find any better to time to catch up on your reading and that pile of DVDs.
The (Very) Last Two Things You’ll Need for a Successful Surgery
You’ve finally decided to have cosmetic surgery, and you’ve selected your procedure, your doctor and possibly even your surgical setting. Now, with a healthy regimen, support from your family and friends and a little organization, you have a plan to attain the healthiest possible body by your surgery date as well as the most conducive environment in which to heal. By the time your surgery date arrives, you will also most likely have secured the final two key components for success — a relaxed mindset and peace of mind.
Whether you have questions about a specific procedure — or whether to have cosmetic surgery at all — contact New Reflections Plastic Surgery today at 732-354-3792. Dr. Nikesh Patel can help you articulate your goals, guide you through your options and craft a personalized plan that will best realize the look you desire. You can have the fresh, youthful look you’ve always wanted, feel great and stay healthy too.