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How to prepare for your surgery


Pre-operative Appointment

On the day of your pre-operative appointment, we will review your procedure in detail and go over the surgical plan with you.

We will also address any questions and concerns you may have and measure you for your post-operative compression garments.

Please read over the procedure consent prior to this appointment and have any questions ready so we can discuss them. During your visit, we will provide you with all the after-care instructions as well as necessary prescriptions for medications. You will also be provided with a post-operative appointment for follow up after your surgery.

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Before the day of surgery

It is important to follow certain guidelines leading up to your procedure:

  • Please do not smoke (cigarettes, vape, or pipe) or use any nicotine products 4 weeks prior to and after your surgery. 
  • Smoking and nicotine greatly impair healing, which can cause increased risk for infection and complications, such as delayed incisional healing and wound opening which can lead to worse scarring. 
  • Please stay away from secondhand smoke as well, as this can also cause wound healing problems. 
  • If you use nicotine products, you will need to stop 4 weeks prior to surgery. Then you will need to undergo a nicotine test prior to surgery to ensure that the nicotine is out of your system.
  • Please do not drink alcohol before or after your surgery (until cleared by your surgeon). 
    In addition, please do not drink alcohol while taking pain medication, as this can have serious, and life-threatening side effects.
  • Please leave all valuables at home. If you have body piercings, kindly remove them prior to surgery.
  • Please have someone available to drive you home. Due to the lasting effects of the sedation, you will be unable to operate a car after surgery. A taxi or car service is not adequate either. You will need a family member or friend who can assist you.
  • Do not take Advil, Aleve, Naproxen, Fish Oil, Garlic, CoQ10, Omega 3,6, Motrin, Excedrin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, medications for arthritis or any medication that contains these medications for ten days prior to your surgery and two weeks after.
  • You may have been asked to obtain pre-operative tests at a lab facility or your primary care physician. Your pre-operative tests (labs, X-rays, EKG, etc.) need to be completed at least three days before your surgery. If you have them done at your doctor’s office, the results will need to be faxed to (210) 362-1582.
  • The surgery facility will call you the day before your surgery to let you know what time and where you should arrive.
  • Shower the morning of or the night before your surgery with your normal soap and water. Do not use deodorant, lotion, cream, perfume, aftershave, oils, or makeup after bathing.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Please call our office if you have an infection of any kind prior to your surgery.

What to expect the day of your surgery

  • On the day of surgery do not take blood pressure medications. These commonly have generic names that end in “-pril,” “-sartan.” 
  • On the day of surgery, your plastic surgeon will meet you in the pre-operative area to go over any last-minute questions or concerns you may have. 
  • Prior to your surgery, your surgeon will make preoperative markings on the areas to be treated, as well as perform extensive tests and checks. Your surgeon will pay careful attention to detail throughout this process, to ensure high quality care and safety. 
  • You will meet the members of our plastic surgery operative team.
  • Throughout the procedure, your family will be updated of your status periodically and will be able to talk with the plastic surgeon in person after the procedure is completed. The incisions will be placed in a dressing or a compression bandage. Instructions for care on these will be given to you in your preoperative paperwork.
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Some guidelines for aftercare  

To make your recovery faster and more comfortable, we recommend that you prepare before your surgery. Some actions you can take prior to surgery include:

  • Prepare a sleeping area that is easy to get to. For example, set up a couch downstairs so there is no need to walk to an upstairs bedroom. Keep your toiletries close by and prepare your food ahead of time. Arrange for someone to be with you the first night after surgery.
  • You may receive your post-operative medications at your pre-operative appointment. You should pick up these medications prior to your surgery.
  • Review your post-surgery instructions given to you at your pre-operative appointment
  • When undergoing sedation for the procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home. You will not be allowed to undergo surgery if there is no confirmed designated driver, so please prepare ahead of time. 

Will I be prescribed narcotic medication after surgery?

Before prescribing any narcotic medications, we are required to check the Texas controlled substance history database (Texas Prescription Monitoring Program). If you currently have a pain medication contract with another physician or are currently on narcotic medications, we will have to coordinate your medications with that physician.

How long will I be prescribed pain medication?

We will prescribe pain medications for recovery after surgery, but do not prescribe long-term pain medications and do not supply more than one refill for any pain medications. If you have pain that is beyond what is usually anticipated for your surgery and there is no surgical reason that can be found, we will help by referring you to one of the many pain management specialists that we work with.

How to care for your surgical site:

You may shower 48 hours after your surgery. Do not scrub the incisions, simply let the water run over them and dab them dry afterwards. Apply gauze over the surgical site daily as needed for light drainage. Do not immerse your incisions in baths or hot tubs until at least 2 weeks after surgery.

Please call immediately if:

Please call if you have the following signs/symptoms:

  • temperature greater than 100.5 F
  • increasing pain that is not controlled by oral pain medications
  • increasing redness or swelling at the surgical site
  • bleeding or pus draining from the wound site. If you have bleeding, apply direct pressure to the area for 20 minutes
  • if your wounds come apart
  • any other concerns
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Activity restrictions:

After your surgery it is important to not engage in vigorous activity. That means no pushing, pulling, bouncing, housecleaning, yoga, running or heavy lifting greater than 5 lbs. until your follow up appointment. Avoid activities that raise your blood pressure or heart rate. You are encouraged to walk around and may climb stairs after surgery. You should not lay in bed and remain sedentary.

For non-emergency questions:

  • During business hours (8 AM – 430 PM): call (210) 658-3555.
  • After hours and on weekends/holidays: call (210) 658-3555 and you will be forwarded to the on-call surgeon.
  • If you are having any serious problems or symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency room.

Follow-up clinic appointment

Your clinic appointment will be scheduled at your pre-operative appointment before surgery. If you need to change your appointment time or date, please contact our clinic at (210) 658-3555. The surgeon may adjust any of the above guidelines and instructions based on the patient and type of surgery performed.

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