Choosing plastic surgery could change your life for the better, but you’ll need to do your part to make sure your procedure is a success. Here are a few essential rules I tell my patients to follow before and after surgery.

The Number One Thing to Avoid Before Surgery

No smoking! This unhealthy habit is particularly dangerous during the weeks before and after surgery. Nicotine constricts blood flow and can dramatically affect both your surgery and your body’s ability to heal. Popular smoking cessation products such as nicotine gum, e-cigarettes, and nicotine patches are equally dangerous: the nicotine in these products is what complicates surgery and the healing process. Avoid all forms of nicotine at least one month before and after surgery.

Foods to Avoid Before Surgery

shutterstock_109517018This may be surprising, but there are a handful of healthy foods that can have a negative impact on surgery and healing. You should cross the items below off your shopping list before surgery:

  • Green tea is touted as an antioxidant powerhouse, but this popular brew can also interact negatively with anesthesia, increase blood pressure, and cause accelerated heart rates. Stop drinking green tea at least 10 days before surgery, and be sure to ask your doctor when it’s safe to ingest again.
  • Fruits and vegetables are typically a staple in a healthy, well-balanced diet, but not when you’re preparing for surgery. During the 24 hours before surgery, I tell my patients to avoid foods that are high in fiber. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains take longer to digest, and it is important to have as little food as possible in your system before surgery begins.
  • Certain beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, can impact your surgery. Choose clear drinks, such as water, during the 24 hours before your procedure. As you prepare for and recover from surgery, you should avoid alcoholic drinks altogether.

Supplements to Skip Before and After Surgery

Patients should be aware that a number of vitamins and minerals can negatively impact recovery. Here are some common supplements to avoid leading up to and following surgery:

  • Vitamin E is a blood thinner, which can complicate your surgery, negatively impact your wound healing ability, and increase risk during recovery. Be sure to also avoid multivitamins that contain vitamin E.
  • Fish oil supplements are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids that provide numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, they can also increase bleeding and bruising and should be avoided in the days leading up to surgery.
  • Herbal supplements, like gingko biloba, can increase your risk of bleeding during and after surgery. St. John’s wort can prolong the effects of anesthesia, and even mild supplements like echinacea can have a negative impact on the safety of your surgery.

To ensure a safe and successful outcome, it is essential that you tell your surgeon about any over-the-counter supplements or prescription medications you take. Almost anything purchased at the health food store has the potential to increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Do not take any over-the-counter medications or supplements, with the exception of Tylenol, for two weeks before and after surgery without first consulting with your surgeon.

The Most Important Thing to Remember: Communicate with Your Surgeon

For the safety and success of your procedure, I encourage you to choose a board certified plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable discussing your health, lifestyle habits, and supplement intake.

Talking with your surgeon about your habits is critical, both before and after surgery. Be sure to detail any medications or supplements you use, and ask about any foods or products of which you are unsure. Be open, honest, and communicative.

If you are interested in having plastic surgery in Scottsdale, contact us to schedule a personalized consultation. Through honest communication, I can help you find enhancement options that fit your lifestyle and help you thrive.

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