So, you had your first consultation with your plastic surgeon, received your medical clearance, and did your pre-op lab testing. While you must be in generally good health for your surgeon to agree to perform the plastic surgery, pre-operative tips can optimize your physical well-being, and by extension give you peace of mind. So, what can you do to prepare your body for the procedure? Quite a few things! Following simple habits can make a difference in your physical health and speed up your recovery process.
Maintain a Healthy and Stable Weight
Reaching an appropriate weight before considering plastic surgery is important because a healthy weight can minimize your body’s inflammatory response and other complications during and after the procedure. If you need to shed a few extra pounds or are not sure how to stabilize your weight in the long term, you can speak with your primary care physician or a licensed nutritionist to create a balanced diet plan.
You should avoid processed and sugary foods, and especially limit your sodium intake because it could worsen any post-operative swelling.
Making sure you get all the necessary nutrients is important at any stage of your life but being mindful of your weight and health before surgery is especially helpful. Knowing what foods to stock up on for your recovery period is always a good idea.
Avoiding tobacco use is a common health recommendation for a wide range of reasons. However, if you are going to get surgery, quitting smoking at least two weeks before the procedure is a requirement. Cigarettes and other tobacco products interfere with the body’s healing process and can lead to various complications, including reduced blood circulation and increased scarring.
If your doctor recommends that you quit smoking earlier than two weeks before your surgery, you should always follow their instructions. You should only resume smoking after they clear you to do so during one of your post-op appointments. Do not hesitate to get professional help to stop smoking if you need it.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a natural blood thinner and can impact your healing by limiting your hydration, reducing your immune system function, and interfering with some medications. Many surgeons recommend that you avoid drinking alcohol for a few weeks before your surgery but stopping your consumption for the 72 hours preceding and following your procedure is vital.
Drink Lots of Water
Water offers many health benefits, including flushing toxins out, hydrating your skin, and increasing the levels of oxygen in your blood. When it comes to surgery, staying hydrated by drinking enough water is important. It does not only support your body’s healing capabilities, but it promotes appropriate body functions including digestive and autoimmune. You should drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day before and after surgery.
Increase Your Protein and Fiber Intake
Protein is a key nutrient that plays an active role in your healing by repairing tissues and helping build new cells and blood vessels. Whether you choose animal sources like fish, lean meat, and poultry, or vegetal sources like beans, legumes, nuts, or spirulina, focus on whole foods and high-quality protein to set your body up for success before your surgery.
Another important part of your diet is fiber because it supports your immune system which directly affects your healing process. It also boosts your digestive function and prevents constipation, including after surgery.
Natural sources of fiber include:
- Brussel sprouts
- Chia seeds
If you believe you need to incorporate dietary supplements to optimize your health, you should speak with your physician.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity
In addition to staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet to keep your weight stable, you should work out several times a week to support your health as you prepare your body for plastic surgery.
Benefits of exercising before surgery include:
- Boosting your metabolism
- Increasing cell regeneration
- Reducing body fat
You should however avoid workouts that could result in an injury before your procedure. Focusing on low-impact activities such as walking, biking, or swimming, core strengthening, and stretching can condition your body for a smooth recovery.
After surgery, you can expect to need weeks before returning to your normal workout regimen. Your doctor will clear you for various levels of activity as they monitor your recovery progress.
Plan Comfortable and Easy-to-Wear Clothing for Surgery Day and Recovery
Prioritizing soft and comfortable clothing for the day of your surgery and the following weeks can make your recovery easier. Opting for button-ups or zipped shirts and hoodies so you do not need to stretch when pulling something over your head, including if you get a face lift or other facial surgery, is important.
If you get a body contouring or a breast procedure, you not only need to account for any post-op swelling but you may need to wear compression garments for a few days or weeks. Loose and breathable clothing are keys to facilitating your healing.
Planning so you have your choice of loose and soft clothes within easy reach once you get home after your surgery can increase your quality of life in the early stages of your recovery.