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Plan Ahead for Your Surgical Procedure

Image of Stevie O'Neal
Stevie O'Neal

Cosmetic surgery isn’t something you can just pop in for, like getting fillers or Botox. You have to plan ahead so you can be prepared to have the best experience and get the best results possible. But there’s another important aspect to planning a surgical procedure – timing.

Planning for Surgery

It takes time to fully recover from any surgery, whether you’re considering liposuction or something more extensive such as a tummy tuck or a mommy makeover. If you have a particular target date in mind – say, you want to be ready to show off your newly trim contours for the summer – then you need to schedule your procedure with that in mind.

Even if you don’t have a “ready date” in mind, the sooner you start planning your procedure, the sooner you can achieve your aesthetic improvement goals. Here are the key steps to a successful surgery.

Do Your Research

Confirm for yourself that you really want this procedure, by understanding what it can and cannot do for you. Learn what the procedure entails and what a good candidate looks like. How much time will you need to plan for recovering? Will you have scars and what will they look like? Part of your research should also include reviewing as many patient photos as possible. Choose someone whose body is similar to yours in the before photos so that you can start to form realistic expectations about what your surgery will accomplish.

Choose Your Surgeon

Aside from deciding to have cosmetic surgery, the most important decision you will make is who will perform your procedure. Your results and safety will literally be in this person’s hands, so you want the best! 

Find a surgeon who:

  • Is board certified – that tells you they are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most-up-to-date surgical experience (Dr. Brady Harris, for example is triple board-certified)
  • Has proven successful experience with your specific procedure. Oftentimes you can determine this by reviewing patient photos and reading testimonials/reviews.
  • Makes you feel comfortable -- without an honest conversation discussing your concerns and desires, you can’t expect to get the results you envision. You need to feel comfortable enough with this person to lay it all out there!

Now you’re ready to take the next planning steps.

Schedule Your Surgery

Consider how much time you’ll need to take off work. By work, we mean not only your job, but the work you do managing your household and/or kids. You cannot expect to recover well and quickly from surgery if you’re stressed out trying to do other things as well, especially in the first days and weeks. Besides, physical exertion after surgery invites health problems and can ruin your results.

So arrange for someone to assist you for the first day or two, or maybe longer depending on your specific procedure. Also consider dates you might want to work around such as holidays or a planned vacation.

Prepare for Your Surgery

There are things you can do to prepare your body for a successful outcome no matter the procedure. But ask your surgical team if there are other specific dos or don’ts associated with your surgery.

One Absolute? No Smoking!

If you smoke, you will have to stop several weeks in advance and maintain that afterward. Smoking significantly increases risk of potentially fatal complications such as heart attack or stroke, not to mention problems such as poor healing and more obvious scarring. Dr. Harris is so serious about patient health that he reserves the right to cancel your procedure if you don’t comply.

Tips for Preparation

  • Eat a healthy diet so your body is well-nourished for fast healing.
  • Exercise – even if you normally don’t exercise on a regular basis, anything you do before surgery will help make you stronger.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption for two weeks prior to your procedure. These also increase risks during and after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all the medications, vitamins and supplements you take – even herbals. It takes a medical expert to know which of these might interfere with the medications you will be given during or after surgery, and you certainly want to be safe!

Plan for a Restful Recovery at Home

Learn what you will need for comfortable at-home recovery, so you get all those elements in place ahead of time, too. That includes setting up a “recovery headquarters” space that is comfortable and where you can keep essentials, such as water, right at hand. If you’re curious about recovery after a specific procedure, check out our blog posts on recovery.

At Image Surgical Arts, we will go over all of these details with you ahead of time and answer any questions you may have. We will also send you home with written follow-up instructions for at-home care. With proper planning, your surgery can go just as you expected. If you’re ready to take the next step, give us a call today. If you’re just beginning your journey with research, please visit our website to see patient photos, helpful blog articles, and detailed procedure pages like this one on breast augmentation.

And if you're ready, click below to schedule your consultation.

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