At Purity Bridge, we are focused on providing an exceptional patient experience and outstanding results for cosmetic surgery. All our patients want to achieve the best possible results from their surgery. As well as meticulous surgery and comprehensive aftercare, we also look at preparation for surgery or prehab. It can make a real difference to the outcome of cosmetic surgery! We asked Consultant Plastic Surgeon Nora Nugent what her recommendations were for getting yourself in the best possible shape before plastic surgery.
Nora explained her approach to us; “As part of your initial consultations, I will ask you questions about your general health and lifestyle. This is to help me look after you during your procedure and afterwards. It also helps in choosing the type of procedure and the timing of surgery to achieve the best results for you.” Nora then took us through some of the main areas that she asks about and the advice that she gives her patients.
One of the many negative effects that smoking has, is the ability to reduce the blood supply to skin. This can seriously affect healing ability and the risk of infection. In certain procedures for example facelift surgery and some types of breast surgery, smoking around the time of surgery adds so significantly to the risk of complications that many surgeons (including Nora) consider the procedure too risky to undertake if you smoke. Smoking can also add to the risk of chest problems after a general anaesthetic. If you smoke, Nora advises that you stop in the run up to and after your planned surgery (preferably six weeks before and after surgery). Of course, it is far better for your health to stop smoking completely!
Alcohol should be avoided in the immediate days around your surgery as it can affect blood flow rates in your tissues.
For some procedures, your weight and any weight loss or gain are extremely important to the outcome of the surgery. If you are significantly overweight, you will have a higher risk of problems during and after a general anaesthetic and of problems with wound healing afterwards. Significant weight gain or weight loss after cosmetic surgery can affect the quality or the longevity of your result. For many cosmetic procedures to reshape your breasts or body, the best results with surgery are achieved when you schedule your surgery after you have reached a stable and healthy weight for your height and build.
People who are physically fit and active before surgery generally find the recovery process quicker and easier after surgery. For procedures such as abdominoplasty where muscle tightening is part of the procedure, it can really help with your results if you work on your core strength e.g. with Pilates before surgery. It also helps maintain your results in the long term afterwards.
If you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes or collagen disorders, this can increase the risk of slow healing or infections after surgery. Heart and lung disease can also impact on the type of anaesthetic that can be offered to you. High blood pressure may need to be treated before having some procedures such as facelift surgery. You may need to have medical conditions stabilised prior to undergoing any procedure. It is important to mention if you have ever suffered from cold sores before undergoing facial procedures. It may be necessary to take a course of anti-viral medication to prevent a flare up after the procedure.
Having your cosmetic surgery for the right reasons and at the right time for you is crucial to a successful outcome. Nora is very conscious of the psychological impact of some body conditions and of the importance of a positive mental state during the recovery from cosmetic surgery. At times she will recommend that her patients seek counselling before or instead of surgery. Please do not be offended if this is suggested to you – it can be a hugely important part of preparation for cosmetic surgery and is part of the holistic approach that Nora takes to your care.
Medications that thin the blood such as aspirin, some anti-inflammatories, clopidrogrel and warfarin increase your risk of bleeding, bruising and haematoma. For some procedures you will not need to stop these medications e.g. mole excisions or some skin cancer procedures. For others such as facelift surgery or some eyelid surgery, Nora will ask you to stop these medications in advance. Conversely, some medication such as contraceptives or other hormonal therapies can increase your risk of blood clots in your legs or lungs after surgery and will need to be stopped before surgery for this reason. Medications such as steroids may slow down wound healing and increase the risk of infection after surgery. Advice on stopping medication will depend on which medication you are on, why you are on it and the procedure you are having done.
Healing is much quicker and much better if you have good nutrition. If you are anaemic or under- or over-weight or have any other nutritional concerns, Nora may advise you regarding your diet or to see other specialists in advance of surgery. Ideally you and Nora will plan together to get you as healthy as possible before your surgery. You may need blood tests to check some areas.
HERBAL AND DIET SUPPLEMENTS
It is important to let Nora or the other Purity Bridge Plastic Surgeons know if you take any herbal or dietary supplements. Some of these supplements can increase the chances of bruising and bleeding and may need to be stopped in advance of surgery.
We hope you found our chat with Nora and our guide to Prehab useful! If you are interested in finding out more about cosmetic surgery, please come and see at the clinic. Our team would be delighted to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01892 536960.