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Breast Surgery Preparation

Hair covering breasts of woman

Taking proper precautions before any surgery is an important part of preventing complications. Cosmetic surgery is no exception. Prior to a breast surgery, whether a breast reduction or a breast augmentation, following proper safety measures helps to ensure a smooth operation with good results. Your doctor will provide you with personalized pre-operative directions. But you should also take the following measures to make your surgery and recovery as comfortable as possible.

Normal Routine

Most surgeons will perform a routine mammogram before scheduling surgery.  This test helps identify potential risk factors that may come up during the operation. Some clinics may only test you if you are over 40, but it is a good idea to get one done independently if your surgeon doesn’t order it. Having a mammogram taken prior to your surgery helps your doctor have all the information to make sure you get proper care during your recovery.

Stopping any blood thinners before surgery is one of the most important ways to reduce your risk of complications. Common medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided for ten days prior to the surgery because they can interfere with the body’s natural healing process. However, check with your primary physician as well as the surgeon about the safest action to take if you normally take a prescription blood thinner. You should also quit taking supplements such as vitamins and other herbal medication thirty days before the operation unless otherwise directed, as these could cause unforeseen interactions during the procedure.

Precautions Prior to Surgery

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking for as long as possible before the surgery. Nicotine interferes with the healing process by constricting blood vessels. While this can be challenging for heavy smokers, it is vital to ensure a smooth recovery process. If you are unable to quit, you must quit smoking for at least a few days prior to and after the surgery. Be aware that other nicotine delivery methods such as chew tobacco, nicotine patches or electronic cigarettes count too, and make sure to quit them before the operation.

Like most surgeries that require anesthesia, you need to be careful about your food and beverage choices the day before the operation. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before the actual surgery to prevent complications. It is also essential that you don’t eat or drink anything 8 hours before the operation because it can lead to obstructed airways while under anesthesia. However, if you are diabetic and cannot go without eating for extended periods, consult with both your doctor and surgeon to work out an arrangement that will enable your blood sugar to stay stable while making sure you are safe during anesthesia.

Day of Surgery

On the actual day of the surgery, don’t wear any cosmetics or fashion accessories that may interfere with medical equipment or pose harm to you or the staff. This means that you should leave all jewelry and metal hairpieces at home as it can be an obstruction during the operation and other scans.

Most practices also advise against wearing any makeup or nail polish to the surgery to prevent infections and contamination. However, you should wear comfortable, loose clothing to the procedure and during the first few days of recovery. Most doctors recommend wearing glasses instead of contact lenses because contacts can become uncomfortably dry or stick to your eyes during anesthesia.

While these precautions may seem unnecessary, most of them are simple changes that greatly improve your odds of a successful surgery. If you take the proper steps prior to your surgery, you should have a complication free procedure that leads to great results with minimum pain.

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March 8, 2016
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March 8, 2016