Liposuction preparation aims to prevent complications and achieve optimal results from the surgery. While most patients already know about the importance of achieving their prime health and weight through superb diet and regular exercise, not everyone knows the importance of prepping up the skin.
It is important to note that skin quality, along with the surgeon’s skills and experience, will play a crucial role in the final results. First and foremost, the skin must shrink-wrap smoothly around the new contour to achieve a tight, natural-looking appearance.
Experts at the California Surgical Institute have provided a list of ways to prepare the skin before liposuction surgery.
Apart from increasing the risk of poor healing and skin necrosis, smoking causes skin dryness and premature aging and thus may preclude the patient from achieving optimal results from liposuction.
While the general rule of thumb is to discontinue smoking for three weeks before surgery and about a week afterward to reduce the risk of healing problems, complete cessation remains the best route to prevent premature aging of the skin.
- Avoid or at least cut back on alcohol
Alcohol causes dry skin (thus it appears ashy) and may aggravate postop bruises. A good rule of thumb is to avoid or cut back on alcohol three weeks before surgery.
Tanning booths, sunbathing, and even self-tanning products must be avoided for a minimum of three weeks before surgery. The goal is to help the skin achieve its healthiest and least sensitive state.
Patients undergoing facial liposuction are generally instructed to avoid facials, skin peeling, steaming masks, and other similar treatments for at least three weeks before surgery.
- Purchase “recovery” supplies weeks or days ahead of the surgery
Aside from dressing and compression garments, “recovery” supplies should also include sunscreen, protective clothing (with special fibers that offer SPF protection), and scar creams and silicone sheets.
- Ensure that the skin is in its optimal health
A prudent patient should immediately notify her surgeon’s office if she develops any skin infection or pustules, or if she develops any type of illness within a week prior to her surgery.
A circumferential body lift, also known as lower body lift, removes the redundant skin and fat around the frontal abdomen, hips, and back, resulting in a belt-shaped scar that is generally concealed by the patient’s underwear, says leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Circumferential body lift is almost always performed after massive weight loss and basically combines three major surgeries, namely, tummy tuck, outer thigh lift, and buttock lift. For this reason, it is only reserved for healthy patients with no healing problems.
While most patients having some type of body lift already know the basic preparations—e.g., 8-10 hour fasting prior to the operation, eating healthy, reaching the ideal weight, avoiding tobacco products and drugs with blood thinning properties (aspirin and ibuprofen)—they may not be aware of some seemingly trivial details explained below.
Due to the invasive nature of circumferential body lift, the amount of bleeding might be an issue. For this reason, some patients may need blood transfusion during surgery; however, in the ideal scenario they can donate blood at least four weeks ahead of time and have it stored in case they need it.
- Some natural remedies can affect healing
Some natural remedies and herbal supplements not just affect healing or increase bleeding, but may also may interact with anesthesia and painkillers. Furthermore, their effects are still widely unknown and so a good rule of thumb is to avoid them altogether at least 2-3 weeks before surgery and about a week afterward.
- Caregivers are life-savers
In the first few weeks postop, the patient should only focus on her recovery. Everything else—e.g., childcare, house chores, and office work—are put on the sidelines.
A good rule of thumb is to line up two or more caregivers, who can help the patient get around during recovery.
Loose soft clothes (button down shirt and loose-fitting pants) that are easy to put on and take off are important during recovery especially when the patient is made to wear compression garments and surgical drains.
- Ask for the surgeon’s shopping list
Most surgeons will provide a shopping list that typically includes painkillers, compression garments, scar creams, and even healthy snacks and drinks to help their patients plan their recovery well ahead of their surgery.
The rhinoplasty preparation tips aim to help patients achieve their optimal health and ultimately the best results possible from the surgery. It is important to note that aside from the surgeon’s skills and experience, healing can also influence the long-term outcome.
Experts at the California Surgical Institute explain the “basics” of rhinoplasty preparation tips.
A balanced diet mainly consists of lean protein (about 15-25 percent of the total calorie intake), fresh fruits and vegetables, and “healthy” carbs. Meanwhile, avoid or at least limit the amounts of processed carbs (white pasta and bread), foods and beverages laden with too much sugar, and salty foods.
Some doctors recommend multivitamins a few weeks or months leading up to the surgery. However, a prudent patient should not take any supplement without their surgeons’ approval because a gamut of remedies are known to interact with anesthesia and painkillers or may increase the risk of bleeding and poor healing.
Supplements known to increase bleeding and other complications (e.g., ginseng, fish oil, green tea, ginkgo biloba, kava kava, and garlic) are best avoided 2-3 weeks before and after surgery.
- Discontinue all tobacco and smoking cessation products
While the general rule of thumb is to avoid these products for a minimum of three weeks, some doctors require a longer cessation period to ensure the patient’s full commitment. It is important to note that one stick is enough to compromise healing and even the long-term results of the surgery.
Most patients will need at least a week of “social recovery” (before they look presentable in public), although it still makes sense to plan for at least a two-week off just to err on the safe side. Furthermore, in the first ten days postop their focus should be on their recovery alone; hence, it s highly ideal that they assign house/pet/child care to someone else.
- Make the house “recovery-proof”
All surgeons will provide their patients a list of things they must purchase, prepare, or arrange weeks or days ahead of their surgery. Typically they include painkillers, button-down shirts, large pillows or recliner (it is ideal to keep one’s head elevated to keep swelling to a minimum), soft foods, and sources for entertainment (magazines, books, movies, etc.).
For some patients the residual bruising especially around the eyes might take longer to dissipate. Camouflage makeup can help conceal these bruises.
Preparation for mommy makeover surgery is critical to achieve optimal results and reduce risk of complications. The idea is to help the patient reach her highest normal range of health, says leading Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Mommy makeover is considered a “large” surgery because it typically combines two or more procedures in one surgical setting. Common combo techniques include breast augmentation with lift, tummy tuck with some type of breast enhancement, and tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks.
While any body contouring surgery entails being near one’s ideal weight, drastic weight loss in the month leading up to the operation is greatly discouraged because of the ensuing malnutrition, muscle loss, and possible dehydration (due to low calorie diet), which can all affect healing.
If the patient is overweight, weight loss should happen gradually (just 1-2 lbs. per week) and is started way ahead of the surgery.
Following superb diet months prior to surgery can also make a huge difference in healing. A good rule of thumb is to increase protein consumption (it should account for 15-25 percent of the total calorie intake) and avoid or at least limit processed carbs and foods high in refined sugar, sodium, and fats.
Some doctors recommend supplementation about a month before and after surgery to ensure that their patients are getting enough iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and other micro-nutrients that play a critical role in healing.
Before taking any supplementation or herbal remedy, a prudent patient should always ask for her doctor’s permission first. It is important to note that some vitamins and supplements are known to increase bleeding or interfere with anesthesia or painkillers.
Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, and some antidepressants can also increase bleeding and aggravate the amount of postop bruises. The general rule of thumb is to avoid them 2-3 weeks ahead of the surgery and about a week afterward.
Smoking also has detrimental effects on healing. Not only it increases the risk of bleeding, infection, and skin necrosis, it also makes smokers susceptible to heart disturbances and lung-related problems following a surgery. For this reason, complete cessation for a minimum of three weeks before and after surgery is critical.
Lab screening is another important aspect of preparation for mommy makeover. It is ideally performed not later than 10 days prior to surgery to ensure the patient has achieved her optimal health.
The preparation for liposuction aims to eliminate or at least control risk factors, allowing the patient to achieve optimal results from the surgery, as suggested by leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
The list below explains a rather comprehensive guideline on how to prepare for the surgery.
6-12 months (mainly applies to individuals experiencing weight fluctuations)
As with any body contouring surgery, being near one’s ideal weight will play a crucial role in the long-term success of liposuction in which the superficial fat (beneath the skin, as opposed to the visceral deeper fat linked to obesity) is suctioned out with the use of a flexible hollowed tube called cannula.
The weight must be stable for a minimum of six months, although some patients are encouraged to wait a bit longer to ensure that they can stick to a healthy lifestyle, or their skin has fully redraped to their new contour (after weight loss).
Most experts suggest consulting with at least 2-3 doctors before liposuction or any other forms of body contouring surgery. The idea is to select the “best” surgeon based on experience (over a hundred procedures performed every year is the ideal scenario), eye for detail (before-and-after photos can shed light on this issue), and bedside manner (the surgeon must exhibit enviable qualities such as trustworthiness and respectfulness).
By three weeks the patient must have already chosen the surgeon who will provide her a list of lab tests (e.g., blood work) that will be required prior to surgery.
Most patients are instructed to discontinue all tobacco and smoking cessation products to prevent increased bleeding, poor healing, and higher risk of infection.
To further achieve optimal health, all products with blood thinning properties (a gamut of herbal supplements and vitamins, aspirin and aspirin-like products, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, contraceptive pills, certain antidepressants, etc.) are best avoided 2-3 weeks before surgery and about a week afterward.
The lab exam is a critical aspect in preparation for liposuction. Ideally, it is performed not later than 10 days prior to surgery to ensure that the patients are in their optimal health.
This period is also the best time to arrange for child or house care (patients should take it slow in the first three weeks postop to avoid healing problems); purchase all the necessary supplies (medications, compression garments, foods, bottled water, etc.); file their vacation leave; and make all the arrangements to allow for a convenient recovery.
Avoid or at least limit alcoholic and caffeinated drinks because they could interfere with anesthesia or cause dehydration.
All the “details” that can pave way for a more pleasant recovery are reviewed to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
Most patients are instructed to fast 6-8 hours before surgery. Furthermore, their last meal before liposuction should be light but still protein packed. Meanwhile, they should avoid foods high in processed sugar and fats because too much of these can suppress the immune function and aggravate the postop swelling.
Body lift after extreme weight loss entails advance planning to produce optimal results and prevent or at least minimize risk of complications. The goal is to achieve one’s optimum health and weight before any body contouring surgery is attempted, as suggested by celebrity Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Dr. Smiley explains the most favorable “schedule” for body lift after extreme weight loss.
* Your weight has been stable for at least six months, although it would be better if you’re able to manage it for about a year or two—a strong proof that you can stick to a healthy lifestyle, which is the key to maintain the surgery’s results.
Aside from being near your ideal weight, it is also critical that no further [significant] weight loss is expected. The idea is to let your skin shrink to the best of its ability before attempting any body contouring surgery.
* Wait until you have achieved your optimal health. It is important to note that massive weight loss patients often have some type of malnutrition (anemia, muscle loss, and dehydration) because of their lower calorie diet. For this reason, even if you have already achieved your ideal weight you may still have to postpone your surgery until your body has adapt to your “new lifestyle.”
* Cooler weather, i.e., December through March, is generally perceived to be an ideal time to undergo most type of plastic surgery as it allows for bulkier clothing—e.g., thick trousers and sweaters—to hide obvious or sudden changes in your body. This is particularly true for anyone getting lower body lift, breast reduction, and tummy tuck.
Furthermore, cooler weather typically coincides with long holidays, allowing the patient to enjoy more time off.
* You are emotionally and psychologically prepared. Expect some postop blues, lethargy, excitement, feeling of doubt, resolution—pretty much mixed emotions—during the initial healing stage. Take note that having supportive family and friends can make the recovery less nerve-racking.
* You have time to recuperate. Rushing one’s recovery can have a detrimental effect on your healing. A good rule of thumb is to take at least a three-week off, avoid strenuous activities for about a month, and to expect lethargy to a varying degree for 6-8 weeks.
To avoid too much stress, you may ask to work part time or telecommute until you regain your preoperative energy level.