Pre-Op and Post-Op Instructions
Pre-Operative Instructions – General
The following instructions should be followed closely except when overruled by specific procedural instructions.
2 Weeks Prior to Surgery
- NO ASPIRIN or medicines that contain aspirin* since it interferes with normal blood clotting.
- NO IBUPROFEN or medicines contain ibuprofen* as it interferes with blood clotting.
- Please discontinue all herbal medications* as many have side effects that could complicate a surgical procedure by inhibiting blood clotting, affecting blood pressure, or interfering with anesthetics.
- Please discontinue all diet pills whether prescription, over-the-counter or herbal as many will interfere with anesthesia and can cause cardiovascular concerns.
- No “megadoses” of vitamin E, but a multiple vitamin that contains E is just fine.
- NO SMOKING because nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and can cause significant complications during healing.
- You may take Tylenol or generic forms of this drug. These do not interfere with blood clotting or healing.
- If you don’t already, you may start taking a multivitamin each day and continue taking it through your recovery. The healthier you are, the quicker your recovery will be.
One Week Prior to Surgery
- DO NOT take or drink any alcohol or drugs for one week prior to surgery and one week after surgery as these can interfere with anesthesia and affect blood clotting.
- If your skin tolerates, use a germ-inhibiting soap for bathing, such as Dial, Safeguard, or Lever 2000 for at least the week before surgery.
- DO report any signs of cold, infection, boils, or pustules appearing before surgery.
- DO NOT take any cough or cold medications without permission.
- DO arrange for a responsible adult to pick you up from the facility on the day of surgery, since you will not be allowed to leave on your own.
- DO arrange for a responsible individual to spend the first 24 hours with you, since you CANNOT be left alone.
Night Before Surgery & Morning of Surgery
- DO NOT eat or drink anything (not even water) after midnight the night before your surgery. Also, no gum, candy, mints or coffee the morning of surgery.
- If you are on regular medications, please clear these with our office. In most cases you should take all of your daily medications the morning of the surgery.
- Take a thorough shower with your germ-inhibiting soap the night before and the morning of surgery. Shampoo your hair the morning of surgery. This is to decrease the bacteria on the scalp and thereby decrease the risk of infection.
- DO NOT apply any of the following to your skin, hair or face the morning of surgery: makeup, creams, lotions, hair gels, sprays, perfumes, powder, or deodorant. Using any of these products will add bacteria to the skin and increase the risk of infection.
- You may brush your teeth the morning of surgery.
- DO NOT wear contacts to surgery. If you do wear glasses, bring your eyeglass case.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that do not have to be put on over your head. The best thing to wear home is a button-up top and pull on pants. You will want easy-to-slip-on flat shoes.
- DO NOT bring any valuables or wear any jewelry (no rings, earrings, chains, toe rings, other metal piercings or watches).
- You must have an adult family member or friend pick you up after the surgery and make sure you get home safely.
Post-Operative Instructions – General
The following instructions should be followed closely except when overruled by specific procedural instructions:
- You must follow your surgeon’s instructions as indicated for your specific surgery. Notify Dr. Watkins of any unusual changes in your condition and feel free to call the office with any questions.
- You MUST HAVE AN ADULT TAKE YOU home from the facility. You will not be allowed to sign yourself out or use public transportation.
- After surgery you MUST HAVE A RESPONSIBLE ADULT STAY WITH YOU a minimum of 24 hours. You CANNOT be left alone. The 24 hours begin when you are discharged from the office or hospital. Have everything ready at home PRIOR to surgery. If preferred, our office can make arrangements for a nurse to take you home and stay with you until the next day.
- The effects of anesthesia can persist for 24 hours. You must exercise extreme caution before engaging in any activity that could be harmful to yourself or others.
- DRINK fluids to help rid the body of the drugs used in surgery.
- Diet may be as tolerated. Eating foods that are bland and soft for the first day or so – comfort foods like after you have had the flu – may be best tolerated. You must eat more than crackers and juice, otherwise you will continue to feel weak and will not heal as well. REMEMBER to take the medications with a little something to eat or you will get sick to your stomach.
- Please avoid the use of alcoholic beverages for one week after surgery (it dilates blood vessels and can cause unwanted bleeding) and as long as pain medications are being used (dangerous combination).
- Take only medications that have been prescribed by Dr. Allen Strasberger for your postoperative care and take them according to the instructions on the bottle. Your pain medication may make you fell “spacey”; therefore, have someone else give you your medications according to the proper time intervals.
- If you experience any generalized itching, rash, wheezing or tightness in the throat, stop taking all medications and call the office immediately, as this may be a sign of a drug allergy.
- You can expect moderate discomfort, which should be helped by the pain medications. The greatest discomfort is usually during the first 24 hours. Thereafter, you will find that you require less pain medication.
- Call the office immediately if you have: SEVERE PAIN not responding to pain medication; Swelling that is greater on one side than the other; incisions that are RED OR FEVERISH; a FEVER; or if any other questions or problems arise.
- Keep any DRESSINGS ON, CLEAN AND DRY. Do not remove them until instructed to do so. There may be some bloody drainage on the dressings and you can reinforce them as needed. If you have excessive bleeding or the bandages are too tight, call the office immediately.
- After surgery it is important to have a bowel movement within a day or two. If you do not, you may take over the counter laxatives to encourage your bowels to move.
- Minimal activity for the first 48 hours. No house cleaning, furniture rearranging, etc. Relax, be pampered, and let your body heal. The less energy you use on doing things, the more energy your body can focus on healing.
- Limit lifting, pulling or pushing for 10 days.
- Position after surgery is different with different types of surgery. If your surgery is from the waist up we ask that the head of the bed be elevated 45 degrees. This requires a pillow under the small of your back, two pillows under your shoulders and head, and if you have a pillow under each elbow you will relax and stay in position.
- You are requested to remain within a reasonable traveling distance of the office for approximately ten days.
- Once cleared to shower you may do so every day. Please do not use the bathtub for 2 weeks.
- ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING for the first two weeks after surgery.
- You may drive once you are off the pain pills and when you experience no pain with this activity (you need to be able to react quickly).
- All surgeries involve some scarring, which can take up to a year to fade. No matter how small they may be, we still want them to heal as well as they are able. Exposing red scars to the sun can cause permanent discoloration. A good sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) can help and will protect the surrounding tissues that might not feel a sunburn developing while the nerves are healing. Sunlight can even reach scars under a swimsuit, so take adequate precautions.
- DO NOT use a hot tub for 4 weeks.
- AVOID sports or strenuous activities 4 to 6 weeks as your surgeon gives you clearance during your post-operative visits. This is to avoid any unnecessary complications such as bleeding, bruising and excessive swelling.
- You may return to work when you feel able and are cleared to do so by your surgeon.
We are available to answer questions 24/7. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your healing period.
This website has been developed purely as an information source for the consumer, with information that will help you become more informed with the field of cosmetic surgery. Any person or persons considering surgery or medical treatment need to personally consult with a knowledgeable cosmetic surgeon in order to make an informed decision. Each patient’s needs are unique, and complete discussion with a surgeon or physician is an essential part the decision making process.
The information presented here may or may not be indicative of what a particular patient might expect to happen. This information is purely educational, and does not in any way guarantee or suggest results. All information obtained from this website may not be applicable or accurate for any specific patient’s medical, surgical or health situation. All surgical procedures involve health risks, which should be discussed in detail with your surgeon.
The material provided herein is copyrighted and may not be copied without permission of the owner. Dr. Strasberger makes no warranties or guarantees that the information contained herein is in every respect accurate or complete, and is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such. All contents of this website are the opinions of Dr. Allen Strasberger. Users of this information are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. The information is not intended in any way to be or replace medical advice offered by other surgeons, physicians or other health care professionals. Individual results will vary and no guarantee is stated or implied by any photo use on this web site.