Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to have the cosmetic surgery you’ve always wanted to have and embark on an amazing journey to look and feel better. While this is an exciting experience to go through, you can make the best of this major lifestyle change with a few important preparations before surgery day.

By Stacy Molter

Congratulations! You've made the decision to have the cosmetic surgery you've always wanted to have and embark on an amazing journey to look and feel better. While this is an exciting experience to go through, you can make the best of this major lifestyle change with a few important preparations before surgery day. But, don't want to wait until the week before surgery to get started. Instead, you'll want to begin preparing for surgery at least a month before the scheduled surgery date. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for cosmetic surgery to help you have the best recovery possible.

What do I need to prepare for cosmetic surgery?

Once you make the decision (and the appointment) to have cosmetic surgery, you'll want to take note of some very important dates as you prepare for cosmetic surgery. You'll need to fill medications, possibly discontinue certain medications, stop bad habits (if you have them), as well as arrange any support and childcare that you may need after surgery.

Here's a helpful timeline we (my husband and I) followed prior and up to my surgery date. While each surgery is unique and your doctor may have additional recommendations for you, this basic timeline will give you an idea of what you will need to do to prepare for a cosmetic surgery in Orange County.

As soon as you receive your surgery date and pre-op appointment:Fill your prescriptions to ensure your pharmacy has all the medications in stock.Schedule appointments to complete any pre-op medical clearances you may need.Talk to your surgeon about any financing options, if needed.

6 weeks prior to cosmetic surgery Stop smoking and/or using nicotine products (including patches, gum, and nasal spray). Patients who use these products have a greater risk for significant surgical complications, delayed healing, skin loss, or loss of the umbilicus (navel). 4 weeks prior to cosmetic surgery Discontinue all Asprin containing products (including over the counter pain medications), diet pills, herbal supplements, and unapproved prescription medications. Book a hotel room near the surgical center, if needed. 2 weeks prior to cosmetic surgery Discontinue all alcohol and energy drinks. 1 week prior to cosmetic surgery Reconfirm your caretaker, any travel plans and hotel reservations, and childcare needed. 2 days prior to cosmetic surgery Begin packing for surgery day. Double check all medications have been filled and any supplies (proper clothes, additional pillows, and soft foods) have been purchased. 1 day prior to cosmetic surgery No eating or drinking after 9:30 PM – 12:00 AM-midnight the night before surgery. Shower the night before or the morning of surgery with an antibacterial soap. Do not use any gel, deodorant, lotion, make-up, or powders after you shower. Get lots of rest. Day of cosmetic surgery If prescribed, bring anti-nausea medication with you the morning of surgery. Leave all jewelry and valuables at home. Do not wear contact lenses.

 On the day of surgery, you'll want to wear loose fitting clothing, preferably a button up blouse/shirt with elastic type pull up pants, sweats, or shorts, and slip-on shoes. This will make re-dressing you after surgery easier, keeping you as comfortable as possible.

You will not be allowed to drive yourself to or from surgery as you will be sedated. You must have someone 18 years or older to not only drive you home but to also stay with you for the first 24-48 hours. If you live more than a half hour drive from the surgical center, you will want to book a night at a local hotel for two reasons. First, it will be very uncomfortable to ride a long distance in a car. Trust me. We booked a hotel within three miles of CosmetiCare and even that short distance was not comfortable. Secondly, while you will feel better the next day, you will have a one-day, post-operative follow-up appointment that you will need to travel to.

If you're like me and are having liposuction with your abdominoplasty surgery, you will want to purchase a tarp to place over your car seats and bed as drainage from this procedure will ruin a bed mattress and furniture. Though we didn't notice any drainage from my procedure, it is better to be prepared just in case.

When you arrive home or to the hotel, you will want to have at least six pillows available to help position yourself for comfort. You will want to maintain a reclined (flexed) position for several days. (Tip: If you're staying at a hotel, ask the front desk for a wheelchair to help you get from the car to the hotel room.)

A soft diet is recommended after surgery, as well as drinking plenty of fluids. Since we stayed at a hotel, I packed a food bag with applesauce, bananas, crackers, individual oatmeal packets, and Gatorade. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I felt later the night of surgery, so good in fact that my husband grabbed me a delicious soft boiled egg with avocado on toast from the hotel restaurant. No, I didn't eat it all, but it was nice to have a freshly cooked bite to eat.

While the journey to a better you is an exciting one to embark on, careful preparation for cosmetic surgery is essential for an easy recovery.

Are you interested in lipoabdominalplasty (tummy tuck)? Use my exclusive code STACY100 to receive 10% off a tummy tuck procedure at CosmetiCare.

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