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Cathy Enns: How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

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As a plastic surgery writer, I’ve had the chance to talk with dozens of women about their experiences. While sharing feelings of excitement, anxiety and more, many have offered advice for others about preparing for surgery.

Let’s assume you’ve navigated the initial part of the process. You’re confident in your choice of plastic surgeon and surgical plan, and you have a date for the procedure. Now what? How can you help ensure smooth sailing?

Obviously, it’s vital to have your medications ready. Fill all prescriptions your surgeon writes, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. If it turns out you need something you don’t have on hand, chances are good you won’t feel much like visiting the pharmacy.

Think about other products that may make recovery easier. You may benefit from having certain creams or lotions at home. If you’re having facial plastic surgery, eye drops can soothe scratchy eyes.

Another important task is to choose a friend or loved one to help you. Your surgeon will require that someone drive you home after surgery, especially if you have general anesthesia. You should also plan to have someone stay overnight to help you with medications and to be there in case of problems.

The more invasive your procedure, the more you’ll want to have a loved one around to help for a few days. If you have children or pets to care for, it’s a relief to have someone else on the front lines. Remember that you’ll need plenty of rest and you’ll move a little more slowly at first. If you have breast or abdominal surgery, you won’t be able to lift much right away.

Finally, prepare your home to welcome you back. Most women like to return to a clean house, so apply some elbow grease before surgery. Put clean sheets on the bed and have soft pillows and throws for extra comfort. Stock up on food that’s easy to prepare and easy on your system. Have books and magazines you look forward to reading on hand, and some music or maybe a book on tape to listen to.

The first few days after surgery may be somewhat uncomfortable as your body adjusts and recovers, but preparing in advance can make all the difference. Turn your post-op period into a pleasant time of rest and relaxation.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.