How To Prepare For Your First Plastic Surgery Procedure

With all the excitement around your first cosmetic procedure you may have forgotten to add a few things to your checklist, so we’ve done it for you. Here's how to make the beginning of your journey as pleasant as possible.
Written by Nisha Fernandez
How To Prepare For Your First Plastic Surgery ProcedureAnatoliy Karlyuk/Shutterstock

Your first plastic surgery experience is exciting. You’ve done your research, you know what to expect, but maybe you can’t help but feel like you’ve missed something. We’ve compiled a list of things to do prior to your procedure, and also afterward, so you can be sure all your bases are covered.

Know How Much Recovery Time You Will Need

Talk to your physician or plastic surgeon and discuss how much recovery time is expected for your procedure and individual case. Ensure you have realistic expectations around both the procedure and recovery time and because this is your first procedure, don’t be afraid to allow yourself more time than expected. Most recommended recovery periods can’t be sped up so kick your feet up, relax, and let your body do its thing.

It’s also important to consider outside commitments and appointments that may need to be rescheduled. Make sure to remind your work of your scheduled time off so there aren’t any complications when the day comes. And if you have a high-maintenance pet, organize someone to take care of it while you’re recovering.

Questions You May Want to Ask Your Physician

If you’re feeling particularly nervous about your procedure, the best thing to do is ask your plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon lots of questions. Whether it's your initial consultation or final appointment before surgery, take advantage of the time you have with your physician and create a list of questions you'd like to ask beforehand. Remember, this is your body and you’re allowed to know the finer details about your procedure. Don’t be afraid to be thorough and precise.

Things you might want to know:

  • Will I be put under local/general anesthesia? If so, what is the process?
  • Do I need to adopt a healthy diet prior to or post my procedure?
  • Can certain biological traits affect the outcome of my procedure?
  • Is there anything I shouldn't do before my procedure, like expose my skin to direct sunlight?
  • What sort of recovery pain medication am I required to take?
  • Is there anything on my list of medications that may interfere with my lifestyle and are there any side effects?
  • Will my medical history interfere with this procedure?

Wear Something Comfortable and Easy to Get out Of

Depending on your procedure, getting dressed might be significantly harder. Consider what sort of movements may be restricted and organize your attire from there. For instance, if you’re getting an invasive surgery on your upper body you might want to opt for a button-down or zip-front shirt. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that can be painful to take off and might irritate the treated area.

Organize a Ride Home With Someone You Can Count On

Most doctors will require you to inform them of how you are getting home before undergoing surgery, so plan well in advance. Ask a friend or a family member to take the day off to help you get around and ensure it’s someone who you trust. Don't plan on making your own way, even if your procedure is minor.

Make a Financial Plan

Whether you’re away from work for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, it's worthwhile to sit down with your finances to ensure you’re covered while you’re recovering. Double-check bill deadlines and schedule automatic payments to take the pressure off yourself. If it will cut down on stress during recovery, discuss and set up a payment plan for your plastic surgery procedure with your surgeon before the operation.

Pack an Overnight Bag (Even If You're Not Staying Overnight)

Whether you’re at the clinic for a couple of hours or overnight, you want to feel as comfortable as possible. Pack a bag of your daily essentials no matter what. Think of things that will keep you entertained, or will make you feel more comfortable, like your phone and charger, snacks, books, a change of clothes, and toiletries. If movies are your preferred mode of relaxation don’t forget to install your streaming app of choice and download a movie or television show that will keep you occupied during your downtime.

Don’t Google Your Procedure

You and your doctor have decided on the best procedure for you so you may rest assured that you’re in safe hands. While it may be tempting to admire other patients' "after" photos, it’s far too easy to find yourself gawking over cosmetic horror stories. Don’t do it to yourself. Trust the process and your board certified plastic surgeon and remember that each journey is different.

Stock Your Fridge With Easy-To-Prepare Foods

The first few days after an operation can be the hardest. Stock your kitchen with easy meals and snacks you love so you don’t have to worry about buying groceries while you’re binge-watching your favorite Netflix show.

Organize Travel for Future Appointments

Remember that friend who picked you up from your procedure? Ask them for additional help during your recovery period. You’ll generally have a follow-up appointment (or several) for your physician to check your progress, so having the right support system around you to help you get there is essential.

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NISHA FERNANDEZis a freelance writer for AEDIT.

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