Same Day Cosmetic Surgery Tips

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Valerie DeBenedette, Senior Medical Editor

Valerie DeBenedette is a science writer who specializes in keeping people informed about medicine and their health. She has more than 20 years of experience writing for newspapers, magazines, and websites and has written about most areas of medicine. For many years, she was a contributing writer to Cosmetic Dermatology and to Drug Topics, the leading pharmacy trade magazine. She also was a contributing editor to The Physician and Sportsmedicine for many years. She has written about most fields of medicine, including dermatology, sportsmedicine, ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedics, and women's health; as well as public health policy and the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, she is the author of Caffeine, a book for young people. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.


July 05 2007

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Same Day Cosmetic Surgery Dos and Don'ts

Many cosmetic surgery procedures are done on an out-patient basis. This means that you are not admitted to a hospital for the surgery. Most likely, you'll go to a surgery center that is not attached to a hospital. You come in, you have the surgery, and a few hours later, you leave and go home to recover.

This all sounds easy and greatly reduces the cost of surgical procedures since you avoid the expense of an overnight stay in a hospital. However, plastic surgery is a serious affair and must be treated with respect, whether you go home that day or not. You will probably be sore, uncomfortable, or feeling downright miserable the evening after your plastic surgery and in the days that follow.

The following advice is general information and does not replace any information or instructions from your doctor. You must follow the instructions given to you by your doctor or his/her assistants.

Be aware that although your cosmetic surgery may be scheduled for a specific day, any health problem you have may cause the surgery to be postponed. If you develop a cough, cold, or fever in the days before your surgery or the day of your surgery, call your surgeon's office.

When you arrive at the hospital, surgical center, or your surgeon's office, you will be brought to an area where you can undress. You will be given a hospital gown or pajama-like hospital scrubs to wear. Your clothing will be locked up, but you should not bring anything valuable.

After your plastic surgery, you will be kept in a recovery area for a period of time that might be several hours long. However, you may still be very drowsy when you are released. Many hospitals and cosmetic surgery centers will not release you if you do not have a responsible adult to accompany you or drive you home. You will be too sore or too drowsy to drive and should not operate a car or other machinery. Arrange in advance for someone to drive you home.

Before Your Cosmetic Surgery

Your surgeon may ask you to undergo preliminary blood tests or have x-rays or other imaging done. Make sure that this has been done and that results have been sent to your surgeon.

You may be given instructions to avoid certain medications (such as aspirin or anticoagulant drugs) or foods, or to fast for a certain amount of time before your plastic surgery. Follow those instructions.

If your doctor gives you any prescriptions for pain relievers or antibiotics, fill them before your surgery so that you don't have to rush around after. Try to have your home in order so that you can relax as much as possible after your cosmetic surgery. Consider stocking up on groceries and cleaning your house in advance.

Avoid drinking any alcohol for at least 24 hours before your plastic surgery procedure.

You can probably bathe or shower the morning of your surgery or the night before. If you are a man having facial surgery, ask your surgeon whether you should shave that morning.

What NOT to Do on the Day of Your Plastic Surgery

  • Do not eat breakfast or drink anything the morning of the day your plastic surgery scheduled, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Do not take any medications unless approved by your surgeon.
  • Do not wear any make-up or nail polish or wear a wig or hairpiece.
  • Do not bring or wear contact lenses unless you consult your surgeon.
  • Do not bring or wear jewelry or valuables such as IPods, cell phones, radios, or watches. Remove all earrings, rings, and any body piercing jewelry and leave them home. Leave your purse or wallet at home, but bring your insurance card and any paperwork that you need.
  • Do not bring a crowd of people with you. One or two friends are OK, but ask first.
  • Do not wear clothing that is tight or difficult to put on or take off.

What to DO on the Day of Your Plastic Surgery

  • Do arrive on time. Any delay in your arrival may cause your surgery to be postponed.
  • Do wear comfortable, loose clothing. If you are having facial plastic surgery or surgery to your upper body, choose clothing that opens up the front and does not have to be pulled on over your head. Make sure your clothing will fit over any bandages you may be wearing after the surgery. If you are having body contouring surgery such as liposuction, avoid clothes with tight waistbands.
  • Do dress warmly, including warm socks. Most surgical facilities are kept cool.
  • Do go right home and relax for the rest of the day.