In preparation for your liposuction surgery, your doctor will most likely supply you with a list of dos and don’ts regarding diet and general health. (Ask for one if they don’t.) But there are also a number of practical matters you’ll want to consider including your job and other domestic issues. Here’s a list the experts suggest should be taken care of at least 2 weeks in advance:
Get as healthy as possible by eating plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables, and a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and healthy fats. While liposuction is generally considered a safe procedure, you’ll want to be in the best possible physical condition before you subject your body to the demands of surgery and recovery.
Arrange to put all work and other obligations temporarily aside to provide ample recovery time. If possible, permit yourself freedom from all work-related calls, commitments to family and friends, and physically-demanding responsibilities while you recuperate. But don’t forget that depending on the type of surgery you undergo, you may need assistance for a brief period of time, so be sure to line-up family or friends to help out. Between the physical discomfort and pain medication, you may feel quite “out of it” for a few days.
Many doctors suggest that you stop taking all forms of aspirin (including ibuprofen), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, cold and sinus medications, as well as vitamins (such as vitamin E) and nutritional supplements that could interfere with your blood’s clotting ability, at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. (If in doubt, ask your doctor.) If you are on “the pill,” stop taking it and use another form of contraception until after surgery. And make sure your doctor is aware of any other prescription medications you may be taking.
If you smoke, stop smoking before surgery and don’t resume after. Smokers risk chest infections after anesthesia and smoking reduces blood flow to the skin which can increase the risk of circulation problems after surgery, affecting your surgical outcome.
If there are any aspects of the liposuction procedure itself that you are unclear on, schedule an appointment with your doctor to clarify the issues, or research the procedure yourself. Understanding will help calm your anxieties and quicken your recovery. Numerous sources can be accessed online, at your local library, or your local book store.
Make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need post-surgery including medications, bandages, and compression garments. Also, gather a selection of additional recovery items such as alcohol gauze pads (for cleaning incision sites), cold packs to help combat swelling (if permitted), and pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen–if your doctors allows. Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics, so if possible, have the prescription filled in advance. You don’t want to have to make trips to the pharmacy post-op!
As with medical supplies, don’t forget to lay in an ample supply of food, toiletries, and any other practical items you may need.
- Make sure you have plenty of entertainment on hand. Depending on how extensive your procedure is, you’ll likely need a supply of books, movies, games, or whatever other forms of amusement will ensure that you don’t get bored and get out of bed before your recovery is complete.
- Arrange for someone reliable to drive you to and from the clinic or hospital since you’ll be feeling weak and disoriented afterwards. It’s also a good idea to have a back-up plan in case an emergency arises.
- Although liposuction typically takes place on an outpatient basis, if a large amount of fat is to be removed or other procedures are to be done at the same time, you may need to plan for a hospital stay.