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Chapter VI

Preparing For Your Surgery

Two weeks prior to Procedure

Patients are asked to discontinue aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and any other blood thinning medications. A list of medications which cause blood thinning will be provided. Patients are asked to carefully review the list to ensure they are not taking any of these medications. If patient require a pain relief medication two weeks prior to surgery, Tylenol may be taken.

Tylenol does not have any effects on blood clotting. Many vitamins and herbal medications also cause blood thinning, and will need to be held. These include Vitamin E, Omega Oil (Fish Oil), and chondroitin, as well as a host of others. Patients should have also already stopped the use of tobacco and any nicotine containing products. Patient are asked to refrain from these products at least 4 weeks prior to their procedure because their use can lead to poor wound healing, scarring, tissue necrosis and increased risk of infection.

One week prior to Procedure

Patients are asked to discontinue alcohol consumption 1 week prior to your procedure. If patients dye their hair we ask that they please do so up to four days prior to their procedure, or at least 4 weeks after. The night prior to the procedure we ask that all patients thoroughly wash their hair. Patients having their procedures at a hospital or surgery center will be contacted by a representative from the facility 24-48 hours prior. The representative will go over any preoperative instructions to follow prior to the morning of your surgery. We also ask that patients begin Arnica Montana supplements at 3-5 days prior to their procedure. Arnica Montana is an herbal medication which we find helps reduce postoperative swelling and bruising. Arnica Montana tablets can be found over the counter in your local pharmacy. We also suggest that patients purchase specific after care and wound care supplies to use after their procedure.

Hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs, sterile gauze pads, and disposable gloves should be purchased, as they will be needed for use in daily wound care. Bacitracin Ointment is also needed. This antibiotic ointment will be placed on your incision sites at least twice daily after surgery. DO NOT use triple antibiotic ointment or Neosporin. These ointments can cause unwanted irritation with prolonged use. Patients should have re-sealable plastic bags that will be used to hold ice. Bags of frozen peas also work well as ice packs.

If you’re having an eye procedure done, please purchase lubricating eye ointment (such as Lacri-Lube) and a moisturizing eye drop(such as Renew Lubricating Eye Drops). These products will be used to keep your eyes moist immediately after your procedure. Patients should have Baby Shampoo available. Patients are asked to wash their hair with gentle baby shampoo for the first 7-10 days after surgery. Normal shampoos and conditioners should not be used immediately after surgery because they can cause irritation. Patients should have soft foods on hand the first few days after surgery (yogurt, soup, smoothies, protein shakes, mashed potatoes, rice, etc.).

It may be difficult to chew immediately after your procedure do two bulky bandages. Nutrition is very important for wound healing, and patient find soft foods much easier to consume right after their procedure. Lastly, appropriate hydration is key after surgery. Patients should have water, Gatorade, or any electrolyte replenishing drinks available. Patient are asked to NOT consume caffeine containing beverages, or energy drinks such as Red Bull after surgery, as these products can cause elevation of blood pressure and bleeding.

Day of your Procedure

All patients will need a driver to and from their procedure. No patients will be allowed to drive themselves immediately following surgery, as they will still be partially impaired due to the residual effects of anesthesia. Patients having major surgery will also be required to have a caregiver present with them for the first 24 hours after their surgery to monitor them and provide any after care needed. For “In Office Procedures” we ask that patients eat a light meal and drink something light the morning of their procedure.

Please do not drink any caffeine prior to the procedure, as this can elevate blood pressure and cause complications. Patients should take all regular medications except those that have a blood thinning effect. High blood pressure patients: Please take your blood pressure medication in the morning, even if you typically take it later in the day. We also ask that you bring your blood pressure medication to the office on your surgery day. For “Hospital or Surgery Center Procedures” patients should follow the instructions given by center staff. You will be contacted by the facility 24-48 hours prior to your procedure. We ask that you wear something comfortable; preferably, a button or zip-up top. Patients should bring sunglasses if they are having an eye procedure, because your eyes may be sensitive immediately after surgery. Patients are asked not to wear any jewelry to their procedure, as it will need to be removed prior to surgery anyway.

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