Getting Ready for Surgery
THE 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY:
-Do not take any Anacin®, Aspirin®, Advil®, Motrin®, Ibuprofen®, Alleve®, Naproxen®, Vitamin E or herbal medications (Gingko, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Guarana). If you are taking any blood thinners you may have to stop them 5 days pre surgery. These tend to increase bleeding during surgery.
-Do not smoke. Smoking has been shown to interfere with the blood supply to the skin and can hinder wound healing that can lead to a poor scar.
-Do not drink alcohol. This may interfere with the anaesthetic.
-Take your regular prescribed medications as needed. Please mention all of them to your physician and anaesthetist.
-Please advise us as soon as possible about any medical situation (flu, cold) that arises. These may not allow us to perform surgery. We may reschedule if we feel that the condition will affect surgery.
-If you require a garment, postoperatively, make sure that it is the correct size and type.
THE DAY BEFORE SURGERY:
-Unless your operation is being done with local anaesthetic only, do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the eve of your surgery. Your surgery will be cancelled or delayed if you have anything in your stomach.
THE DAY OF SURGERY:
-Please shower or bathe that morning. If facial surgery is being done please wash your hair. Do not wear any make-up. Remove any nail polish.
-Wear comfortable clothing/shoes that can be easily removed and put on.
-Do not bring or wear any valuables such as jewelry (ex. pierced earrings, rings, watches)
-Bring any garments (girdles) that are needed postoperatively. Wear clothing that is comfortable easy to remove and put on clothing such as button up shirts, hoodies, pull-on pants.
-Make sure you have arranged for a reliable person to pick you up.
-After any day surgical procedure, you will require a person to stay with you for the 24 hours post surgery.
-Do not drive for 24 hours post surgery.
-The 2-3 days post surgery is the most difficult. Relax. Rest. You will need help with day-to-day household activities (cooking, cleaning). If it hurts, you should not do it. Avoid bending or lifting. If you have had facial surgery, sleep with your head slightly elevated. A travel neck pillow works well.
-Some people find that nausea sets in after the anesthetic. Gravol® works well for the nausea. If you are experiencing severe vomiting or coughing contact the doctor.
-Drink fluids such as flat soda, tea, juice, sport drinks and eat small amounts of food. Some people find that their appetite is dull but it returns in a few days.
-Take your prescribed pain medication. Do not combine alcohol with your pain medication. However if you develop excess pain, swelling or bleeding go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
-Leave the dressings alone since the doctor removes them on the first post op visit. There may be some discomfort and oozing from the site. This is normal.
-Vigorous physical activity (jogging, bending, and lifting) should be avoided for a minimum of 3 weeks after surgery. Limit exposure to high heat or sun.
– Do not sign cheques or make important decisions for 24 hours or if you are taking pain meds after your surgery.
SURGICAL RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS:
All surgery and medical procedures carry some degree of risks and/or complications. It is important that you understand that complications are part of the post surgical process. The majority of our patients do not experience any complications. However, a small minority may. We do our very best to avoid any complications but if they occur we also do our best to treat them as soon as possible.
Bleeding/Hematoma- The hematoma has to be drained as it will increase in size over the ensuing few weeks, so inform our office and arrange follow up if you think a hematoma has occurred.
Infection- Infection in surgical sites is possible. If there is redness, pain, swelling, foul smelling pus/discharge or you have an oral temperature over 38.5 ° C or 100.4 ° Fahrenheit, contact the office. Antibiotics or additional surgery may be necessary.
Scars- all surgical procedures produce a scar. Scars may range from an almost invisible fine line to a thick ropey one. We cannot predict who will form unsightly scars. Scars initially may be a bright red color and then tend to fade over time. For post surgical scars on the face or exposed areas of the body make sure you cover the skin with sunscreen to prevent any discoloration. Sometimes scars are revised surgically or require other treatments such as laser.
Change in Skin Sensation- Sometimes an area may experience numbness or tingling this may be temporary but can also be permanent.
Delayed Healing- Wound separating or delayed wound healing is possible. It can depend on many factors (quality of skin, general health, dressing care). There can be skin loss and further surgery to removed non-healed tissue.
Smoking- After your surgery it is important not to smoke (minimum 3 weeks) so tissues heal properly. Smoking has been shown to increase post surgical complications and delay healing.
Pain- There may be some additional discomfort caused by swelling and bandages/garments. We want you to be as comfortable as possible after surgery. The medications that are prescribed will alleviate most pain and discomfort. The doctor will discuss the medication that he is prescribing and go over the side effects. Please advise us if there are any medications that may not be suitable. Most people do not need any pain medication after 3-4 days. If you have severe pain or increased pain not relieved by the medication, please contact the office.
Allergic Reactions- In rare cases patients may experience local allergies to tape, sutures or topical preparations. Please inform us prior to surgery if you have any allergies (ex. Latex, aloe vera, etc.). Patients may also experience allergies from anaesthetics (ex. lidocaine) and prescription medications (ex. penicillin)
Surgical Anaesthesia- Both local and general anaesthesia involves risk. Complications can occur during or after surgery. Please discuss them with your anaesthetist.
Unsatisfactory Result- There is a possibility of experiencing an unsatisfactory result. Some patients may not have realistic expectations. In your consultation with the physician you will go over what you expect from your surgery and what the physician can deliver. On occasion, several surgeries and/or treatments may be required to achieve the desired result that the patient wants. Surgery is not an exact science. Results are affected by a variety of factors such as skin quality, body type and proportions, age, etc. Sometimes you may need secondary surgery. Although good results are expected and we try to achieve them we do not guarantee them.