1) What do I do to prepare for surgery?
Although the preparation for surgery is pretty simple, it is an essential element in a successful outcome. To prepare for surgery, a preoperative appointment will be scheduled with one of our experienced nurses.
2) What happens at the preoperative appointment?
Many things! To name a few, you will meet with our nurses to review your health history, answer your questions, instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, receive the prescriptions for use after surgery and tell you what to expect. Most of the instructions are listed here. This list of questions, however, will not take the place of a preoperative visit, which is essential in determining a patient’s understanding and readiness for surgery. We will be sure you are signing for informed consent.
3) What does informed consent mean?
Informed consent means you have an excellent understanding about the benefits of surgery as well as any risks, and all the preoperative and postoperative information. You are making an “informed” decision as to whether surgery is right for you.
4) What are the benefits and risks of the procedure?
As part of your initial consultation, your physician will review your expectations for surgery. At that time, he can provide a realistic picture of what surgery can and cannot accomplish. Depending on which procedures you are interested in, we will provide you with a list of any risks reported in the medical literature associated with any procedures you are considering. Although risks from surgery are uncommon, every patient should be fully informed.
5) Will I have any incisions in my skin?
Patients who undergo fat injections for lip augmentation do not have incisions in the lips. However, most (but not all) other lip augmentation procedures have tiny incisions at the corners of the mouth. Incisions are placed into existing creases (called relaxed skin tension lines) that minimize the appearance of scars and create the best cosmetic result. Most incisions heal very well. Frequently we hear that patients and family members do not notice them after a few weeks.
6) What if I have a history of bad scars?
If you have pierced ears, the way you healed there is a good indication of how you will heal from lip surgery. Scars on the rest of the body typically are not an indication for how patients heal following facial plastic surgery. At the time of your consultation, it’s important to show your physician any previous scars that are of concern so he can give you a realistic assessment of your healing potential following facial plastic surgery.
7) What are some of the other things to do to prepare for surgery?
We review your health history and any daily medications you may be taking. Because tobacco abuse impedes wound healing, you will be asked to stop for two weeks before surgery and two weeks following surgery.
8) What about my daily medications before surgery?
You will have a preoperative appointment well in advance of your surgery when our experienced staff will review all mediations with you. If you are on “blood thinners,” you will be asked to stop them approximately one week prior to surgery. We will provide you with a Medication List” for medications and supplements to avoid prior to surgery.
9) I take vitamins and supplements. Do I need to stop them before surgery?
Most vitamins and supplements have few side effects. However, there are some, such as vitamin E that can affect bleeding during surgery. Our “Medication List” reviews medications and supplements to avoid prior to surgery.
10) Do I need any special prescriptions before surgery?
Most patients do not need any special prescriptions before surgery. Please let us know of any special medical concerns you may have. We do ask you to start Vitamin C 1000 mg, which promotes wound healing, one week before surgery. We will discuss prescriptions needed after surgery below. We will ask you not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
11) Why will I be asked not to eat or drink after midnight before the procedure?
Anesthesia medications can cause stomach upset. The best way to prevent after effects from anesthesia will be to avoid food or drink from midnight the night before surgery. For patients with special concerns, such as a patient with diabetes, our anesthesia team will be happy to address special arrangements with you ahead of time.
12) What happens when I check in for surgery?
Our nurses will help you get ready for surgery. Please let them know of any special needs you may have. Also, be assured that you have plenty of time for any last minute questions with your surgeon.
13) What other instructions are there?
Glad you asked! See the postoperative instructions below.