If you are considering plastic surgery, you will need to schedule a consultation with a surgeon. During your consultation, the surgeon will go over many things, including the procedure you are wishing to have performed, the expected results and what to expect during the recovery period. You will also discuss your medical history, including your family history, to determine if plastic surgery is a good choice for you. It is very important to be completely honest with your surgeon and to include even the smallest detail about your current and past medical history. This is for your safety and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your surgeon will go over these topics: your current and previous medications, past medical conditions and family history and current medical conditions.
Many medications have side effects that can cause complications before and after surgery, especially medications that thin the blood. Your surgeon will go over your medicines and inform you of any medication that needs to be stopped either before or after surgery. Prescription medication is not the only thing the doctor will be looking at. Some over-the-counter medications, herbs and supplements will also need to be discontinued, so be sure to tell the surgeon of everything that you ingest, whether on a regular or irregular basis. Some common medicines that need to be stopped are:
- Vitamins E & K
- Herbal supplements such as St. John’s Wort, gingko biloba, ginger and garlic
It is also important to discuss any allergies that you have to medications. If you have questions about the medications that you take now or have taken in the past, be sure to discuss these with your doctor.
Your medical history is extremely important. Even if the issues that you have had were many years ago, it is still important to tell your surgeon. Surgeons look for any condition that is related to blood clotting issues. They also need to know if you have had recurring infections or infections that are hard to get rid of. This is very important information that helps your surgeon design a safe and effective surgical plan. Family history is also an important topic, especially if you have ever had a family member that suffered from problems with anesthesia. While this probably will not keep you from having surgery or affect your surgery in any way, it is still good for the surgeon and anesthesiologist to know these things so they can provide you with the best care.
Some chronic conditions can cause serious complications. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity and smoking can all wreak havoc on your body if not properly controlled. Your surgeon needs to know these things so that they can make sure that your condition is controlled during surgery, so that you do not lose too much blood and so that the anesthesiologist can accurately medicate you during surgery. Your surgeon will monitor your symptoms and tailor a surgical and aftercare plan that will give you the best results possible. If your surgeon is concerned about any of your medical history, he or she will discuss your options. This may mean that you have to stop using certain medications or maybe you will have to lose weight or stop smoking before you are able to have surgery. Your surgeon wants you to be safe and happy with your results, so this may mean a little work on your part.
So, to summarize, you should be ready during your consultation to go over your past and current medications, your past and current medical history and your family history. It is a good idea to write down any conditions (especially family conditions) that you may not be able to remember on the spot and to write down any questions that you may have regarding medications and medical history. The more you can tell your doctor, the safer you will be. Do not leave out anything that you ingest, even if it is over-the-counter medications, herbs or supplements. This can be detrimental to your health.
If you have any questions about plastic surgery or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, please feel free to contact our office. We offer in-depth consultations that will help you make an informed decision about undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. All of our surgeons are available for appointment, so please contact our office today!