There are plenty of things to consider when you are thinking about having a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure, this list includes the pros and cons of surgery, choosing the right doctor and the process of recovery. While you may be researching and gaining information on these topics, don’t forget one important detail that you may be overlooking…your current lifestyle. The way you live, eat and exercise will significantly impact the success of your procedure. If you have some unhealthy habits, such as smoking, excessive sun exposure or sleep deprivation, you may want to resolve these issues before you schedule your surgery. Doing so will help you heal faster with better results during your recovery process and will also help you to maintain those results, ensuring that you love your new body for years to come.
Your plastic surgeon cares about your health and wants to make sure that you are receiving the best medical care possible. It is extremely important that you unveil your entire medical history, including any past mental health issues and your family history of certain conditions that may influence the safety or outcome of your procedure. If you have heard horror stories of people with poor healing or an extended healing period, most likely the culprit behind these incidents will be related to unhealthy habits or an underlying condition that the plastic surgeon was unaware of. Let’s take a look at some of the most important lifestyle factors that need to be taken into consideration before having plastic surgery.
Weight and Nutrition – Most plastic surgeons have a rule about a patient’s weight, especially when it comes to procedures like an abdominoplasty or liposuction. It is necessary that a patient be close to their ideal weight, usually within 20 pounds of their goal weight, before having surgery. You should be at a place where you can easily maintain your goal weight without the yo-yo effect that often comes with dieting fads. Monitoring your diet will guarantee that you are healthy and fit so that recuperation from surgery will be easy and recovery will be quick. In addition to keeping an eye on your weight, you will also want to watch out for foods and drinks that may cause complications with anesthesia, bleeding, immune function and healing. You can also assist with the healing process by ingesting the right nutrients and drinking plenty of water to maintain hydration.
Medical History (Including Psychiatric) – Inform your doctor of important medical issues such as problems with anesthesia, heart problems, sensitivity to infections and all allergies. This helps your surgeon make sure you are safe during your procedure. You will also want to reveal any mental health issues that may affect your surgery or recovery such as stress, anxiety and depression, regardless of whether you are dealing with these issues now or have had them in the past. Stress causes delays in wound healing, a serious problem for plastic surgery patients, as infection becomes more likely and complications arise. Depression and anxiety may cause you to turn to unhealthy behaviors like drinking or smoking, and can also cause insomnia and fatigue, both of which can hamper the healing process. Your doctor will be able to help you or direct you to someone else who can help you manage these issues so they do not become a problem. Having clear expectations and a clear understanding of the process involved with the surgery will help you to decrease your fears.
Exercise Habits – Creating an exercise routine is one of the best things you can do for yourself, before and after surgery. Thirty minutes of regular exercise performed daily can dramatically change your overall health. Your recovery process will go much smoother if you are already somewhat physically fit and have enough stamina to follow the post-op instructions. Keeping up your routine after surgery will also help you to maintain your goal weight and keep your body looking slim and toned.
Smoking/Excessive Alcohol – You have probably heard a lot of information on the side effects of smoking and alcohol. When it comes to surgery, these two substances can really make the difference in having a successful outcome and a complete disaster. The nicotine and carbon dioxide found in cigarettes can decrease blood and oxygen supply to tissue, impairing the healing process and increasing risks during surgery which can lead to serious and maybe even life threatening complications. Alcohol is commonly known as a blood thinner. What you may not know is that it also dilates blood vessels which can cause serious bleeding and swelling during surgery. It can also interfere with anesthesia which can cause serious risks during the operation. Consuming alcohol after surgery can cause problems with pain medication, will prolong healing and will leave you with unsatisfactory results.
Sun Exposure – The sun has many negative effects on the skin and can also increase the amount of swelling, inflammation and bleeding after surgery. The sun causes changes to skin pigmentation which can increase the risk of scarring. If you are having a procedure such as Botox, Juvederm or any type of anti-aging or laser treatments, you must remember that you are treating the damaging effects the sun has already made to your skin. Protecting your skin is very important to the longevity of these treatments. Taking proper precautions such as making sure to stay inside during the hottest part of the day, always wearing sunscreen and staying far away from tanning beds can help to preserve lasting results.