Lipo surgery ranges from minor to major surgery depending on what area of your body is involved and how much fat is being removed. However, even a little bit of lipoplasty requires preparation to ensure your procedure goes as well as possible. You should also plan in advance for your recovery period to make sure you have everything you need. Here are some tips that may help you prepare for lipo surgery:
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, and it does not prevent future weight gain. This means you should be maintaining your weight at or near the level you consider ideal before you go in for liposuction. Otherwise, you could see your surgical results erased in a few months when your weight cycles up again. Fortunately, activities like eating a nutritious diet and getting plenty of exercise that lead to healthy, stable weight loss are also those that make your body ready for a smooth recovery after lipo.
Smoking is one of the primary reasons for liposuction surgery complications. When you smoke, you are depriving your tissues of oxygen. The effects of smoking delay wound healing and increase your chances of tissue death and excessive scarring. It’s best to quit smoking permanently. But you should at least stop well in advance of your procedure and only start up again once you are healed.
There is a whole laundry list of prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that can cause problems during lipo surgery. These include drugs that:
- Inhibit blood clotting
- Cause too much blood clotting
- Interfere with anesthesia
If you are on prescription medications that are contraindicated during liposuction, your cosmetic surgeon and your doctor can discuss the safest option. This may involve taking you off the medication temporarily or taking extra precautions against side effects during surgery. Don’t stop taking your prescription medications unless you are advised to do so by your surgeon.
Your plastic surgeon should give you a list of the supplies you will need to prepare for lipo surgery and to keep on hand during your recovery. You may be instructed to purchase wound care items such as:
- Cold packs
- Topical antibiotic ointment
- Pain medications
- Laxatives (to counteract the constipating effect of painkillers)
- Moisturizer or scar reduction cream for incision sites
Prepare Your “Nest”
Of course, you will need to take good care of both your body and mind during liposuction recovery. This means you should have everything you want within easy reach of your bed or couch (wherever you plan to spend most of your recovery time). This may include:
- Ready-to-eat snacks (put some meals in the freezer too)
- Plenty of water and other (non-alcoholic!) beverages
- Remote control
- Laptop, books, magazines, Kindle, iPod, Xbox, etc.
- Cell phone (turn it off when you need to sleep)
- Old towels or blankets that you don’t mind getting stained as your incision sites drain
- Kleenex and soft cleansing wipes
- Heating pad for your back
Your surgeon may ask you to buy a particular brand of antibacterial soap to bathe with for a few days before your procedure. This kills off staph bacteria on your skin and reduces the risk of infection. Your surgeon will give you helpful tips on what to wear to your surgery (loose clothing you can easily get on and off). You will want to make sure your hair is clean since you might not be able to wash it again for a while. Be sure to follow all instructions about when to stop eating since you will be under anesthesia. Remove nail polish from your fingers and toes so the anesthesiologist can easily see your nail beds. This is one way they monitor your oxygen levels during lipo surgery. Have the person who is driving you home carry any items you will need. That way, you don’t have to worry about leaving something at the hospital or surgical center.