How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery: Bergen County Plastic Surgeon’s Best Prep Tips
Plastic surgery is a major surgery, and a potentially life-changing bodily modification. Additionally, the motivations behind plastic surgeries range from body image issues to work requirements and even spousal preferences.
If you’re on the fence and still unsure whether plastic surgery is right for you, some of our past blog posts may help. We’ve written on topics such as when plastic surgery may not be the solution and dos and don’ts when considering plastic surgery.
Once you’re certain you do in fact want plastic surgery, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the procedure and learn what it entails. Depending on the procedure you want – tummy tuck, breast implants, nose job or others – you’ll find informative articles that go into detail in our Blog section.
Once you’re ready for a consultation, you need to start the preparation process. In this article, Bergen County plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Berlet will take you through the initial prep – i.e., what you need to do before undergoing plastic surgery.
Note that this article should be viewed as a general guide, and not doctor’s orders. Since every patient is different and there are a lot of variable factors involved, it’s impossible to provide medical advice before actually seeing a patient and performing a check-up. So this guide is for general information purposes only.
- Choosing the right doctor
We suggest you don’t limit your search to your city (or even state), but to keep an open mind regarding the location. Spend some time researching different doctors in the radius you deem feasible, and make a list of 4-5 doctors you’d like to meet. Try to talk to people or see reviews on the doctor’s website to determine their customers’ opinions.
Once you’ve narrowed the list down further, book a consultation with at least 2 doctors. This way, you’ll get to compare them against each other, and if by chance you find either of them unsuitable, you’ll have a fall-back option – instead of having to start from zero once again.
If you’re having a hard time deciding, especially if you’re in (or near) Bergen County, plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet is a top-tier option. He’s one of the best in New Jersey, with over 20 years’ experience.
Dr. Berlet performs a wide array of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including facelift, browlift, rhinoplasty, abdominoplasty and liposuction breast lift, breast augmentation and breast reduction, BOTOX®, Restylane® and fat grafting.
- Before the consultation
After researching the best surgeons, it’s time for a consultation. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you head out for the consultation.
Dressing right is very important. Don’t wear anything tight which might make undressing difficult, since the doctor will need to examine the parts of you which you want amended. If you’re going for breast or body procedures, for instance, wear loose clothing which you can remove conveniently. If you want a facial procedure the clothing instructions don’t apply, but avoid wearing heavy makeup.
The doctor may need your medical history, so have that information ready. Make a note to take it with you before you leave home.
When you arrive at the clinic, observe the place and make mental notes. Is the place tidy and organized? Are the staff courteous? If you’re not comfortable with the atmosphere or the staff, that particular clinic may not be the best option. Are you kept waiting for long after your appointment time?
- During the consultation
Anytime you undergo surgery, you put a lot of trust in your surgeon. So observe your doctor carefully, listen to what they say, ask them as many questions as you need to – in short, make sure they are someone you can trust.
Talk to them about your expectations, ask them what options are available, and ask them about risk factors. Sometimes surgeons don’t like to talk about risk factors so the patient doesn’t get undue anxiety, but if the surgeon avoids the subject completely or brushes it off as a non-issue, there’s probably a problem.
Make sure there are no communication gaps, Bergen County plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet advises. If you need to finance the procedure, ask the doctor about your options. A consultation is the best time to ask about this. Don’t be shy – lay the problem out before them plainly, and provide all necessary details so they can understand your problem and help you.
- After the consultation, 3-4 weeks before the surgery
The surgeon will advise you on the proper course of action. (In some cases, that may mean not opting for a plastic surgery at all. Remember that a plastic surgeon is not a beautician, but a medical doctor first and foremost.)
Make a mental note of their instructions during the consultation, and write them down as soon as you get a chance.
Often, surgeons require the patient to undergo a physical some weeks before surgery. Many others ask the patient to stop smoking and drinking, discontinue certain medications and/or eat healthy a couple weeks in advance. This is mostly to aid the recovery process after surgery. You may be prescribed supplements.
Your doctor may also ask you to avoid foods containing salicylates – e.g., alcohol, carbonated drinks, tea, potatoes, almonds, berries etc. Don’t worry, they’ll likely give you a printed list to take with you.
- One or two weeks before the surgery
Often, around this mark, doctors ask patients to stop taking Vitamin E pills. If the surgeon didn’t mention this, you could try calling at their clinic to confirm. Patients are often asked to start Vitamin A and C pills around this time, and stop herbal supplements/alternative medicine that may react with anything else.
In most cases (if not all), says Bergen County plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet, you’ll need to stop taking aspirin a week or two before surgery. Anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant drugs are another major no-no.
When you’re a week away from surgery, reduce your sodium intake to around 1200 mg daily. Even if the surgeon didn’t explicitly mention this, eat healthy. That means lots of fruits and veggies, salads, nuts and other such food. Avoid fried or overly processed food. Drink lots of water daily.
- A couple days before the surgery
Make plans with someone (usually a friend or relative) who can drive you to and from the clinic for the procedure. Also get medical supplies like gauze, peroxide, pills you need to take, and anything you may need in an emergency. If you have pets at home, make sure there’s someone to take care of them.
With major surgery looming up ahead, you may start to get nervous. To relax, arrange your recovery area. In other words, get your room all ready for your recovery period. This includes moving items to easy-to-reach places. If you’re undergoing a breast procedure, make sure any important items aren’t kept up high. You’re to not lift your arms over your head after the surgery.
Stock up on books you’ve been meaning to read, or movies you want to re-watch. You’ll have plenty of time for both during recovery.
Dig out some comfortable old clothes that are a bit worn out, since you’ll want to wear something disposable during recovery. There may be a little bleeding, which could damage clothes.
- The day before the surgery
T minus one! Don’t be nervous; you’re on your way to the body you want. If you’re in the able hands of Dr. Berlet, you’ll be absolutely fine. Get a good night’s rest – you could start one of those books you’ve dug up to get you all relaxed and sleepy. Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight. Patients are asked to fast a few hours before surgery of any kind.
Check once more and make sure you have a ride to and from the clinic.
That more or less covers it all. Once the surgery is over, you’ll need to get lots of rest, take your medicines on time, and eat healthy. Don’t over-strain yourself, and you’ll have a speedy recovery.
If you’re researching surgeons and haven’t decided on one yet, Bergen County plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Berlet is an excellent option. Here’s what some of his patients say about him:
“I just wanted to say thank you for your extreme generosity and unending kindness. You cannot possibly realize how much you and your staff have helped me through what has been a very difficult time. I feel lucky to have placed myself in your care.” – Tracy
“I must tell you how grateful I feel to you for the excellent work you did ‘rehabbing’ my nose after my cancer surgery. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel so lucky to have had you as my doctor. Also, your office staff were all very gracious and Rosa, in particular, knows how to be a kind, caring person.” – Laura