Getting Ready to Go Under the Knife

By First Posted: Dec 26, 2006 Tue 11:30 AM Updated: Dec 7, 2007 Fri 12:25 AM

No one faces surgery, cosmetic or otherwise elective, without some level of anxiety. The idea of going under the knife can be a frightening experience, fraught with questions, doubts, fears and uncertainties. To make it go smoothly, you-ll need to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Fortunately, there are many less invasive techniques with fewer and smaller incisions and faster acting anesthetic agents with fewer side effects available today. More than half of all cosmetic surgeries are done on an outpatient basis, either at a hospital, surgery center or in a doctor-s own accredited operating room. Recovery usually takes place in your own home, so there is less disruption to your lifestyle and schedule.

It is normal to become anxious before undergoing surgery. Even going to the dentist is known to trigger anxiety. Stress causes hormones to be released that in turn result in symptoms like headaches, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, and irritability. The emotional impact of surgery is coupled with the physical nature of the trauma to the body. For some of us, the fear of having anesthesia or losing control is worse than the anxieties about the surgery and the outcome combined.

If you have any medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, or you are over 65, you may require hospitalization overnight. Same-day surgery may not be ideal if you live alone, or if you don-t want to bother family or friends to apply ice compresses and change your dressings.

Ambulatory surgery puts a major burden on your caretaker, and it-s a big favor to ask of a casual acquaintance or a girlfriend.

When getting you ready for surgery, your surgeon and his/her staff should be available to discuss what you are and are not permitted to do before and after surgery in terms of travel, medications, foods, bathing, sex, shopping, etc. You need to know exactly what is expected of you and how to manage any unforeseen symptoms that may arise like excessive bleeding and oozing. Husbands and boyfriends make notoriously bad caretakerswhen in doubt, hire a professional nurse.

You should ask your cosmetic surgeon if you can have a Restylane treatment before surgery. In most cases, having Restylane will not interfere with facial surgery

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