There are general complications and risks with all operations and procedures and your surgeon will ensure that you are fully aware of these and the more specific ones relating to your selected operation before you commit to surgery.
To help minimise all these risks, there are a number of positive things you can do and a number of things to avoid. We strongly recommend the following advice.
- Eat a balanced nutritious diet. Let the surgeon know if you are vegetarian. This is quite acceptable but we may suggest some blood tests and perhaps some nutritional supplements.
- Consider a standard vitamin supplement containing iron but only in the recommended doses. Beware of complex food supplements with uncertain contents.
- Take moderate regular exercise. Be fit, feel better and look better.
- Tell your surgeon if you are taking the contraceptive pill or oestrogen supplements before arranging your surgery. These can increase the risks of deep vein thrombosis.
- Be prepared to mobilise quickly after surgery, again to avoid deep vein thrombosis.
- Take tablets or medicines containing aspirin, indomethacin or ginkgo biloba in the two weeks prior to your surgery or afterwards without discussing this in advance. This can result in a considerable increase in bruising and bleeding.
- Plan a overseas holiday just before your operation. Even a modest flight can increase the risks of deep vein thrombosis and there is always the risk of flight delays!
- For similar reasons do not plan a holiday immediately after surgery. We like to have you reasonably close by for a week or two.
- Sunbathe in the days immediately prior to surgery especially if you are having a facial operation. You will be swollen, red and more prone to bleed.
- Smoke. Be honest about this with your surgeon as this can greatly increase the risk of bleeding and skin loss. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that cause spasm in small blood vessels. Even one cigarette, in the early post operative period, can be critical.
- Drink too much alcohol in the days before your operation. A healthy liver means an easier anaesthetic and a quicker recovery.
- Use moisturising lotion or bath oil just before surgery. This interferes with our ability to accurately mark up and plan your operation.