Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Is there anything I should take to my consultation?
Many people find it useful to bring a list of written questions. That way you can be sure of not forgetting anything. It may also be helpful to bring photographs of yourself at the time you were most satisfied with your appearance. It is a good idea to discuss any current medications you may be taking and inform your surgeon of any allergies.
What if I still have questions after my consultation?
After your consultation you should receive a letter from the surgeon summarising what the two of you discussed during your consultation. If you find you still have questions or concerns, do get back in touch with the surgeon.
• Avoid using aspirin for at least a week before your procedure, as aspirin thins the blood and can lead to excessive bleeding and bruising. It is also advisable to try to avoid using non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications such as Nurofen® in the week before your surgery.There are several things you should know.
• Avoid drinking alcohol during this period as well, as it can have the same blood thinning effect as aspirin.
• Unless told otherwise do not eat or drink for 8 hours before your surgery.
• Arrange for someone to accompany you home after surgery – even if your procedure is being performed as a day case. In addition, most anaesthesia requires that someone stay with you the night after you are released.
• Be sure to list any and all allergies you may have and take the list with you on the day of your surgery. It is also helpful to have a list of any questions you would like to have answered before your surgery.
• If you are having a procedure like liposuction, tummy tuck or thigh lift that requires you to use a surgical garment after your operation you should measure the treatment area and take the measurements with you. This will help to get a more accurate fit. Be careful not to use undue tension when you measure.
Should I continue to take my prescribed medications in the days before my surgery?
In most cases it is important to continue taking your medications up to and including the day of your surgery. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, so it’s important to tell the surgeon about any and all medications you are taking or have used recently.
What should I do if I develop a skin infection before my surgery?
If you notice a significant infection, particularly in the area that is due to be operated on you should inform your surgeon. A course of antibiotics may be required to control the infection and your surgery may have to be delayed. Herpes infections can be particularly problematic. It is important that you avoid coming in for surgery if you have an active herpes infection near the operation site.
What should I do if I wear contact lenses?
For your safety, contact lenses should be removed before surgery. Please tell the ward staff and your medical team if you wear contact lenses.
Can I bring a partner, friend or parent to be with me?
Please ask the staff. It is usually possible for someone to accompany you. In the case of a general anaesthetic he or she may be allowed to stay until you are asleep.
How soon after my operation will I be allowed to get up?
That depends on the kind of surgery and anaesthetic you have had. Your team of nurses will let you know what to expect.
Will I have to take medication after my surgery?
Painkillers and antibiotics are often prescribed after surgery. Please check to make sure you are not allergic to medication that may have been prescribed. Even if your pain is only moderate, using your pain relief medication will make your overall experience considerably more comfortable.
What should I do if I have a problem outside of normal office hours?
After surgery, you should be given a contact number to call if you have an out of hours emergency. During business hours you should contact your surgeon’s office.
Will I need to wear compression stockings?
Surgical procedures that take more than an hour carry a risk of blood clot formation (deep vein thrombosis). Being up and about after surgery helps avoid this, as does wearing compression stockings. Whilst in hospital you should be given compression stockings and it is useful to continue wearing them for a few days after your surgery. This is particularly true if your journey home will take more than one hour. Please discuss this in detail with your surgeon or the nursing staff.
Will I need to wear a surgical garment?
After some surgical procedures tight fitting surgical garments are used to help reduce bruising and remove excess water from the tissues. However, if they are excessively tight or create folds over your skin they can cause problems. If you feel your garment is either too tight or too loose, please contact the practice.
Will I have to eat a special diet after my surgery?
After certain operations such as facelift with neck lift, chin augmentation or buccal fat reduction, you will be advised to avoid all food that needs chewing for the first week. Your diet will be based on things like soup, mashed potatoes, yoghurt, creamed vegetables and liquids. You should be able to brush your teeth normally, with a soft toothbrush. It is also advisable to use a soft toothbrush and rinse with mouthwash between 2 and 4 times daily.
When can I get back to my normal activities?
This depends on the surgery you have had. Everyone heals at a different rate, so talk to your team about which activities you should avoid and for how long. As a general rule, you’ll be advised to avoid exercise for the first 2 weeks after surgery. With breast surgery you should be advised to avoid most exercise for 3 weeks and in the case of swimming for 4 weeks. Once this period is over, you should be able to resume your normal activities gradually. After 6 weeks post surgery you should be back to your normal level of exercise. This does not mean, however, that the operation site is fully settled or that the final result is achieved, but normal exercise should not cause any problems.
Would it be all right to recuperate away from home?
It is important to consider the level of medical care available in the place where you would like to convalesce. Please remember that it is possible to encounter small problems such as bleeding or infection not only in the first few days after surgery but also in the first few weeks. It is therefore advisable to stay somewhere where possible complications can be dealt with.
Is it safe to fly after my surgery?
Generally speaking, it takes approximately one month for the body to restore its normal clotting. During this time it is better to avoid flying. As there is not enough information regarding the risk of deep vein thrombosis after these operations, it is advisable for your safety to assume that the risk of clots forming in the deep veins is higher in the first 4 weeks after surgery. In addition, it is better to avoid longer flights.
When you do fly the use of compression stockings can help, as can in-flight exercises and the intake of fluids. After the first 2 weeks following your surgery you may also use aspirin before a flight to thin the blood and reduce the risk of clots.
May I wash the area where I’ve had surgery?
Please ask your surgeon or nurse. In most instances it is possible to wash gently, including washing over the operation site. However, some dressings should not be exposed to moisture, in which case you should try to wash around them with a wet sponge or cloth.
Will I have bruises in the area where my surgery was done?
Bruising is an inevitable consequence of most surgical procedures. In these cases arnica cream may help. Alternatively, ask your surgeon for advice.
What if I am not happy with the results of my surgery or have a complaint?
If you are not happy with the way in which your clinic, hospital or surgeon has dealt with your concerns then you may wish to take the matter further. Hospitals, clinics and salons providing invasive cosmetic surgery and laser services must be registered with the Healthcare Commission. The Healthcare Commission can take action against a hospital, clinic or salon if they think the establishment breaches the standards it should meet.
Write to The Healthcare Commission, Finsbury Tower, 103-105 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TG, or call 0845 6013012. For more information click here (Department of Health link - www.dh.gov.uk)
Can I be sure my privacy will be protected?
Any clinic should adhere to the guidelines of the Data Protection Act and has an obligation to ensure that your health records are maintained efficiently and your confidentiality is protected. You have a right to view your medical records.