Plastic surgery involves emotional and physical changes that you should be aware of before and during the decision-making process. The information that you receive will also help to prepare you for your post-operative recovery period.
During the time preceding your surgery, and particularly when you have your pre-operative consultation, Dr. Bukret will encourage you to discuss your expectations and concerns with him in detail. He, in turn, will let you know better what to anticipate from the implications of your particular surgery or surgeries.
Here, we’ll give you some general recommendations so that you’ll be adequately prepared for your surgery and be able to avoid the most common complications that can result from surgery.
Complications and How to Avoid Them
The most common physical complications occur during the first two weeks following your surgery. The chances of occurrence can be minimized or alleviated by paying particular attention to several risk factors:
It’s important that you do not decrease your caloric intake at any time during the two weeks preceding your surgery or the two weeks directly after your procedure is performed. That being said, you may still need to change the type of foods you eat. Proper nutrition is an important and vital part of your recovery process and encourages healing to a great extent.
Dr. Bukret normally recommends a diet rich in protein, with a normal adult caloric intake. He recommends that his patients add multivitamins and antioxidants such as Vitamins A and C to their everyday dietary regimens. He also suggests an iron supplement and recommends that his patients begin this therapy at least three weeks before their surgery.
Good sources of protein include meat, eggs, nuts, whole grains, legumes (such as beans), and dairy products. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also provide high protein levels, as do soy products.
Antioxidants are substances that provide many anti-aging properties and may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in the body created by normal metabolism and by environmental stresses such as cigarette smoke and pollution. Free radicals can cause disease and aging by changing the structure of the body’s cell walls, DNA, and protein, disrupting their important functions. A healthy body has natural defenses to prevent free radicals from damaging the body, and diets high in antioxidants help.
Antioxidants that assist with and speed the healing process include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits (particularly apples and berries) and vegetables, legumes (such as beans), nuts, whole grains, and some meats, poultry, and fish.
The exact amount of water a human need is highly individual, as it depends on the condition of the subject, the amount of physical exercise, and on the environmental temperature and humidity. In the US, the reference daily intake (RDI) for water is 3.7 liters per day for human males older than 18, and 2.7 liters for human females older than 18 including water contained in food, beverages, and drinking water. It is a common misconception that everyone should drink two liters (68 ounces, or about eight 8-oz glasses) of water per day and is not supported by scientific research. For example, people in hotter climates will require greater water intake than those in cooler climates. An individual´s thirst provides a better guide for how much water they require rather than a specific, fixed number. A more flexible guideline is that a normal person should urinate 4 times per day, and the urine should be a light yellow color.
Prevention of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
As a majority of Dr. Bukret´s patients come from the United States or Europe and have long flights to Buenos Aires (in addition to spending time in bed recuperating from their surgeries), he´s particularly concerned with making sure he works with them post-operatively to reduce the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein (usually the legs), and commonly occurs when circulation is compromised in some way, such as when your movement is restricted or you maintain pressure on certain areas (like the buttocks or legs) for an extended period of time. Long flights and extended bed rest increase the incidence of DVT, but there are simple exercises that can prevent it and make the patient’s recovery period and travel home more comfortable.
The Doctor recommends that his pre-operative patients try to take daily walks of at least one hour’s duration. This is particularly important the day before and after their flights, and the day before and after their surgery.
There are basic exercises that a patient can do at any time (including in-flight, or the day after the surgery, if the movement is restricted to such an extent that extended walks are not feasible), such as rotating the feet in a circular pattern, stretching legs, flexing calf muscles and getting up for short walks, if possible, at least once every 30 minutes.
To more accurately assess your physical condition in preparation for your surgery, Dr. Bukret recommends you have an EKG, cardiologic evaluation, and blood test (to include a hemogram; measurement of glycemic, uremic, and creatinine levels; ionogram; and coagulation rate) performed prior to the finalization of your surgical plans. These tests are inexpensive and simple and can be ordered by your General Physician and completed by any lab. (The tests will be repeated in our offices immediately prior to your surgery.)
In such cases where pre-existing medical conditions are present, your physician will be able to specify any other tests he or she deems appropriate.
We ask that you notify Dr. Bukret of any pre-existing medical conditions and forward the results of your tests to us. This will allow Dr. Bukret to begin making informed medical decisions about your operative procedure(s).
In addition, if you have physical or emotional concerns you need Dr. Bukret to address by speaking to your physician or therapist, please feel free to authorize both the Doctor and your practitioner to consult with one another via Skype or email.
If you are currently taking medication(s), consult with your prescribing physician to see if you may have to modify your dosage or change your medication(s) prior to and/or following your surgery.
Surgery, whether elective or mandated, is always something that is going to cause a certain amount of patient anxiety. Anxiety is normal, and many individuals about to undergo operative procedures have questions and concerns that can be dealt with, to a great extent, by talking with Dr. Bukret. Dr. Bukret, in turn, also advises prospective patients to speak to his former patients and discuss their experiences with them. This imparts a personal aspect to the process, helps to reinforce patient decisions, and maintains a vital sense of trust integral to the patient’s relationship with his or her doctor.
Joining an internet community of people who are planning to or have had plastic surgery also provides patients with feedback and support on a wide spectrum. Experiences differ from person to person, but generally, there is a sense of accompanying continuity that assists with allaying hesitation and/or a sense of isolation.
Reading about your surgery and doing research can also help you to understand the process of the procedure or procedures you are planning. Staying informed promotes a sense of empowerment and control that lessens anxiety and fear. In addition, by becoming more aware and knowledgeable of the changes your body and sense of self-image will undergo, you will be better equipped to manage your recovery process.
For those prospective patients with phobias, exceptional apprehension, or other psychological considerations, seeing a therapist or psychiatrist before making final decisions, and during the entire surgical process, can be a progressively productive means of using mental exercises, imagery, and, in some cases, pharmapsychology (medication) in order to better deal with both the immediate and long-range effects your surgery will have on you.
Other Important Measures:
- Follow the Doctor’s instructions
- Do not smoke