Cosmetic or Aesthetic surgery is elective surgery. It is a choice of free will to undergo a procedure to improve your appearance; therefore it should be as risk free as possible.
While your surgeon is trained to reduce these risks as much as possible, you as well play an important role in keeping the level of risk as low as possible.
Some medication influences the ability of your blood to cloth. As it is important that this ability is unimpaired in order to have uncomplicated healing, you should be aware that this medication could be of harm to you during and after an operation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Burfen, Ibuprofen and Nurofen should therefore be stopped two weeks before the operation, until two weeks after the procedure. In case of doubt concerning the safeness of your current medication with regards to the operation, please ask us before the operation.
Smoking has an adverse effect on the level of blood circulation through the skin. The level of oxygen that is transported through the skin is markedly decreased while smoking, while in the long term smoking causes irreversible narrowing of blood vessels. It is obvious that this causes an increased risk for wound healing after surgery. If you are a smoker you are requested to stop smoking two weeks before, until at least one week after surgery.
Alcohol has a dilating effect on blood vessels, which means that they relax and become wider. The result is a higher risk of postoperative bruising. It is therefore wise to refrain from drinking alcohol in the period surrounding the operation.
The risks of both under as well as overweight have been widely publicised in recent years. The so called “Body Mass Index” (BMI) sets your weight off against your height, and the resulting number is used as a guideline for what is regarded as a normal range of weight:
- BMI < 20 : underweight
- BMI between 20 and 25 : normal weight
- BMI > 25 : overweight
- BMI > 30 : obese
Both under as well as overweight can cause serious health problems and may negatively interfere with your surgery. You are therefore strongly advised to achieve and maintain a BMI between 20 and 30.
Just like medication, some dietary supplements are known for being able to cause problems in the period surrounding an operation. Vitamine E for instance, interferes with the blood clothing mechanism, and supplements containing Vitamine E should be avoided. Trying to loose weight too fast can disturb the energy balance in the body. It is wise therefore to have a stable weight for at least a few months leading up to the operation.
Being (reasonably) fit is always a good thing. Since the body needs to recuperate from whatever surgical procedure that is performed, being fit helps to recover faster and with possibly less risk of complications. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will be of benefit during the healing process.
It is unwise to decide on changing your appearance in times of elevated stress in your life. Major life events, like a divorce for instance, often interfere with the way you normally weigh alternatives and take decisions. It may lead to you deciding for surgery for reasons you would normally not consider, and should therefore be avoided.
The results of aesthetic surgery may have a profound impact on the way you perceive yourself. While usually this is a welcome benefit of the treatment, occasionally it can lead to unexpected stress. A healthy mental status helps in preventing this unneeded emotion from occurring.