Breast augmentation is one of the most satisfying procedures for patients, but many patients are understandably concerned about having elective surgery. Proper preparation will help to ensure efficient healing and a quick return to a regular daily routine. During the pre-operative consultation, I provide specific instructions and tips to help patients prepare for their procedure. It is important that patients follow these instructions closely in order to achieve the best possible result and minimize surgical risks.
Patients are instructed to avoid consumption of certain substances in order to ensure efficient healing after the operation. Most common substances to be avoided are nicotine and alcohol. Alcohol should be avoided for a day or two because it is dehydrating and will dilate blood vessels which may lead to excessive bleeding after surgery. Nicotine, on the other hand, will hinder recovery by obstructing blood flow to areas that need oxygen carried by the blood in order to heal properly. In extreme cases, healing may be delayed resulting in increased scarring. Fortunately, this is a rare event, but cutting down or quitting cigarette smoking is always a sensible precaution before any surgery.
The list of substances to be avoided prior to breast enlargement also includes some over-the-counter medications. Typically, any medication that interferes with coagulation of blood can lead to excessive bleeding and should not be taken for a period of at least two weeks prior to a breast augmentation. Medications containing aspirin (ASA) are in this category. I also recommend that any herbal supplements be stopped two weeks before surgery. Though most are harmless, there is always the possibility of an untoward reaction with anesthetic drugs which is best avoided.