Any operations make you nervous and worried about what might go wrong. However cosmetic surgery, like all surgery has a clear routine and process to ensure excellent results and no problems.
Before your operation
Your surgeon will ask you some general medical questions as well as specific ones relating to your operation. He or she may check your blood pressure and organise other tests if needed such as blood tests, X-rays and ECG (EKG).
Day of your operation
Before your operation, you’ll receive clear details of when to arrive and what to do. If you’re having a general anaesthetic you’ll be seen on arrival at the hospital by an anaesthetist (anaesthesiologist). He or she will ask a few questions and explain how you’ll go to sleep and wake up.
Normally you have nothing to eat for 6 hours and nothing to drink for 2 hours before surgery. This is thought to minimise the risk of you being sick after the operation.
Your surgeon will see you before your operation and mark where he/she will be making the skin incisions and explain to you again what the plan is and get your consent.
You’ll have a small needle placed in a vein, usually on the back of your hand and injections to relax you and send you off to sleep. The intravenous anaesthetic works in less than 10 seconds, is very smooth and causes you minimal upset.
During your operation, you receive painkillers so you wake up as comfortable as possible. Your blood pressure, pulse, ECG and oxygen in your blood are measured to ensure your safety.
After the Anaesthetic
When you wake up after your operation you’ll be a bit groggy but soon recover. You’ll have an oxygen mask until you’re fully awake. If you have any pain intravenous morphine or similar drugs can be given.
How you feel in the first few hours partly depends on the operation. For example, after a facelift or nose job, your face is swollen and sore and covered with bandages making eating and drinking tricky.
Most people feel groggy for 24 to 48 hours after an anaesthetic. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Avoid cooking or making hot drinks, as your hand-eye coordination may not be as good as usual.
When you’re discharged and sent home the real recovery starts. Look after yourself by eating healthily and trying if possible to let other people look after you for a couple of weeks.
Any stitches you have usually need removing after 5 – 10 days, but don’t worry, your surgeon will give you clear instructions about that. You’ll be bruised for a week or two and quite possibly swollen for longer. This is all part of the bodies healing process.
If you have pain take your painkillers as there is no need to suffer. Usually after a week or so your pain is minimal.
Overall for the best results listen to your surgeon, eat healthily and give yourself time to heal after your operation.