With liposuction, everybody thinks about the end result. A thinner waist, thinner thighs, and the elimination of fat pockets exercise and diet haven’t been able to penetrate. And yet, what a lot of would-be patients don’t know about is preparation for liposuction. According to the experts, getting ready for surgery is almost as important as the procedure itself!
Sure, the final result is the focus of almost any action. The touchdown. The signed business deal. The first steps your baby takes. How you look after you get liposuction. By thinking this way, however – concentrating on the end result – people make a mistake by not seeing what, how and why the final action was so successful. Certainly, this holds true for plastic surgery and elective surgeries such as liposuction.
A Great Preparation
Ask any professional who excels at work and she or he will tell you, “Don’t bank on luck. Be better prepared than your competition.” Elective plastic surgery doesn’t have ‘competition’ per say, but being prepped well is one of the most important ingredients that surgeons and patients bring to the operating room.
Prepping for an excellent surgical outcome includes:
- Consult with surgeon for joint vision of final results
- Pre and post-op nutritional plan
- Short and long-term expectations (one-year and five-year goals)
- Workout restriction before and after surgery
- Pain medication plan (if necessary)
- Pre-surgery nicotine cessation strategy
Short-term Results are Important, but the Secret to Success may be found Later
“Of course patients want to know what the results will be right after surgery,” says Dr. Craig Colville, a board certified plastic surgeon in Toledo, OH. “But I look at success on a much larger, global basis.”
“A plan may involve things that are not really on the table for today,” Dr. Colville tells The Plastic Surgery Channel. “They may involve things for the future. A plan is important and it really starts by listening to the patient and what their concerns are. Then it would move to an exam of the patient and then move on to making a record. And all this happens before we get anywhere near the operating room.
“I want them to think about now, but I always want them to think about next fall, next year and five years down the road,” Colville says.
One Surgeon’s Not-So-Secret Suggestion: Watch Your Weight
Stafford Broumand, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon in New York City, says the secret to successful liposuction is to avoid sabotaging surgical success by gaining weight before and/or after your operation.
“What we tell are patients is, ‘Don’t gain weight!’ We’ll put you on a regimen, a complete regimen,” explains Broumand. “It’s not just a one-shot deal. It’s not just coming in for liposuction. When patients come into my office we want to know what their diet regimen is, we want to help them with a dietician. We have a chef who helps them. We want them on an exercise regimen. Set them up with a trainer. So we’re trying to complete the package for them. Then, if they have problematic areas, we can take care of that with liposuction.”
Many Success Secrets Focus on Common Sense
Avoiding smoking is a given anyway, but alcohol and even heavy exercise should be avoided in the days leading up to surgery. Great nutrition will be what takes patients into the best surgery possible, and helps guide them afterwards to the best results possible.
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter of Seattle says while these essential issues are often talked about in our normal lives, we don’t concentrate as much as we should about their importance for surgical success.
“Patients who work out regularly, they need to give themselves at least two days before surgery to let the muscles recover. Because then you’re going to need to rest for awhile while you’re not working out,” shares Baxter. “We don’t want you using alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery. And then, of course, during recovery when you might be taking pain mediations, we don’t want you to combine those.
“No nicotine exposure for two weeks before if that’s what your plastic surgeon has advised. Nutrition is important. There are some supplements, some vitamins that might help with healing. Vitamin C. Vitamin B5. There’s some evidence that if you eat a low-fat diet a week or two before surgery, that reduces inflammation and makes the healing go more quickly. But be really careful with supplements. Some of them can interfere with anesthesia, they can interfere with pain medication. They can interfere with blood clotting. Something patients need to plan for is what they’re going to eat after surgery. You’re going to want comfort food but you want to keep in mind good nutrition. You need to make sure you’re getting fresh fruits and vegetables. And you need to get fresh fiber.”
The Secret to Liposuction Illustrates the Importance of Teamwork
Yes, your surgeon’s qualifications and experience performing liposuction are critical factors behind the success, but every plastic surgeon will say they can’t do it alone. “My patients know they have a big stake in contributing to the end result, the success, of liposuction or other electric plastic surgery will be,” Dr. Baxter adds.