Preparing For Outpatient Surgery

Preparing for outpatient surgery goes beyond following you surgeon’s medical instructions. The success of your recovery depends, to a certain degree, on how well you plan for recuperation. Outpatient surgery generally allows for time to plan ahead. It’s important to find out what specific limitations you might experience after surgery and for how long. With that information, you may want to:

Consider what changes you might need to make in your home-For example, if you will have a difficult time climbing stairs and your bedroom is upstairs, you may want to rearrange your home accordingly.

Prepare food ahead-You may want to cook several meals ahead of time and freeze them. Or, you may prefer stocking up on nutritious, ready-to-cook meals. Remember, a low sodium diet would be ideal during your healing period.

Diet Suggestions following surgery:

Day 1: Replenish fluids, low sodium soups, oatmeal, Jell-O, pudding, applesauce, etc.

Day 2: Soups (homemade vegetable or lentil soups are nutritious and delicious), eggs, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, turkey or meatloaf, etc. Check the sodium content. Foods that are greasy or spicy are not a good choice following surgery.

Day 3: Resume a normal diet while continuing with low sodium intake.

Consider what help you might need at home-Plan to have someone drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours following surgery. Beyond that, you may want to make arrangements with family or friends to help with your return visits, as you may not be up to driving confidently for the first several days after surgery.

Two Weeks Before your Surgery:

  • See your surgeon for pre-operative appointment.
  • Schedule appointment for haircut or color. It is not recommended to have chemicals on the scalp 5-7 days prior to surgery.
  • Review “Your Comfort Station at Home” and begin a list of the necessary items.
  • Make arrangements for aftercare, rides to office, etc.
  • It is very important to stop taking aspirin and all aspirin containing products (such as Excedrin, Bayer, Aleve, Advil, etc). If you are unsure about the product, please check with your pharmacist.
  • Discontinue the use of Vitamin E , fish oils and Green Tea.
  • You may resume your blood thinning products 2 weeks following surgery.

Last Minute Details:

  • Leading up to your surgery, take good care of yourself and try to get adequate rest. Contact your doctor if you develop a sore throat, fever, cold sores, or respiratory problems.
  • Begin taking the prescribed medications and supplements as directed by your doctor. Some medications may need to be started two weeks prior to the surgery. A natural fiber supplement should be added to the diet at least 2 days prior to surgery. Discontinue the use of ibuprofen 14 days prior to surgery.

The Night Before Surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight; not even a sip of water.
  • Expect a call from the anesthesiologist.

The Morning of Surgery:

  • You may be advised to take your regular medications with just a sip of water the morning of surgery. You should bring along a list of your medications and their dosages, as well as enough for that day. You may also be advised to bring along the prescriptions given to you during the pre-operative appointment.
  • If your surgery is scheduled first thing in the morning, arrive at 8:00 AM. Please use the entrance to our surgery center, which is 100C. The staff will be ready for you. If you are running late, the surgical staff may be reached at (949) 276-4141 ext. 2004.
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing. Do not wear anything that pulls over your head. Wear slip on shoes with a low heal. Bring along a pair of socks.
  • Do not wear make-up. Skin tone changes provide important information for the anesthesia team. Leave all valuables at home, such as purse or wallet. Remove all jewelry. Contact lenses should not be worn. Bring along reading glasses if necessary.

Post-Operative Instructions:

  • The evening post-surgery, patients should be resting. Up for use of the restroom only. The second day following surgery, patients should be up, walking and attempting to be more self-sufficient. Drinking fluids and taking deep breaths with good lung expansion is also necessary during this time. Avoid bending, lifting or straining.
  • Once home, have something to eat. A bland diet is recommended.
  • Sleeping or resting with your head elevated above your heart will help to reduce the swelling of the face. Two pillows will provide the proper elevation.
  • Baths and showers are fine after surgery. The water temperature should be warm, not too hot. Please keep the head dressing dry.
  • You may resume driving on the 5th or 6th day after the head dressing has been removed and if you are not taking pain medication. Long distances are not recommended.
  • Make-up suggestions along with an ongoing skin care regimen will be discussed with you by our medical estheticians on the 10th to 14th post-operative day visit.
  • All sports, weight lifting, tennis, aerobics, golf, etc. must be avoided for 3-4 weeks unless otherwise by your doctor.
  • Hair coloring and weaves need to be done 1 week prior to surgery or 3-4 weeks after surgery. Use caution with hairdryers & curling irons for 1 month. You may experience numbness on the face, scalp and other areas around the hairline during the first several weeks after surgery.