Planning ahead for patients is a crucial part of any treatment plan. Preparing well for your surgery and knowing what to expect during your recovery are critical parts of the plastic surgery process, and can greatly affect treatment outcomes. Plastic Surgeons of Lexington understands your need for detailed guidance regarding pre and post surgery care. We’ll give you information about medications to avoid, ways to prepare your home, what to expect for recovery, and we even provide post surgery exercise guides produced exclusively for our patients.
It’s important for you to receive clear, unambiguous guidance when you choose to undergo elective surgery. That way, there are no surprises on the day of surgery, and you stay as safe and as comfortable as possible during your recovery. To book a personal consultation with one of our surgical team members, fill out a form on our website or call us directly at (859) 276-3883.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 Planning Your Surgery
- 3 On the Day
- 4 Post-Surgery Care
- 5 Post-Breast Augmentation Workout
- 6 Post-Tummy Tuck Workout
- 7 Cost of Plastic Surgery in Lexington, KY
- 8 References
Before and After Photos
Planning Your Surgery
Preparing Your Body
Getting plastic surgery is a dream for many people. And, if you choose to go ahead with a procedure, you need to follow specific guidance. In the weeks before your surgery, your surgeon will ask you to stop taking certain medications and supplements that could potentially cause trouble during or after your procedure. It is very important you stop taking any medications or supplements that thin the blood, as this increases the likelihood of excessive bleeding during the surgery itself.
Medications to Avoid
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen [Tylenol], naproxen)
- Anti-platelet blood thinning medications (e.g. clopidogrel [Plavix], Ticagrelor [Brilinta])
- Anticoagulant medications (e.g. apixaban [Eliquis], rivaroxaban [Xarelto])
For a full list of medications to avoid, please ask your doctor.
Supplements to Avoid
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Ginkgo biloba
- Green tea
- St. John’s wort
For a full list of supplements to avoid, please ask your doctor.
Why is Stopping Smoking Essential Before Surgery?
Another key safeguard before your surgery is ceasing tobacco use entirely. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine products of any kind contain damaging chemicals that are likely to cause postoperative complications. These include issues with the lungs, breathing, infections, and delayed wound healing. (1) If you smoke, you must stop at least 6 weeks before your planned surgery for your safety. We will be happy to provide you with cessation strategies, should you require it.
One week before surgery:
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Avoid taking cough and cold medications
Preparing Your Environment
- Purchase pillows for elevation and comfort when resting and sleeping.
- Ensure your recovery area has important items close at hand (e.g. phone charger, water bottle).
- Get your prescriptions from the pharmacy a few days before your surgery.
- Get acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief where directed.
- Arrange transportation with a trusted friend or family member to and from surgery.
- Ask a trusted friend or family member to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your surgery.
The better the planning, the more streamlined your surgical experience will be. If you run into any difficulties in the run-up to your surgery, please do not hesitate to contact us.
On the Day
There are a number of practical measures patients should take on the day of their procedure to help both their surgical team, and themselves. These include the following.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
- Brush your teeth (but do not swallow water).
- Shower with antimicrobial soap and shampoo your hair where required.
- Avoid using makeup, moisturizers, perfume, hair products, powders, or deodorant.
- Do not wear contact lenses. You may bring your eyeglasses case to store them during your surgery.
- Don’t bring or wear any valuables (e.g. necklaces, rings, bracelets, metal piercings of any kind).
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. Elasticated waistbands and button-up shirts are advised.
Most major plastic surgeries involve the use of general anesthesia. It’s a combination of medications that put you to sleep so you are unaware of what is happening. It relaxes muscles and alleviates pain for the duration of the procedure. Anesthesia, especially general anesthesia, is a fine balancing act that is heavily dependent on the patient’s body mass index (BMI), medical history, current medications, and if there are any known allergies. At your personal consultation, we may inquire about your medical history. Some health conditions may prevent you from undergoing surgery with general anesthesia, for example, if you or a close family member has a history of malignant hyperthermia (excessive body heating) and/or sensitivity to muscle-relaxing medications. (2)
Standard preparation for a procedure at Plastic Surgeons of Lexington will involve preoperative fasting. This is because any contents in the stomach could be aspirated into the lungs, causing serious complications during the procedure. It is therefore vital that you refrain from eating or drinking anything (even water) after midnight the day before your surgery. Always follow your surgeon’s pre-surgery recommendations.
After your surgery, you will likely be dealing with some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Our goal is to help you as much as we can during this period with practical advice that will enable you to heal well. Once your designated adult has picked you up from our facility, we request that they, or another trusted adult, stay with you for the first 24-48 hours following your procedure for your safety. Your aftercare instructions may include the following.
- Many surgeries, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and abdominoplasty require you to wear a compression garment during your recovery. Follow your procedure-specific instructions regarding how long to wear the garment and when not to wear it.
- If we have prescribed pain medication for your recovery, take it exactly as directed. Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medication, as many common types will make you drowsy. Do not take aspirin or other blood thinning medications.
- Follow your post-operative wound care advice. The advice for specific surgeries may be different. Most importantly, pay close attention to the instructions on how and when to clean your incision sites. If you have a drain and/or your sutures are still in place, do not soak in the bathtub.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking pain medication as known interactions can occur. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol entirely until otherwise directed by your surgeon.
- Continue to avoid smoking until otherwise directed by your surgeon.
- After major plastic surgery, it’s important to get good quality sleep and rest well. However, we advise you to take short walks each day to promote circulation in the treatment area.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay well-hydrated for the duration of your recovery.
- You may expect to experience some anxiousness or low mood after your surgery. This is normal and after around a week, these feelings usually resolve.
Post-Breast Augmentation Workout
Plastic Surgeons of Lexington offers exclusive video exercise guides for patients recovering from plastic surgery. In most cases, strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first few weeks. Everyone is unique. Your healing journey may look different from someone else who has undergone the exact same procedure. As all patients progress at different speeds, it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you. Don’t push yourself too hard to get back into your workout routine, and stop if you are in pain.
2 Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery: Be Gentle
Yes: Gentle cardio, light walking and/or cycling, as tolerated.
Routine (2-3 sets, 10-15 reps):
- Bodyweight Squats
- Bodyweight Lunges
- Banded Adduction (Seated or Standing)
- Gentle Shoulder CARs
Not Yet: Pushing, pulling, upper body work, weights, stretching/holding yourself up.
4 Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery: Light Posture & Core Work
Yes: Light Posture work, 5-10 lb of weights or bodyweight only, core work.
Add to Prior Routine (2-3 sets, 10-15 reps):
- Banded Rows
- Dumbbell Curls
- Tricep Kickbacks
- Glute Bridges
- Dead Bugs (Legs Only)
- Running (If Comfortable)
Not Yet: Pushing, pulling, upper body work, stretching up/reaching overhead.
8 Weeks After Breast Augmentation Surgery: Returning to Normal
Yes: Slow return to normal fitness routine, increase mobility gradually over time.
Caution: Know your limits. Don’t push too hard.
Add to Routine (2-3 sets, 10-15 reps):
- Bent Over Rows
- Overhead Reaching
- Wall Fly
- Running with Support Bra
Post-Tummy Tuck Workout
2 Weeks After Tummy Tuck Surgery: Be Gentle
Yes: Gentle activities only, 15-20 minute sessions as tolerated.
- Light Walking
- Light Cycling
Not Yet: Straining, lifting over 10 lb, heavy pushing or pulling.
4 Weeks After Tummy Tuck Surgery: Increase Mobility
Yes: Gentle cycling and walking, 15-30 minutes of movement.
Add to Routine (2-3 sets, 10-15 reps):
- Box Squats/Chair Squats
- Step-Back Lunges
- Banded Rows for Upper Back
- Banded Adductions (Seated or Standing)
- Bicep Curls (<10 lb Only to Start)
8 Weeks After Tummy Tuck Surgery: Core Focus
Yes: Slow return to normal fitness routine, work on core strength.
Caution: know your limits, don’t push too hard.
Add to Routine (2-3 sets, 10-15 reps):
- Dead Bugs
- 8 Point Plank (Hands, Elbows, Knees, Toes)
Cost of Plastic Surgery in Lexington, KY
Read more about procedures at Plastic Surgeons of Lexington by reading our blog!
- Theadom, A. (2006). Effects of preoperative smoking cessation on the incidence and risk of intraoperative and postoperative complications in adult smokers: a systematic review. Tobacco Control, 15(5), 352–358. https://doi.org/10.1136/tc.2005.015263
- Guerin Smith, & Goldman, J. (2019, May 4). General Anesthesia for Surgeons. Nih.gov; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493199/