We always hear about what you should and shouldn’t do during the recovery period after a procedure, but no one ever talks about the habits and behaviors to avoid beforehand. If you’re planning a body sculpting or contouring procedure anytime soon, you’ll want to follow your doctor’s orders. According to our experts, there are more than a few things every patient should know ahead of time and a few things to stop doing right away to ensure best results.
Vero Beach, FL plastic surgeon Jimmy Chim, MD says don’t count on all of your fat to be removed on your procedure day. “Liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure,” he stresses. “It is a tool plastic surgeons use to sculpt the body.” Dr. Chim says a diet high in protein is best right before a body-contouring treatment or surgery. “You want a well-balanced, high-protein diet with a good amount of healthy carbohydrates before and after to optimize your results. You will need to undergo a tremendous amount of healing and asking your body to do that without protein is like trying to build a house without bricks.”
Any Type of Smoking
It sounds like a no-brainer, but Pittsburgh, PA plastic surgeon Jeffrey Antimarino, MD shares that even with the known risks of smoking nicotine and vaping, patients still need a reminder to pump the breaks. “Do not smoke, vape, use marijuana, nicotine patches or gum prior to your body-contouring procedure as these can decrease oxygenation at the cellular level which interferes and slows the healing process,” he explains. “It can also produce healing issues which can result in open wounds and skin loss.”
Start Weight Loss Drugs
While they’re definitely having a moment, starting a weight-loss drug without informing your surgeon can affect your end result says Dr. Antimarino. “You do not want to drastically alter your body habits prior to a contouring procedure. You may not be able to maintain the weight loss which may result in less than optimum results due to rebound weight gain,” he explains. Instead, opt for slow weight loss with moderate exercise and healthy eating habits. “It is best to be at a stable weight for three to six months before your evaluation with the plastic surgeon,” he adds.
Use Body Peels or Active Ingredients
For a few days before your procedure, Glen Carbon, IL plastic surgeon Ryan Diederich, MD says to avoid any body-care regimens that include harsh actives, retinoids, chemical peels, and other skin-care products that could interfere with the procedure or with anesthesia’s ability to provide care.
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Blood Thinning OTC Meds
Avoid NSAIDs—aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen—or any other blooding thinning medications at all costs. “Your doctor should review this along with other medications and supplements to avoid,” says Dr. Chim. “Such medications will affect your post-operative bruising, recovery and overall results.”
Exercise the Night Before
“Do not exercise the night before or the morning of your surgery,” adds Dr. Antimarino. “With the increase in cardiac output generated during exercise you may have increased bleeding during surgery.“
Dr. Chim adds that no matter what time of year, avoiding sun before and after any procedure is a good idea. “Since UV rays often times result in inflammation, that can affect your healing and scarring negatively,” he says.
Have a Bun in the Oven
Typically, you want to be done having kids before undergoing a body-contouring procedure, especially a surgical one, says Dr. Diederich as pregnancy will compromise results. An ultimate “big surprise,” says Dr. Dederich is a positive pregnancy test. “Many of us have seen that unexpected positive pregnancy test on the day of surgery,” he explains. “This always makes for an interesting conversation about ‘why we need to cancel your procedure.'”