Pre op do’s and don’ts

You’ve got past the most difficult part – you’ve decided which cosmetic surgery you’re having, and you’ve decided which clinic to go to. Your surgery is all booked and you’re ready to go. However, there are important things you should do and avoid doing before your big day in order to avoid any complications and have the smoothest procedure and recovery period possible.

Pre op do’s and don’ts


Remember to arrange transportation

This is particularly important if you are having a procedure under a general anaesthetic, as you will not be able to drive yourself home, and getting public transport alone may not be suitable. If you are having a general anaesthetic and do not have someone to take you home on the day, your procedure may be cancelled. So it is important to ensure you have arranged for a family member or a friend to pick you up from the clinic on the day of your procedure. Make sure they know the time your procedure is scheduled to finish, and they have the contact details of the clinic.

Alternatively, Centre for Surgery offers a chauffeur service, where we are able to arrange for transportation for you so you are able to return home.

Depending on your procedure, you may also need a responsible adult to accompany you for the first 24 hours, as you may have difficulty moving around, handling children or getting dressed and undressed.

Make sure you have no unanswered questions

Understandably, you may be nervous before the day of your procedure. You would have attended a consultation with your surgeon, who would have been able to answer all your questions about your particular procedure. However, if you are still feeling nervous, make sure you call a patient consultant or the surgeon. If you are with a good clinic, the patient consultants will be more than glad to reassure you and answer your questions, or book another consultation with your surgeon if need be.

Know what to expect from the recovery period

Have you booked the right amount of time off work? There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for the recovery period and having to return back to work the following day. If you have had a procedure with a general anaesthetic, you will generally need some time off work, where you will need to rest and avoid any strenuous exercise. If you can’t lift heavy things and you have children, you will also need to consider whether or not you need childcare or another adult to look after the children.

Wear loose, comfortable, dark clothing

Following your procedure, you are going to want to be as comfortable as possible, and nothing is more uncomfortable than tight, restrictive clothing. This type of clothing may be difficult to get back on, especially if you cannot move your arms, legs or neck in certain positions. We suggest wearing loose, comfortable clothing to avoid any difficulties when getting dressed and experiencing any discomfort. It is also recommended that you wear dark clothing in case you have any drains still in place, so any marks or stains will not be noticeable on your light clothing.

Remember the information given in your pre-op assessment

Prior to having a surgery, you will undertake a pre-op assessment. This will cover your medical history and help to determine whether or not you are eligible for the procedure. If you do have any other medical problems, or are currently taking any medication, herbal supplements or vitamins, you will have to let the patient consultant or surgeon know, as this may have an impact on the surgery. In some cases, you will need to undertake a blood test or get a letter from your GP or specialist doctor saying you are ok to go ahead with the cosmetic procedure.

During the pre-op assessment, you will be given some important information. This will include whether or not you will have to stop any medications, how long you will have to fast prior to the surgery, and what you will need to bring to the clinic on the day of the surgery.


Forget to cancel or reschedule

Have you changed your mind about the procedure, or can’t go ahead on that particular day and need to change the date? Don’t forget to give the clinic plenty of notice. Many clinics will have policies in place, which mean you may lose money if you forget to cancel or rearrange your surgery or consultation within a certain timeframe. This is in place because the clinic will have booked a surgeon and potentially an anaesthetist, whose time will be wasted if patients do not show up. If for any reason you need to cancel or alter your consultation or surgery, make sure to give the clinic plenty of notice.


It may not seem like it, but smoking can have a big impact on both the procedure and the recovery period.

Smoking has various negative effects on the body. Smoking can narrow your blood vessels, making the passage of oxygen more difficult. It can cause the blood to thicken, meaning it will not flow as easily, and wounds may take longer to heal. Smoking can make it harder for the body to fight off infection and increases the risk of an infection occurring post-surgery.

Because of this, it is recommended that if you are a smoker that you stop smoking at least two weeks prior to your surgery. You will also need to stop smoking throughout the recovery period. Tests can be done to ensure patients are not smoking, and the procedure may be cancelled if the patient has not stopped smoking, and the surgeon may deem the procedure too risky.

Bring jewellery or valuables to the clinic

You will have to take off any jewellery and metal piercings prior to the procedure. It is recommended that you do not wear any jewellery on the day of your procedure. Any worn jewellery will need to be removed and stored in your bags, along with any other valuables. To avoid any valuables going missing, it is best to just leave them at home.

Wear makeup or nail polish

You don’t need to look fancy on the day of your procedure. Make sure you don’t wear any makeup, and if you have any nail polish or varnish on, make sure you remove this before your procedure.

Eat within six hours of your surgery

Prior to surgery, you will need to avoid food for a certain amount of time, which is generally six hours. If you do have food in your system, you may experience nausea or vomiting after the procedure. You will also have to avoid drinking water for two hours prior to surgery. If you are on any medications, your doctor will advise whether or not you will need to stop taking them. Some blood thinners or herbal medications will need to stop being taken.

If you have any medical conditions, such as diabetes, it is important to tell your surgeon, as fasting may cause problems.

Drink alcohol

During the fasting period, you will have to ensure you do not drink any alcohol. During the recovery period, you will be able to drink alcohol, however, you may want to go easy on the amount of alcohol, as it can dehydrate you, which may affect the healing process.

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