In a world where plastic surgery may be your ticket to a more fulfilling life, some women feel uneasy to talk about the risks of going under the knife. While these feelings are normal, they won’t help you work with your surgeon to minimize complications and help ensure a safe surgery. In other words, when considering a cosmetic procedure, your past medical history can make a difference. It’s vital that patients be upfront about any medications or supplements they are taking, and lifestyles habits such as smoking, drinking, and past medical conditions. Omitting this vital information can be risky and lead to severe complications depending on the patient’s medical history.
Although vitamins and supplements offer fantastic health benefits, they may not be such a good idea when combined with other drugs. For example, vitamin E, fish oil, and ginkgo biloba can act as blood thinners, which can be very unsafe during surgery. Likewise, St. John’s Wort can have harmful effects when combined with certain medications, also affecting the digestive tract, heart rate, and other functions. Patients considering a cosmetic procedure may discontinue these medications as recommended by the surgeon two weeks before surgery and two weeks after.
Some patients may be so accustomed to taking their vitamins that they don’t give it much thought when filling out medical forms during their initial consultation. It is crucial patients keep these things in mind and make sure they list all the vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter pills like Advil that they are taking whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This list together with the patient’s medical records will allow the surgeon and surgical team to provide the best possible care.
Smokers may face more complications after surgery than nonsmokers with a 40% higher risk of death, 57% of smokers are more prone to cardiac arrest, 80% of smokers are more likely to have a heart attack, and 73% are more likely to have a stroke, according to an article published in WebMD. Additionally, nicotine may not respond well to anesthesia, slow down the recovery process, and increase scarring. Heavy smokers can lose blood supply to the extremities anywhere in their body, a risk that most patients don’t want to take. While the risks are much less for casual smokers and patients exposed to secondhand smoking, all patients are advised to avoid nicotine for some time.
Alcohol affects coagulation and blood thinners, which can create complications during surgery and slow down recovery. Some complications include increased swelling, bruising, and delayed healing. Heavy drinkers may experience other complications such as excessive bleeding, impaired heart and lung functions, and infections after surgery. Alcohol can also have harmful interactions with prescription medications. Patients should abstain from alcohol for at least two weeks before surgery to promote a prompt and effective recovery.
There are other factors in a patient's life that may impact his or her health. That’s why it is essential you bring these things up during your initial consultation at Jolie Plastic Surgery. Lifestyle factors such as weight fluctuations, sleep disorders, and unhealthy coping mechanisms should be addressed before surgery as they may impact the surgical outcome and recovery. As you get ready for surgery, a throughout review of your medical history will help your surgeon guide you through the whole process and help you prepare for your big day!
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