What to do the night before your plastic surgery procedure.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD

Article by
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

I get this question on a daily basis. Most of the preoperative directions are intuitive, but some are not. Here are some general guidelines, but as with all surgical procedures, check with your surgeon for detailed specifics.

Make sure you get plenty of rest, maintain exercise patterns and diminish stress as much as possible.

Patients should not ingest alcohol or use tobacco 2 weeks prior to surgery. Tobacco use is associated with increased risk for major complication for almost all procedures. Alcohol use can interfere with narcotics use for pain control and lead to stomach ulcers and liver problems. Patients should discontinue use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, anticoagulants, vitamin E, multivitamins, fish and flax seed oil, homeopathic remedies, and Alka-Seltzer 2 weeks prior to surgery. These substances have been shown to increase bleeding perioperatively. Arnica montana is believed to reduce postoperative edema and bruising when used in the perioperative period.

On the morning of surgery, patients should refrain from using cosmetics, perfumes, after-shave lotions, colognes, or moisturizers.

On the day of surgery, instruct patients to wear comfortable clothes with a button-down shirt and to bring a scarf and sunglasses.