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How Can I Prepare my Body/Skin for Surgery?

I'm scheduled for lower face/neck lift & breast implant revision in 4 wks. I'm in good physical health & have good skin quality, but I want to know if there is anything I can do to make sure my skin is in great shape for surgery & my body is healthy. I heard Arnica, Vit K, taking a multi-vit 2x a day can help. Can you provide any dietary, exercise, skin care recommendations?

Doctor Answers 17

Preparation for a facelift

The most important things you can do are to clear your schedule for 2 weeks so there is no pressure on you to perform for anyone, get your food stocked, home cleaned, and bills paid.  Keep all negative people AWAY from you.  Avoid all meds and vits and herbals that make you bleed for 2 weeks before and after surgery.

And most of all, pick the right doctor - this is YOUR FACE!! 

Good luck!

Preparing skin for surgery

Hi Flower 2010,

I agree with taking Bromelin, Arnica and vitamin C as well as the advice about what to avoid.  Preparation of your facial skin can be done with the Obagi system as described or another regimen that your doctor prefers.  For body surgery, I recommend that my patients, especially those undergoing augmentation, start using Bio-oil ( or Nudo extra virgin olive ( to try and avoid stretch marks.  Start several weeks prior to surgery.  For patients with olive or more pigmented complexions, we are at risk of hyperpigmented scars, and I start them on hydroquinone cream several weeks prior to surgery to try and minimize chance of hyperpigmentation.  Hope this helps and good luck with your surgery.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Preparing For Body Contouring Surgery

You should have specific instructions from your plastic surgeon on the pre-operative management, pre-operative vitamins and supplements to take and medications to stop taking prior to surgery. If you do not have this, this may be a red flag that you are seeing a plastic surgeon who is truly prepared to do your operative procedure.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Pre-op preparation

As long as you are in good health, don’t smoke, and eat a relatively healthy diet, there are no special preparations other than following the instructions provided by your surgeon

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Facelift preparation

Every doctor has a differnt preoperative regimen for thier patients and you should folllow yours. I prefer  that patients avoid all herbals and any blood thinners.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Vitamins and Herbal Medications in Facelift Surgery

Dear facelift Patient from Maryland,
I personally recommend Arnica Montana, Vitamin C, Vitamin K for all of my facial plastic procedures. Certain Vitamins and herbal medications should be avoided to prevent bruising and bleeding. You should follow your own surgeon’s advice, since he is the one performing the procedure. Good luck and good healing.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Pre Op and Post Op preparations for surgery

There are several things you can do to prepare your body and skin for surgery. A good skin regime such as Obagi is highly recommended. Many offices have an esthetician that could assist you in the correct application for your skin type. Diet is very important, you want to eat healthy with lots of leafy greens such as iron rich spinach. Take a good multi-vitamin daily, but check to see the amount of vitamin E, you do not want to take more than 400 IU a day as that could interfere with blood clotting. Check the labels, most have only 400 IU.

Your surgeon should give you a list of what to avoid starting 2 weeks prior to surgery, there are many supplements, herbs and vitamins that have blood thinning qualities to them and need to be avoided and not restarted until 2 weeks after surgery. Starting Arnica Montana a day before surgery will help with the bruising, "Sinecch" is a good brand that is premeasured specifically for surgery patients and is a higher dosage than what you can get at the health food stores. Many plastic surgeons offices keep it in stock. And of course exercise is important even if it is just walking 30 minutes a day, it helps with your circulation among other obvious benefits. These are all good habits to start now and continue for life.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Skin Prep

There is really nothing you can do to prepare your may want to do a scrub with antibacterial soap a day or two before.Also Vit.K and arnica can be started a few days before to try and minimize bruising.That's about all you can do.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Preparing for Surgery

Arnica, Viamin C, and Vitamin K are all beneficial before surgery. I tell my patients to stop Multi-vitamins before surgery because some of these preparations have vitamins which thin the blood. Having said that, follow your surgeon's recommendations.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

How to Prepare for Plastic Surgery

Hi flower2010 in Maryland,

Great results in plastic surgery is not the result of the cosmetic procedure alone or the expertise of the plastic surgeon. Preoperative and postoperative care are essential for outstanding results.

Most importantly follow the specific instructions of your plastic surgeon, as each has his/her specific instructions. Generally, avoid any blood thinners for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. Stop smoking, keep well hydrated, get plenty of sleep, and have a balanced diet with fresh fruits & vegetables. Lastly, your plastic surgeon should always be available to answer all of your questions about your specific needs. You may also look at my plastic surgery care instructions provided for my facial surgery patients. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.