Plastic Surgery Checklist: What You Can Do To Prepare for Your Operation

Plastic Surgery Checklist

Preparation is one of the crucial stages of your plastic surgery. Not only can it make you feel ready mentally, it’s also important for you to follow these essential steps to ensure the smooth recovery and healing after the procedure.

Quit smoking 4 weeks before your surgery

If you continue smoking before your plastic surgery, it can interfere with your healing process after you get your surgery done. Smoking reduces and slows down the blood flow which could in turn delay your recovery or lead to wound breakdown. After the surgery, it is also recommended that you do not resume smoking at least for the next few weeks.

Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications, vitamins (especially Vitamin E) and herbal supplements 2 weeks before your surgery

These medications have blood-thinning properties, and that’s why you should avoid them as taking them can have an adverse impact on your healing after the procedure. Make sure to consult with your plastic surgeon what medications you should be taking instead to prepare for the operation. 

Avoid alcohol a week before your surgery

Alcohol is known for causing dehydration. Keeping away from it can help you recover faster.

Take a good shower and wash your hair the night before

Make sure that you have a chance to take a proper shower as depending on your surgery, you may be required to stay in hospital overnight, or even for a couple of days. Use antibacterial soap to cleanse your body. It is also recommended that you wash your hair the night before the procedure. Do not apply any hair products, including hair spray.

Bring comfortable clothes, fruit and pre-cooked meals that are low in sodium, and any entertainment (books, magazines, movies)

The first stage of post-surgery recovery often involves you staying in the hospital for 1-2 days with your surgeon supervising your state of health and how you are healing after the operation. As much as it is possible, you may need to make yourself comfortable to ensure you have adequate rest and get some good sleep. You will need to bring loose clothes in which you can rest or sleep, pre-cooked meals low in sodium, especially if you have dietary requirements and may not be able to get the food you need on the day and some books or movies to keep yourself entertained.

Bring someone with you to look after you throughout this process

Plastic surgery procedures can be overwhelming physically and emotionally. While your surgeon will do everything to ensure it is as painless as it is possible, you will still need support. Ask your close friend, a relative or your partner to drive you to the clinic and make sure they can pick you up and drive you home. If possible, have them stay with you in the hospital while you are undergoing your procedure, as having someone by your side can make you feel at ease and more relaxed after.

Do not eat or drink at least 8 hours before your surgery.

Make sure you don’t eat or drink at least 8 hours before the procedure.  You need to have an empty stomach as  you will be administered a general anaesthetic. You must follow this step for your safety as if you have any food or drink in your stomach during anaesthesia, you could regurgitate and food may go into your lungs.


This tip applies to those who consider undergoing a rhinoplasty procedure. Before the surgery, bring a hydrating lip balm with you. Once rhinoplasty is performed, for a while you will be breathing through your mouth while your nose recovers, and in turn, it can dehydrate your lips and cause dryness in them. Applying a lip balm can help prevent that.

Always consult with your plastic surgeon to ensure they run you through these steps and that you have a good understanding of what you need to do.