Before surgery it is important to get a complete history and physical by your primary care provider. Have an honest conversation with your provider & let them know your intentions. He or she will order blood work and run additional tests to make sure that you’re healthy enough to have surgery.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): detects a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection or if you have a blood clotting disorder
- Chemistry Panel (BMP): checks for electrolyte imbalances, determines the status of your metabolism, including the health of your kidneys
- EKG: If you have any cardiac history or concerns related to your heart an EKG will be ordered. This checks the heart’s electrical activity.
- A Chest X-Ray is also commonly ordered which checks your lungs for infections and chronic lung conditions such as emphysema.
- A Pregnancy Test will be done on the day of your surgery. If it is positive, your surgery will be cancelled.
Hemoglobin (Hgb) is a protein in red blood cells which transports oxygen around the body. An ideal level is above 12. A low hemoglobin level may indicate anemia and your surgeon will not perform surgery. To avoid any cancellations due to low hemoglobin levels, it is important to eat iron rich foods & take daily supplements such as, folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin C in the months leading up to your surgery date.
Once your surgery date is scheduled, it is critical that you follow all instructions from your surgeon. This is detrimental to your overall health and well being.
- Stop Smoking: Many physicians strongly recommend that you STOP smoking at least 2 months prior to surgery. Smoking before or after your surgery can increase your risk of developing serious complications. Studies have shown that a smoker may be up to six times more likely to get an infection than a non-smoker. In addition, smokers have more scarring and heal at a slower rate. Nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and may impair healing. Therefore, smokers have a higher chance of developing necrosis. Skin necrosis occurs when there is not enough circulation to the tissue causing the involved skin and fat to die. Quitting smoking drastically improves the body’s response to surgery.
- Medications to avoid: It is important to avoid certain medications two weeks before and after surgery. Some medications can have effects on bleeding, swelling and can increase your risk of blood clots. These medications include but are not limited to birth control, aspirin, Vitamin E supplements & ibuprofen. Speak with your doctor about all medications that you’re currently taking.
- Body Mass Index (BMI): Body mass index (BMI) is used to determine whether a person is a healthy weight for their height. For most surgeons, your BMI must be 32 or less. There are increased risks of surgical and anesthetic complications if you have a high BMI. Therefore, your doctor may suggest losing weight prior to your procedure. This is in your best interest. Patients that are happiest with their results are those who are at or near their ideal weight at the time of surgery.