By Rachel Samson
If you are considering Plastic Surgery, you no doubt have a million questions swirling around in your mind. I know I did leading up to my “Mommy Makeover” surgery with my husband, Dr. Samson, in October, 2017. Here’s an overview of the days surrounding my surgery. If you have any questions, please email them to me at email@example.com.
The Day of your Surgery
Surgery day is here! You may be a bundle of nerves, but not to worry, you’re in great hands! You check in at the Surgery Center of Volusia, where Dr. Samson’s office is located and fill out some brief paperwork, 1-2 pages. The friendly staff will take you back to the pre-op area where you will give a urine sample then you’ll change into your surgical gown. At least 2 times a year in our practice alone, women find out they are pregnant the morning of the surgery from the urine test at the surgery center; a total shocker for sure, so make sure you sort this one out leading up to surgery!
The staff are all very nice and understanding that you are going to be nervous, and they will go above and beyond to ease your jitters. Dr. Samson will come in shortly after to do his markings, go over the surgery plan one final time, and answer any last questions you may have. To do his markings, Dr. Samson uses a sharpie pen and will draw arrows and lines this way and that way. Don’t worry, they wash off easily after surgery is over. The markings are complete and the Anesthesiologist will come in and introduce himself to you. My anesthesiologist was Dr. De La Torre; he was extremely kind and very professional. The staff is ready to wheel you back to the Operating Room. Say hello to Anesthesia in 3,2,1!
Everyone’s post op experience will be different! My first memory was waking up with a really painful left hip. (I got liposuction from my stomach to my knees) I remember asking for pain meds for my left hip area which subsided pretty quickly after the additional pain meds were administered. I was naturally groggy for the first while, and I actually am not sure how long it took for me to fully come-to. When I did, the staff was right there, helping with mobility, bathroom, water or juice requests, and so forth.
Dr. Samson will come in and check you after you wake up, carefully inspecting your progress, and recapping your surgery with you. The staff will keep you in the post op room until Dr. Samson is satisfied with your progress and signs orders for you to go home. The nurses will go over your home care instructions, medicine schedule, etc and make sure you are comfortable to head home. Again, have a supportive friend or relative take you home in a comfortable car. And make sure you have your meds before hand; you don’t want to be driving thru Walgreens drive thru on your way home. Not fun!
When you get home
Be realistic about your needs post surgery, especially if you have small children or pets that need caring for. I had my liposuction and implant exchange surgery on Tuesday morning and I was able to finally care for the kids by Friday afternoon. I encourage you to get the help you need. Rest, get an ice pack or frozen peas, if your surgery requires, (breast augmentation, etc.) and just rest and sleep. Make sure you adhere to post op instructions on resuming activities, working out, lifting children, going back to work, etc. One of my biggest problems post op was dealing with my compression garment. The surgery center will send you home with one, but honestly, I couldn’t get mine back on after my shower the evening of my surgery. Talk to our wonderful nurse, Diane, leading up to your surgery and find out exactly what type of compression garment you need, some surgeries don’t need them, and in some cases, Dr. Samson won’t want you to have one, so I encourage you to talk directly with Diane and find out what your post op compression needs will be. Post op, I went through 3 compression garments trying to find “the right one”. I really like a company called Bonito.
Getting Ready For Your Surgery
During your pre-op visit, Diane, Dr. Samson’s nurse, will give pre & post op instructions (ie: no eating or drinking after midnight the night before your surgery, etc). Get your medications filled ahead of time, and secure a friend or relative to drive you home from the surgery and ensure you have someone to stay with you for the first 24-48 hours. Make sure you have comfortable clothing to wear home; loose sweatpant outfits that zip up are ideal (no pullovers) , and make sure you leave all jewelry at home. Bring a list of your current meds, your ID cards, and insurance if applicable, etc.
One of the most frequent complaints after surgery is constipation. This is normal from anesthesia and pain medications, but it can make you miserable. Get stool softeners, exlax, etc before surgery and be proactive to keep everything operating smoothly. Secure a positive caregiver post surgery. Around 2-3 days post op is when you may be feeling at your lowest. You WILL turn the corner by day 3-4 and those feelings will leave and you will be so glad you did the surgery, but in those first few days you will want someone around who is supportive and encouraging. Set your room up ahead of time. I spent my first several days and nights on the couch in the living room. I slept there, watched Netflix, etc. Figure out where you are going to park yourself for several days, pull a table up to the couch, bed, and put all your meds, juice, snacks, tissues, cell phone chargers, computer, books, whatever you anticipate you will need. Once you get home you don’t want to worry about this, so again, be proactive.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t answer your clinical questions, but I can share with you my own personal experiences. As always, you can call the office and speak to our RN, Diane directly; she is a wealth of information, is unfailingly patient and will answer any and all of your questions throughout the entire surgery process, pre and post op.
I look forward to seeing you in the office, Rachel