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Cosmetic Surgery Preparation

Dr. Lopes and the staff at the Cosmetic Surgery Center have compiled the information below to help you prepare for your surgery. In addition to following these important instructions, please see also Drugs To Avoid.

You will also receive this same information in your patient guide.


Three Weeks Before Surgery

Stop smoking!

In some cases, we may ask you to stop sooner. Smoking can interfere with healing by constricting and decreasing blood flow all over the body which may prevent the wound from healing properly. Do not resume smoking after surgery until you are given permission by Dr. Lopes.

IMPORTANT: Smoking causes severe complications!

Stop drinking!

There should be no alcohol consumption for a minimum of 2-3 weeks prior to your procedure. Alcohol causes increased bleeding, increases the chances of infection, depresses immune functions and may interfere with wound healing.


Make a list of all medications! (Over-the-counter and prescribed)

  • Your patient counselor must have a complete list of all medications that you take, either over-the- counter (including supplements and vitamins) or prescribed, before your upcoming procedure.
  • Many medications interfere with the clotting process of blood and it is crucial that we know everything that you are currently taking or may take in the near future.
  • You will be instructed by your patient counselor to temporarily discontinue certain medications in the weeks ahead.

Check your refrigerator!

It is important that you maintain a healthy diet including many fruits and vegetables. However, there are certain foods which naturally contain salicylates, which affect the blood, and should be kept to a minimum for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Cutting down on these foods will help reduce bruising after surgery. Now is the time to clean out your refrigerator and adjust your shopping lists for the weeks ahead.

Foods containing salicylates that should be kept to a minimum for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery:

Berries (all)


Two Weeks Before Surgery

Stop 2 weeks BEFORE until 2 weeks AFTER surgery:

  • All Aspirin and Ibuprofen products including the drugs listed on the enclosed insert.
  • All anti-inflammatory drugs used for arthritis. (Please consult your physician prior to discontinuing).
  • All anti-coagulants
  • Vitamin E taken internally
  • If a medication is in question, call our office nurse.


START 2 weeks BEFORE until 2 weeks AFTER surgery (Strongly Recommended)

  • Take a Multivitamin tablet daily. Most multivitamins contain some form of vitamin E, however this is acceptable to take prior to surgery. We do ask that you refrain from taking additional vitamin E.
  • Take Vitamin A – 8,000-10,000 units, twice a day. This has well-documented beneficial effects on surgical healing and will also fuel your immune system.
  • Take Vitamin C – 1,000 mg., twice a day. This is essential for collagen synthesis, which is part of normal wound healing. Your need for Vitamin C will increase after surgery.
  • Take Bromelain – 1,000 mg., twice a day. (Pineapple enzyme – from a health food store) This helps to relieve the swelling associated with surgery.

For Liposuction patients only:

  • Begin taking Slow Fe (non-prescription iron supplement) once daily.


One Week Before Surgery

BEGIN A LOW SODIUM DIET: (1 week BEFORE until 2 weeks AFTER procedure):
Limit sodium intake to 1200-1500 mg. daily. Limiting sodium will help you have less swelling and discomfort and allow you to heal faster after surgery.

GET PROPER NUTRITION AND REST: (1 week BEFORE until 2 weeks AFTER procedure):

  • Avoid white carbohydrates such as bread, bagels, rice, potatoes, pasta and sweets.
  • Eat healthy, regular meals.
  • Eat 2 fruits and 3 green vegetables daily.
  • Eat a small amount of protein at each meal.

IMPORTANT! Your diet can aid healing remarkably and reduce swelling and pain!


BUY SURGICAL GARMENT (if instructed to do so by Dr. Lopes):

  • You will be instructed by your patient counselor where to purchase the garment.
  • Your garment may need to be altered to fit and you must have it for the day of surgery.


  • You may have your hair colored, permed, etc. during the week before surgery.
  • Remember that longer hair may be useful in covering the surgical sites during early healing.


3 Days Before Surgery

  • Wash the operative area with your normal soap or cleanser once daily for three days prior to surgery.

FOR FACIAL SURGERY: Be sure to wash thoroughly behind the ears for three days.
FOR BREAST SURGERY: Do not shave under arms for 3 days prior to surgery as it may increase your chance of infection.


2 Days Before Surgery


  • Take every 8 hours as directed and continue for 10 days.
  • Continue taking Bromelain as directed every 12 hours between meals. This anti-inflammatory promotes healing. As an alternative, eat fresh pineapple.


The Night Before Surgery

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! If you are having I.V. Sedation or General Anesthesia:
NOTHING to eat or drink after 12 Midnight the night prior to your procedure.
SAFETY ALERT: Failure to comply increases anesthesia risk and may cause cancellation of your surgery!


  • Wash and condition your hair as usual the night before surgery.
  • Do not use mousse, gel, or hair spray.

Make arrangements prior to the day of surgery for someone else to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery!!


The Day of Surgery


  • You may brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash. Do not swallow any liquids.
  • Do not use breath mints or chewing gum.
  • Do not apply makeup, deodorant, lotions, fingernail polish, hairpins or moisturizer.
  • Do not wear jewelry or valuables.
  • Do not wear contacts. Bring a case for glasses.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing: a button up front shirt, elastic waist pants and slip-on shoes. No jeans or jumpsuits.
  • Bring a scarf and dark glasses (to be worn afterwards) for appropriate procedures.
  • Bring surgical garment (to be worn after surgery) if instructed to do so by Dr. Lopes.
  • You will need a ride to and from the office for the procedure (no Taxi).

FOR LOCAL PROCEDURES WITH ORAL SEDATION (as instructed by your patient counselor)

  • No food or caffeine for four (4) hours before procedure.
  • You may have a light meal prior to your procedure. Avoid greasy and spicy food.
  • 15 minutes before taking medications: Eat a few crackers or a piece of toast.
  • 1 hour before procedure: Take oral pre-op sedation.
  • Have someone drive you to your appointment and drive you home.


After Surgery

You will be given specific postoperative instructions for your procedure which will outline in detail what you should do for the next 24 hours and for the upcoming weeks.

WHEN YOU GET HOME: (General Instructions)

  • Someone must be with you for 24 hours.
  • Do not get up without assistance. Stay quiet and do little talking, movement, and lifting as excessive activity may cause bleeding to occur.
  • Pain medication can be taken soon after leaving the office if needed.
  • If you experience nausea, use the anti-nausea medication.
  • Sip liquids slowly, increase gradually. By evening you may have a light, soft meal.
  • Do not drink any alcoholic beverages (beer and wine included) for 48 hours. They do not mix well with anesthesia and may make you very sick.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not drive or do anything that requires your coordination for 48 hours. Medication
    and/or anesthesia agents may interfere with good judgement.

Accredited by American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.

Please call our office at (757) 497 - 5400 if you have any questions.

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