How to Prepare for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

By: Dr. J. Timothy Katzen


Reconstructive plastic surgery procedures are performed for many reasons, including correcting body abnormalities caused by diseases, aging, injuries, and congenital disabilities. In addition, plastic surgery can improve your self-esteem, self-confidence, and your body’s ability to function correctly.

Every surgery has risks, and reconstructive plastic surgery is no different. However, there are ways you can minimize complications and speed up your recovery time. Therefore, knowing how to prepare for reconstructive plastic surgery before your procedure is essential.

Begin Eating a Healthy Diet

Food plays a vital role in the body’s healing after reconstructive plastic surgery. So while this is not the time to cut calories, it is the perfect time to make healthy dietary changes.

Your diet should focus on high-quality, whole foods, such as lean proteins. Your pre-op goal should be about 75g for women and 100g for men. Ensure you get enough fiber in your diet to support your digestive system. Dr. Katzen recommends avoiding processed and sugary foods and limiting sodium, which will help control swelling after plastic surgery.

Continue Exercising

Overall, getting enough exercise is vital for good health. If you are currently on an exercise regimen, Dr. Katzen recommends sticking with it until your surgery date. However, avoid starting a new exercise routine or making your current routine more rigorous.

You do not want to injure yourself before having plastic surgery. Stretching and strengthening exercises offer many benefits, including lowering the risk of complications.

Once you have reconstructive plastic surgery, you will not be able to exercise for a pre-determined amount of time. Dr. Katzen will talk with you about your current exercise regimen, and he will let you know when you should begin incorporating physical fitness back into your routine.

Stop Smoking

Optimum healing following reconstructive plastic surgery requires non-constricted arteries, veins, and oxygen-rich blood. Nicotine directly affects your body’s oxygen levels and blood circulation. Therefore, Dr. Katzen recommends stopping all nicotine products three months before plastic surgery. This includes cigarettes, vaping products, nicotine gum, or other products containing nicotine.

If you are unable to quit on your own, you should talk with your primary care physician about programs that are available to help.

Increase Your Water Intake and Cut Out Alcohol

Even if you only drink moderately, it is a good idea to stop drinking alcohol before having reconstructive plastic surgery. Once you have surgery, you should wait two additional weeks before drinking alcohol again. Alcohol and post-operative narcotics/painkillers should not be mixed.

Alcohol dehydrates and can cause your blood to be too thin during your surgery. Dr. Katzen advises plastic surgery patients to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. The goal is to be well-hydrated during your procedure and facilitate healing as you recover.

Get Answers to Important Questions About Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Dr. Katzen always schedules an initial consultation with patients interested in reconstructive plastic surgery. Therefore, your initial consultation is the perfect time to ask questions. Here are some examples of questions you may have.

What type of anesthesia will be used?

Many procedures Dr. Katzen performs can be done with local anesthesia. However, if general anesthesia is required, you must know what to expect.

Should you stop taking certain medications?

It is wise to talk with Dr. Katzen before stopping any medications. However, there are some medications you may need to pause until after your plastic surgery. For example, if you are on a daily aspirin regimen, Dr. Katzen will want you to stop taking it temporarily.

Will your health insurance cover your reconstructive plastic surgery procedure?

Depending on the type of reconstructive plastic surgery procedure you are having, your health insurance may cover all or part of it. If your insurance provider offers benefits to cover the cost of your procedure, Dr. Katzen and his staff will need to submit the proper paperwork.

Are there better alternatives to reconstructive plastic surgery to help you meet your goals?

Although plastic surgery is the answer for many of Dr. Katzen’s patients, there may be other preferable solutions. Dr. Katzen views each patient as an individual, and he will perform a physical exam and discuss your options based on his findings.

Plan Ahead for Your Recovery

Depending on the type of reconstructive plastic surgery you are having, you may need a few days to several weeks to recover. Therefore, it is crucial to make a plan, and Dr. Katzen will discuss how much downtime to anticipate.

Most of Dr. Katzen’s patients are advised to have someone drive them home following plastic surgery. Here are some additional helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan your meals. You may even want to cook meals and freeze them before the day of your surgery so you can warm them up quickly.
  • Ask friends and family to help you with errands or childcare if needed.
  • Set up a comfortable area in your bedroom or living room for recovery, and keep it stocked with necessary items. Tissues, books, your cell phone charger, and other essentials should be within easy reach.

Depending on the type of reconstructive plastic surgery procedure, you may need to limit going up and down stairs and heavy lifting for the first few days as you recover. Dr. Katzen will talk with you before your surgery so you can make a recuperation plan.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Today

Dr. Katzen is currently scheduling initial consultations for patients interested in reconstructive plastic surgery. If you have been thinking about talking with a plastic surgeon about your goals, Dr. Katzen will advise you on everything you need to do to prepare for your procedure.

Body by Katzen has locations in Beverly Hills, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Dubai UAE. Dr. Katzen offers in-person appointments at these locations and virtual meetings via Skype, Zoom, Facetime, and WhatsApp.

Please call Body by Katzen at (310) 859-7770 to schedule your appointment.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.