You will go to the hospital 60 minutes prior to your scheduled surgery. You will check in and be brought to an area where you will change. A nurse will go over your medical history with you and start an IV. Everyone attending to you and your needs are nurses and technicians who are specialists in surgical procedures.
Your anesthesiologist will come and introduce himself and begin his preparations for your procedure. When the operating room, doctor and staff are ready, you will be given medicine that will make you drowsy. When this has been completed, you will be brought to the operating room.
When general anesthesia is used, you will be safely asleep with your anesthesiologist monitoring you throughout the operation. Once you are safely asleep, you will be connected to state-of-the-art monitors and an intravenous catheter. At this time, your anesthesiologist will slip an endotracheal tube into your windpipe to guarantee that your breathing is unimpeded. You will receive an anesthetic gas and other medications to keep you pain free while you are asleep. Your anesthesiologist will spend all of his time administrating to your safety during the procedure.
When your surgery has been completed, you will be moved to the recovery room. You will still be connected to monitoring equipment, and fully trained recovery room nurses will monitor you and remain with you at all times.
Risk Associated with Surgery
You need to be fully aware of all of the risks involved in surgery. Your doctor and his or her staff at the Baylor Medicine Center for Plastic Surgery will strive to ensure a surgery free of complications to the very best of our ability. Below are some general risks of which to be aware.
If you smoke, you must stop a MINIMUM of two weeks prior to your surgery and remain smoke free for four weeks after surgery. Smoking causes constriction of small blood vessels in the skin which may have a direct negative effect on the body's ability to heal. The tiny vessels that carry blood to the areas of surgery need to be fully functional to insure survival of the skin. You must be aware that if you continue to smoke there will be a reduction of blood flow which will result in slower healing, or even tissue loss. Please notify us at 713-798-6141 or contact us for your doctor's direct line if you are unable to stop smoking completely, or have recently been smoking.
Please be aware that secondhand smoke also causes a delay in healing. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict which interferes with the healing process. When blood vessels constrict there is less blood and oxygen supplied to the wound.
Avoid cigarette replacements such as the nicotine patch or nicotine gum or inhaler before and after surgery. These have similar effects as smoking and secondhand smoke. We may test your urine for nicotine. If the test returns positive, we reserve the right to ca
High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, and if it is under control, there is no reason to worry about not having a safe and successful surgery. Please notify us if your blood pressure is outside safe levels, and we will make sure you receive treatment prior to surgery. If your blood pressure becomes elevated during surgery you will be given intravenous medication to reduce it. If you take medication for high blood pressure, check with your doctor prior to taking your medication the morning of surgery. Please remember to take any medication the day of surgery with a sip of water only. Please see Medications for a list of medications to avoid.
If you have diabetes controlled with diet or oral medication, you should be able to take all of your medications with the exception of insulin the morning of surgery with a sip of water. Please make sure your doctor is aware of any medication you take. Do not eat!
If you have diabetes controlled with insulin, the anesthesiologist will be able to give you detailed instructions about your insulin dosage for the morning of surgery. Please be aware that we will check your blood sugar level during surgery and administer any insulin if needed.
Swelling and Bruising
Moderate swelling and bruising are to be expected after any surgery. Watch for any signs of severe bruising or swelling which may indicate bleeding or possible infection.
Discomfort and Pain
Discomfort or pain is normal. If the pain is relentless and is not relieved by pain medication, please call us at 713-798-6141 or contact us for the direct line for your doctor's coordinator.
There will usually be some crusting along the incision line. Your doctor may use Dermabond, a type of adhesive directly over your incision. That will begin to peel off about one week after surgery.
You may experience some small degree of numbness along the incision line. Sensory nerves are sometimes severed or interrupted during surgery. As these nerves heal themselves, sensation in this area will gradually return. When the nerves are healing you may feel some small shooting sensations within the skin.
You may experience itching as your skin heals. Moisturizers and massages are helpful.
Fresh scars are red, dark pink or purple. It takes 8 to 12 months for scars to mature, or heal. Scars on the face usually fade within six months. Scars on the body may take a year or longer to fade completely.
An abnormal scar may occur. This could be treated with an injection of steroids into the scars, or a minor scar revision. There are some people that scar worse than others. You should know your own scarring history to be prepared for what to expect.
You may get a hematoma or a small collection of blood under the skin. These usually absorb on their own. Large hematomas may require aspiration or drainage. Please call us at 713-798-6141 or contact us for your doctor's direct phone numbers.
Infections may require treatment with an antibiotic.
Allergic reactions may occur from ointments, tape or sutures. These reactions are not common and are easily treated. There may be severe circumstances where treatment may be hospitalization.
Other Severe Complications
More severe complications such as deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack, hyperthermia and severe allergic reactions to medications are rare but life-threatening and serious problems. Having your surgery at a well respected hospital with a board certified anesthesiologist will help reduce these risks. Please be sure to disclose all medical information before surgery.