Tips for a Safe Cosmetic Surgery Safety
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, getting great results is probably at the top of your list. Dr. Pancholi and our staff at Cosmetic Surgery of Las Vegas believe that great results absolutely require a safe experience. While we take every measure possible to ensure your safety at every step of the process, there is a lot you can do to make sure your health and your appearance are in the safest possible hands.
1. Choose a cosmetic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
This choice alone will cover many of your safety bases. First, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is the only certifying board requiring a full year of fellowship training exclusively in cosmetic surgery, in addition to previous board certification in a related medical field. Diplomates of the ABCS are required to complete 300 cosmetic cases before earning their certification—nearly twice what is required for plastic surgery board certification. In short, ABCS diplomates are among the most highly trained cosmetic surgeons you will find.
Second, the ABCS requires its diplomates to operate only in accredited surgical facilities, with fully qualified anesthesiologists providing general anesthesia or sedation services and licensed, qualified surgical support staff.
Third, the ABCS holds its diplomates to extremely high ethical standards—doctors must undergo thorough background checks to ensure they have a clean medical license and no history of substance abuse or criminal activity.
2. Be 100% open and honest about your medical history.
It is crucial for your safety that you tell your cosmetic surgeon about any health issues, medications, recreational drug use, or conditions you have or have had in the past. If you are generally healthy now, you will likely be a good candidate for your procedure even if you don’t have a perfect past. However, your individual medical history could affect how your surgeon approaches your procedure. More importantly, many medications and conditions increase risk for complications or interactions with anesthesia or surgery or interfere with healing.
Usually, it’s a matter of adjusting your medication or refraining from use for a period (i.e., quitting smoking for several weeks before and after surgery), but in some cases your surgeon may ask you to make lifestyle changes, undergo medical tests, or even wait awhile to have cosmetic surgery if they feel this is the safest approach.
3. If you use nicotine, quit.
Cigarettes, vaping and other nicotine-containing products are dangerous for patients undergoing surgery. Not only does nicotine slow your body’s healing ability, which increases risk for infection and poor scar formation, but it also increases risk for potentially life-threatening complications such as blood clots, problems during anesthesia, and adverse reactions to anesthesia and pain medications.
Dr. Pancholi takes these risks so seriously that he will not perform surgery on a patient who smokes or vapes, and requires patients to refrain from any nicotine use a minimum of 4 weeks before and after their procedures.
4. Follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions completely before and after surgery.
Cosmetic surgery patients are often busy people with full, active lives. In addition, most patients feel pretty much “back to normal” as far as comfort and energy levels are concerned within just a few days or weeks of surgery. It’s common for patients to become impatient and tempted to jump back into all kinds of activity right way. However, your operated tissues and incision sites are still healing for several weeks or even months after surgery, and doing too much too soon can compromise your safety and results, by straining or stretching your scars or increasing risk of internal bleeding.
Dr. Pancholi will supply you with detailed instructions, including when you can resume different activities. Follow these instructions, and keep in contact with him and our staff throughout your recovery—everyone heals at their own rate, so there’s a good chance Dr. Pancholi will adjust your timeline for activity as your recovery continues.
5. Maintain a relationship with your cosmetic surgeon and their staff
Ensuring your safety goes beyond the operating room doors. If you have questions or concerns before and after surgery, consult your cosmetic surgeon first—not the internet! Your surgeon and patient care team should be just a phone call away—and they will have trustworthy answers based on years of education and training, as well as knowledge of your individual procedure and needs.
Attending all recommended post-op visits with your cosmetic surgeon is also essential to ensure that you are healing the way you are supposed to, and it’s a great time to ask questions. Further out, maintaining a relationship with your cosmetic surgeon is important to monitor the condition of any breast implants or facial implants you have, and plan for preventative maintenance to ensure your long-term safety and results.