Here at Dr. Sanovich’s office, we admit we often make some odd requests. Or at least requests that seem a little bit odd to our patients. Whether you are considering surgery or are already healing from a procedure with Dr. Sanovich, you may be wondering why you were asked to do certain things before and after your surgery. Though some of these pre and post-operative care requests may seem weird, we promise they’re done for a good reason.
Here are a few common requests we make – and why we make them.
No matter where you go for surgery, chances are you will be told to not eat or drink anything (yes, including water!) after midnight the night before your procedure. Believe it or not, we don’t do this to torture you. We do it because, under general anesthesia, your body’s reflexes are put on hold. This means there’s a chance you can vomit or regurgitate any food that is in your stomach while you are under anesthesia. This regurgitated food can find its way into your lungs, causing breathing trouble. It can even cause permanent damage to your lungs!
Don’t Wear Makeup
What’s wrong with wanting to look your best? After all, looking your best could very well be what brought you to have surgery with Dr. Sanovich in the first place. But when it’s time for surgery, wearing makeup is not a good idea for several important reasons. First, makeup can leave bacteria on your skin that can contaminate your incisions, causing infection and complications with healing. It can also make it difficult for Dr. Sanovich to monitor your skin coloring for changes, which could be indicators of a circulatory problem.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing
This is another odd request: Why would your clothing matter? But wearing loose-fitting clothing is a smart idea following your procedure so your clothing is less likely to bump or irritate your incisions. It also will come off more easily when you get home. In fact, we even recommend slip-on shoes just to make redressing after your procedure that much easier.
If you are trying to get a whole new look, it may seem counterproductive to not try and lose a few pounds before your surgery, but believe it or not, you are better off waiting on the weight loss until after you’ve healed. That’s because following surgery, you will need your strength. The pre-operative period is not the time to be restricting calories and weaken your body. A stronger, healthier you will heal faster and with better results.
Don’t Take Aspirin
If you are in pain prior to your surgery, what’s wrong with taking a painkiller with aspirin in it? Well, a lot, actually. We ask you to skip the NSAID pain pills because, although they do reduce pain, they also thin your blood, which could cause excessive bleeding during and after your surgery. If you are on aspirin therapy, speak to Dr. Sanovich about your options. You may be permitted to continue, but Dr. Sanovich cannot weigh the risks if he is not aware of your other medications. Please be sure to inform him about everything else you are taking.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol
Yes, quitting smoking is easier said than done, but it is vitally important to quit smoking prior to a surgical procedure, as smoking can reduce your circulation and delay healing.
Dr. Sanovich also recommends limiting or ceasing alcohol consumption prior to surgery. Alcohol can increase bleeding and post-surgery bruising.
So, while it does seem like your pre-op instructions are out to ruin your fun, we ask you to make these lifestyle changes for your own health and well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about any of the instructions on your pre-op checklist, please don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Sanovich or his team for clarification. We can be reached at