Getting ready for the surgery

When patients have decided undergoing breast reconstruction and they know what kind of technique to be performed, a particularly sensitive period for women starts. It's a period of time that carries out anxiety. If patients know what will happen step by step it will be an opportunity to defuse tension.

It is very important to follow-up a good preoperative planning, as this will allow the patient to face the operation with maximum physical security and also psychological.

A month before reconstruction

Taking care physically: the patient has already spent many time fighting against breast cancer, especially against radiotherapy or chemotherapy. You should invest time in something that helps the body to prepare for the surgery and recover better, such as:

  • Eating a balanced diet with non-fat proteins, fruits and vegetables.
  • Drinking water.
  • Eating rich-iron foods such as liver, legumes, tofu or meat, juices and vitamin C.
  • Practicing moderate exercise (walking) half an hour a day.
  • Taking a multivitamin with minerals and sleeping 8 hours a day.

It is likely that during this period the anesthetist should recommend eating extra food.

Getting ready emotionally: exercises such as yoga or walking can help reducing stress. According to different studies, patients preparing for surgery have less pain and recover faster. The lack of information can increase anxiety, so the patient should contact surgeon if she has any doubt.

Stop smoking: it is essential to stop smoking at least 6 weeks before and 4 weeks after the surgery.

Avoiding certain medications: some medications like aspirin or ibuprofeno impair blood clotting. It is also recommended to stop the substitutive hormonal therapies. In any case, the surgeon will alert the patient what specific products should leave out. Even if the patients should report plastic surgeon if they eat nutritional supplements or natural products.

Two weeks before reconstruction

Performing preoperative tests: the surgeon explains to patient what procedures and preliminar instructions must be performed (complete blood test, chest x-ray, EKG and mammography of the healthy breast must be performed). Doctors often recommend to visit the anaesthesist. Patients who undergo DIEP technique should undergo to a preoperative study of the blood vessels of the abdomen.

Donating blood: it is unlikely that breast reconstruction requires a blood transfusion but patient could donate one or two units of their own blood as a precaution.

Shopping: you should ask the surgeon if you need any special bra or other special clothes just after the surgery when you come back home (especially with front closures.

Obtaining drugs: besides the usual drugs, you can request some help to sleep the night before the surgery.

A week before the reconstruction

Providing the information for hospital preadmission: some clinics and hospitals prefer to give in advance the information and documents required to manage the admission of the patient.

Intensifying care: some women who undergo breast surgery reconstruction opt for beauty services, going out with friends or starting a special project or shopping. This can help to improve your mood.

Reporting plastic surgeon: the surgeon should know if during the week patient suffered from cold, infection, flood, allergy or any other health problem, although you think there are no important. It is important not taking unnecessary risks before surgery.

Getting ready for recovery: you should plan the daily activity after the surgery and enlist friends and family that can help you. Perhaps even the most important is to get ready for the surgery and think in positive: although you can feel nervous because you will undergo breast reconstruction, this surgery will help you improve your quality of life.

The day before the surgery

It's not the best day to make important decisions or making significant efforts but you should:

  • Removing your nail barnish.
  • Chilling out.
  • Having a shower with antibacterial soap at least two days before the surgery.
  • Deciding which comfortable clothes to wear the day of entry and the date of leaving the hospital.
  • Preparing a bag if you have to sleep in the hospital.
  • Leaving valuable items at home.
  • Carrying a list of all medications used (although the hospital and will facilitate it).
  • Lightly dinner (Neither eating nor drinking water after midnight or the deadline to be given by the anaesthetist).

The day of Breast Reconstruction

  • Washing up your hair.
  • Not making up.
  • Talking with the family or friends.
  • Leaving notes or messages to children or relatives.
  • Trying to relax.
  • Having a positive attitude.

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