Stop smoking. Smoking reduces circulation to the skin and impedes healing. Do not use any patches either, as these have nicotine in them, too. Remember that second-hand smoke is just as bad for you. Stay away from others who are smoking.
Two weeks before surgery
Do not take blood thinners. Stop taking any medications that contain aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen. In addition, stop taking Tamoxifen. Such drugs can increase bleeding during and after surgery. If you need a medication for pain before surgery, use medications containing acetaminophen. You should also limit your intake of vitamin E to less than 400mg a day, as it acts as a blood thinner.
The night before surgery
Shower the night before surgery and wash everywhere, paying extra attention to the surgical areas. Use the Chlorhexidine scrub provided to you.
Do NOT eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes water, gum and mints.
The day of surgery
Do NOT eat or drink ANYTHING. If you take daily medications, you may do so with a sip of water.
- You may brush your teeth, but do not swallow the water.
- Shower the morning of surgery and wash the surgical site with Chlorhexidine scrub. Dry off, but do not put anything else on your skin. That means not using perfume, moisturizer, deodorant or makeup.
- Remove nail polish.
- All body piercings (belly button, nipple, tongue, other) that are metal must be changed to plastic or removed entirely before the procedure. Please remove all other jewelry (necklaces, rings, wedding bands) as well. Also, do not wear anything in your hair that has metal on it.
- Arrive at the surgery site two hours prior to your scheduled surgery. This allows time for registration as well as nursing and anesthesia evaluations.
- Someone must accompany you to the holding area before your surgery. You must have a ride to and from the hospital (no taxis), and you cannot drive yourself home after surgery.