Reflections before consultation
You may already know a bit about how your surgery is performed, the pros and cons, what to think about, but feel a little nervous before a first consultation despite all your preparations. Please feel free to write up your thoughts, since it’s sometimes easy to forget the things you want to ask about once you’re in the consultation.
Hopefully most of your questions have already been answered on our website.
You can also use our email address firstname.lastname@example.org for personal service over email. Please note that your specific issues or concerns and your wishes can be difficult to answer over mail. This questions are more easily answered at the consultation at the clinic.
Some questions that are good to consider before surgery are::
- Why do I want to do the surgery?
- Am I doing this for myself or for someone else?
- What do I expect from the surgery?
An important question is also; what feelings does the patient have regarding her or his own body? These feelings may well reflect the true feeling of self. But sometimes the opposite is true: a person’s well being is being affected in a negative way, by the way s/he views his or her body. There is not only one truth or answer to this. Beauty is something very individual, and this is something each person must think through, and decide upon.
To have a constructive discussion about this is very important since people have preconceived ideas about why women or men get operated on. The sad thing is that these views are sometimes based on ignorance. The debate being held, can sometimes seem very abstract and non-objective which might be understandable since it is difficult to express a feeling, which preferences , taste and the idea of beauty actually is…
To understand why you want to have surgery, and if possible give you guidance in a decision that will hopefully bring you great joy in the future, it is important that you get all the time you need during your visit.
Equally as important is that you at the consultation express your wishes and concerns so that we can review your specific conditions for a possible surgery. The decision to go through with the surgery, must always be your own.
Preparing for your surgery
At your consultation, you will complete a questionnaire including questions about your contact information and a health declaration. This form is important and we want you to fill it out carefully.
Moreover, below you can find some advice on how to best prepare for the day of surgery:
- Your anesthetist, who you will also meet on the day of surgery, will call you a week before the operation. The anesthesiologist will tell you about how the anesthesia is performed and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Optionally, the anesthetist will meet you before the surgery and sometimes an EKG, chest x-ray or sampling is required.
- If you are being treated for high blood pressure, you should check with your district nurse, one month before the operation so that we know that the blood pressure is not elevated. If you are taking blood pressure lowering medication, you should take it as usual unless otherwise stated.
- Smoking can cause affect the surgical outcome in a negative way by delayed and poorer wound healing, increased risk of infection and unsightly scars. Smoking is not recommended four weeks and four weeks after the surgery.
- Medication containing aspirin (ASA) such as aspirin, aspirin and Treo are not allowed two weeks prior to, and two weeks after the surgery, since they increase the risk of bleeding. Dietary supplement with vitamin E, omega-3 or garlic should be avoided for the same reason. Painkillers that can be used are for example Alvedon, Panodil, Vicodin or Distalgesic
- A good physique combined with good nutrition creates better conditions for a faster and better healing process after surgery. It is good to eat iron tablets, minerals and vitamins (except vitamin E).
- Lipomassage (LPG , Endermologi) is recommended before and after surgery of the face and after liposuction of the body. Treatment reduces swelling after surgery, and accelerates the healing process by stimulating lymph flow in the tissue, removing fluids and waste products.
- Take a shower and lather up your entire body and wash your hair the evening before the surgery. Do not use any lotion on your body though. Wash your navel thoroughly.
- You only have to bring your makeup bag, your mobile or a tablet to listen to music or watch a movie and something to read. We provide what you might otherwise need. Avoid wearing contact lenses and leave your jewelry at home. If you have piercings, it is very important that you remove them the day before the surgery so that you shower and get clean without it.
- You must not eat or ingest fluid from midnight the night before your surgery. This does not apply to operations that are scheduled to happen in local anesthesia.
- It’s good to dress in appropriate clothing and shoes based on the procedure you will undergo. You may feel numb and have difficulty moving around after surgery.
- It is good if you plan to have a friend or relative available for you when you want to go home. You may not drive for 48 hours after surgery.
Diet and surgery
We would like to encourage our patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise.
There are several reasons for this. A strong body that gets a balanced and regular nutrition is much better equipped to recover from the effects of any surgical procedure. A good oxygenation of the blood, a good metabolism, a normal weight and good muscle mass makes the body physically recover better after surgery, and mentally you become better at dealing with stress, pain and discomfort.
Two weeks before the surgery we would like you to fully refrain from foods containing a lot of E vitamin, which will thin the blood.
- Red wine
The month prior to the surgery we want you to fully abstain from cigarettes and snuff and other nicotine products, as nicotine affects the blood circulation. Smoking also affects the oxygen uptake.
As general advice concerning your diet we also recommend:
- Avoid sugar, and other processed, simple carbohydrates.
- Eat regularly, spread out over the day’s waking hours: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner + possibly a workout snack before or after exercise, depending on when the workout is taking place.
- Avoid an excessive amount of salt.
- Avoid light products (including light-soda).
- Drink a lot of water ( 1.5-2.5 liters a day ) divided on many occasions.
- Drink moderate amounts of alcohol.
- Don’t smoke.
- If you are going to undergo a breast augmentation, we recommend you to eat pineapple.
Regular exercise coupled with a balanced diet, is the absolute best way to feel good, physically and mentally. In addition to the body becoming strong, and fitness and oxygenation is improved, endorphins are released during work-outs that increase one’s positive attitude to the outside world. It also increases metabolism and burning which makes it easier to keep your match weight, cleanses the body of waste products and reduces muscle tension and muscle related pain like tension headaches, neck-/shoulder problems, numbness in arms etc.
For women who come to Victoriakliniken for their breast augmentation surgery, the physical form is not unimportant. Today, many are sitting at the desk all day and have an impaired posture even before an operation. With shortened, tight chest muscles, weak stomach-/and back muscles, it’s not necessarily so, that an extra weight of 0.5-1 kg on the front and an added volume under the chest muscle is completely hassle-free.
If you have the possibility, it is strongly recommend that through exercise, stretch and massage treatments, for example, create a better posture, reduced muscle tension and improved strength, before surgery. During the period immediately after surgery, the heavier exercise is not permitted, but only movement exercises and light stretching exercises.
The stronger and healthier the patient is at the time of surgery, the smaller the risk for problems and complications.
So please come prepared!
The day of your surgery
On the morning of your surgery we welcome you to the clinic and you will meet with your plastic surgeon. You should be on a fasting stomach, and have followed the specific instructions given to you in the papers you received in preparation of the surgery. The plastic surgeon once again takes you through the planned operation and the expected surgical outcome. Of course there is time for further questions if there is anything you wonder about.
You will then be photographed. Taking photos before surgery is a tool for us for your next visit after six months to assess the surgical results. These photographs are a part of your medical records and thus is of course completely confidential.
Now remains only the most important thing before your surgery: a careful drawing and the final planning of the area to be operated based on the specific preconditions that are true in your case. This is done sitting or standing so that the surgeon can best judge where incisions should be made, or how much skin and tissue that possibly should be removed.
After this, a nurse will be on hand to show you to your bed and help you with the preparations for the operation.
Your anesthetist, who called you earlier, will inform you on how your anesthetic will be administered and how you will feel after surgery. You may of course once again have the opportunity to ask questions.
While you wait for your surgery, you can walk around the clinic or lie in your bed and rest, read or listen to music. About an hour before the operation, you will receive some soothing medicine from your nurse.
Following surgery, you may feel a bit cold. This is usually due to a combination of being a little chilled after surgery and that the drugs administered during surgery, are broken down in the body. To reduce this feeling we help you get warm with heaters, heat blankets or just extra covers.
You may also feel a slight nausea after surgery. You will receive medicine to prevent this but you should still be careful not to start eating or drinking too soon after surgery.
Some patients feel pain after surgery. Our goal is to make you feel as good as possible and also to have as little pain as possible. It is important to adjust the analgesia individually to provide just as much pain medication as is needed without experiencing side effects such as nausea or severe tiredness. Our employees have long experience with this, which creates the best condition for your first day after surgery to be as pleasant as possible.
After your surgery
In the normal course of healing you will feel improvement each day, but you will probably feel sore and tired for a few days as a result of your surgery.
All patients have discomfort or pain after an operation. How much, however, is very individual. Our goal is for you to feel as good as possible and also to have as little pain as possible. The art is to bring pain relief individually to provide just as much as needed without getting sick or too tired.
All medication is included and it is important that you use the pain relieving medicine given to you by the nurse as directed. This way you will avoid a pain build-up which can later be difficult to suppress.
After a week, the worst pain will be gone but you can still be sensitive to touching.
Analgesic tablets containing acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) should be avoided in the first weeks after surgery as they may increase the risk of hemorrhage. Vitamin E or diet containing garlic should also be avoided for the same reason.
The surgical area will swell up and reach maximum swelling after 2-4 days. To reduce swelling and bruising, it’s good to use cold compresses and sleeping with the operated area elevated during the first days following surgery.
If, after a couple of days, you experience increased pain, redness, fever, or severe swelling of the surgical area, contact the clinic or your doctor.
Some patients may feel a bit gloomy in the days after the surgery, this is perfectly normal, especially if you are swollen and blue and do not really recognize yourself. After a demanding event like surgery, the body can react in this way. You are of course welcome to call the clinic if you are worried.
It is very important to maintain good hygiene with clean hands to reduce the risk of infection. You can usually shower the operated areas three days after surgery. You should also keep the surgical tape that is closest to the wound in place. When operating in the head-area you will get help washing your hair at the clinic during the first day.
In general, stitches in the face are removed within a week and on the body within two to three weeks. Once the stitches have been removed the scars should be taped with surgical tape up to six months after the procedure. You shouldn’t change the tape until it loosens by itself which usually occurs within one to two weeks. If redness or irritation occurs under the tape, it should be removed and the wound area is aerated until the irritation is gone. It is not dangerous to wash the area with soap and water.
Most patients are back to work after two weeks, but remember to take it easy the first few days after surgery so that healing is promoted. Feel free to be up and moving around but avoid physical exertion. You can usually start with light exercise after about three weeks but you will get more detailed information during your follow-up visits.
If you have supportive bandages it’s normal to use this day and night for three weeks, after that, during the day as much as possible. In some cases, the support bandage is used for up to three months after treatment.
You should not get sun on bruises before they’ve disappeared. The scars should also be covered with tape or a high SPF to prevent pigmentation.
If you have operated around the eyes, avoid wearing contact lenses during the first three weeks after the procedure. Sometimes you can get a severe swelling or irritation of the eye mucosa. Contact the clinic if this happens.
Lymphatic drainage, Endermologi , is a treatment that is recommended both before and after liposuction or surgery in the face. The treatment reduces swelling after surgery, and accelerates the healing process by stimulating lymphatic channels and th the transportation of toxic waste products.
Smoking impairs healing and increases the risk of complications. In some surgeries, facelift and tummy tuck, you are not allowed to smoke four weeks prior to, and four weeks after surgery. Also avoid alcohol, steam room and sauna in the next few months after surgery, as this can increase swelling and thereby prolong the healing process.
It is important to remember that the ultimate end-result can not be judged until after at least six months. In certain areas of the body you need to wait even longer. In the beginning, there is often a redness at the scars and the tissue surrounding the surgical area may feel numb. Sometimes there is also sensory effects that usually disappears after about three to six months.
Do not forget to call or e-mail for booking of an appointment with your doctor about six months after surgery. This visit gives us the opportunity to work with you to look at the pictures that were taken before the operation, and assess the outcome of the surgery.
You are always very welcome to contact your doctor or nurse if you are worried or have any questions.
3D animations, surgical procedures
Here, most of our procedures are described with the help of clear animations, and a narration.
Risks with surgery
Sometimes bleeding occurs during or after an operation.
To avoid bleeding the surgeon keeps the distance to large blood vessels and “Burns” smaller vessels that bleed with diathermy. Also astringent medicines are used and you get dietary advice before an operation in order to avoid food that increase the risk of bleeding.
If a bleeding still occurs, it usually happens at some point during the first day after surgery. It is one of the reasons that most of our patients stay overnight. To drain out the liquid when bleeding occurs a small drainage can be used.
It is uncommon to have from infections cosmetic surgery procedures. If it still happens it will be treated in a norma fashion with antibiotics.
At Victoriakliniken you will receive antibiotics as a preventive measure for a number of days after the surgery. During breast augmentation surgery, the implants are also washed with antibiotics prior to insertion.
An infection manifests itself usually within 3-7 days after surgery. Symptoms of infection are pain, fever, and heat/swelling/redness of the surgical area.
Poor wound healing
Sometimes wounds don’t heal properly. Healing may sometimes take longer than normal, and in some cases the wound opens up. In such cases the are becomes very sensitive to infection and if that happens there is a risk to suffer skin damage or in extreme cases, necrosis (tissue death).
A wound that does not heal properly should therefore be washed and re-dressed often, and sometimes you have to correct the scar later due to the poor healing. It is more likely for smokers or people with diabetes to get healing problems after surgery.
A certain amount of swelling is normal after surgery. But sometimes a greater or prolonged swelling is due to liquid formation or bleeding.It’s therefore important to contact the clinic if you are concerned about it, and visit us for an extra control.
Loss of sensation
With all forms of surgery the surgeon will always cut off some neural pathways. Of course, the major nerves are always avoided, but even damage to very small nerves can result in lost or altered sensation in the area of surgery.
But nerves also heal, only slower, and as the healing process progresses the feeling of touch usually returns to normal within a few months, depending on the size of the procedure.
It happens however, in some cases, that the feeling of numbness remains for a longer time, and in exceptional cases the loss of sensation can become permanent.
After a surgical incision the body creates collagen to repair the “damage”. Collagen is just like cement which fills the space between two bricks. Too much collagen is always produced, and therefore we also produce an enzyme called collagenase, which “melts” away the excess collagen. This casting process goes on for months.
So collagen is produced and the excess is removed to restore the skin’s original form. If there is still a surplus of collagen, this will form a more visible scar. It is therefore very difficult to predict how a scar will eventually look like, the healing process takes time.
Usually a scar is first red and firm, but fade and soften with time. If a scar upon completion of healing doesn’t looks good it is possible to do a separate scar-surgery, a minor surgery that removes the old scar tissue, and gives your body a chance to create a new, finer scar.
You can read more about scars on our page about complications related to breast augmentation.
At Victoriakliniken, we carefully document any allergies or intolerances.
But in spite of this, occasionally it may happen that someone gets an allergic reaction. It may be related to the drugs used, or it could be from the different materials used during surgery, such as tape, gloves etc.
Some allergic reactions are violent, and it is therefore very important to inform the clinic about all your known allergies or intolerances. This applies, of course, also to food.
Anesthesia & Local Anesthesia
There is always some risk for complications with both local and general anesthesia.
It could be hypersensitivity, but also if, for example, the patient carries an infection, and therefore is not capable of being put to sleep.
That’s why it’s very important to be completely healthy when you go through any form of surgery.
There are a number of rare risks associated with surgery which one should be aware of. Some examples are blood clots and necroses.
But to suffer a serious complication that is harmful to health or aesthetics is very rare.
The best way to avoid complications is to choose a good clinic, a skilled surgeon, and that you make sure to be as well prepared as possible, both physically and mentally.