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The UCLA Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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Preparing for Surgery

Please note: the information on this page should not be construed as medical advice - it is presented here to provide you with a general overview of what to expect when you prepare to undergo outpatient surgery.  Your surgeon will give you specific instructions tailored to your medical history.

Outpatient Surgery

Your surgery will take place in UCLA's Ambulatory Surgery Center, located on the 6th floor of the Peter Morton Medical Building: 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 660.

Please make arrangements to have a responsible adult drive you to the Surgery Center, take you home after you are discharged, and stay with you the first night post-operatively.  Anesthesia or sedation may temporarily impair your judgment, perception, and dexterity.  We are concerned about you and your well-being.  Aftercare facilities, private nurses, and nurses' aides are available if you are unable to arrange to pick you up after you are discharged or stay with you through your first night of recovery.

When you check in, the Surgery Center will confirm that you have a ride home.  If you arrive unaccompanied and they cannot reach your designated contact by phone to confirm that you have suitable transportation, your surgery will be canceled. 
 

Arrival

Parking is available in the Peter Morton Medical Building (there is a fee to park). Take the elevator to the sixth floor to Suite 660 to check in with our receptionist.

Please check-in at the reception window at least one (1) hour prior to your surgery's scheduled start time.  Please note: circumstances may result in your surgery being delayed or postponed.  You will be notified if this occurs.

  • Fax any required lab work to your surgeon's office at least 10 days prior to surgery.
  • Review all medications with your surgeon.

 
28 Days - Four Weeks Prior to Surgery

You are required to have a physical within four weeks of surgery.  Your primary care physician should administer this exam. Please take a copy of the History & Physical From with you to your appointment. The results of your physical are due into our office 10 days prior to your surgery. Please ask your physician to fax the results to your surgeon's office.

It is important to ensure that you are medically clear to undergo surgery and that there have been no changes in your health that would necessitate any special precautions before, during, or after your surgery.  Please report any unusual health symptoms (cold, flu, fever, coughs, outbreaks, etc.) to our office prior to your surgery.  If you arrive ill, your surgery will need to be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.
 

21 Days - Three Weeks Prior to Surgery

Smoking must be discontinued at least three weeks prior to and for ten days after surgery.  Nicotine constricts blood vessels and will impair your body's ability to heal after surgery.  This may result in increased scarring or the loss of skin around the point of incision.  Failure to discontinue smoking will result in the cancellation of your surgery.
 

14 Days - Two Weeks Prior to Surgery

Stop taking aspirin or any medications containing aspirin, including herbal supplements and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, etc.) for two weeks prior to surgery.  Studies have shown that aspirin and aspiring containing drugs can cause excessive bleeding during surgery. For pain relief, take Tylenol.

Discontinue use of vitamin E in large does (ok in daily vitamins). Please advise your surgeon of any herbal supplements (St. John's wort, gingko biloba, etc.) that you are taking. Herbal supplements have the potential to interact with medications used during surgery. View list of medications to avoid before surgery
 

1 Day Prior to Surgery

The day before surgery, you must call the Surgery Center after 3:00 PM and ask to speak with a nurse.  (If your surgery is scheduled for a Monday, please call the Friday before.)  The nurse will discuss your medications, confirm your transportation home, and will answer any questions or concerns that you might have.  The telephone number to the Surgery Center is (310) 794-1085.

It is natural to experience some anxiety about your surgery.  Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions or concerns.  A sedative can be prescribed if you are feeling overly anxious.  This medication is to be taken the evening before and the morning of surgery (with just a sip of water to swallow).

Get a good night's rest.
 

The Day of Surgery

Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight prior to your surgery.  We usually ask patients to take their blood pressure medication, any sedatives, and any other prescription medication approved by your surgeon with no more than a sip of water.

  • Wash your face and hair thoroughly prior to surgery.  Do not wear any makeup or face cream the day of your surgery.
  • Bring a case for your glass or contact lenses.
  • Leave your valuables (jewelry, large amounts of cash, credit cards) at home.


After Your Surgery

You will be tired the first few days following your surgery.  Plenty of rest will help speed your recovery.

A UCLA Surgery Center nurse will phone you the day after your discharge to check up on your recovery.  If you plan to recuperate somewhere other than your home, please be sure to leave the phone number with the Surgery Center when you check in.

  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing medications for 10 days following your surgery.
  • Do not smoke for 10 days following your surgery.

Resume normal activities gradually.  Stretching exercises are permitted after 9 days of recovery, but you should avoid strenuous activities (aerobics, weight training, jogging, sit-ups, diving) for 3 weeks.  Avoid sun exposure to the operative site for 4-6 weeks, and even after 6 weeks, you should be careful to use to plenty of sun block.

If you should develop fever, chills, pain, tenderness, or extreme redness around the surgical area, please notify our office immediately.

Adhere to your scheduled post-operative and follow-up appointments.

In the event of an emergency, please call our office at (310) 825-5510. If an emergency occurs after normal business hours or over the weekend, you can page the plastic surgeon on call through the UCLA Page Operator: (310) 825-6301.
 

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