Preparing For Your Surgery Holiday
Planning, Preparation, and Aftercare – what do you need to know and prepare for to get the most from your surgery holiday? We have asked the advice and recommendations from the experts: straight from the surgeons, nurses, and past clients.
Health and Psychological considerations
It has been shown that the most important factor to achieve patient satisfaction following surgery is proper patient selection. This means that not everyone is suitable for cosmetic surgery. We have to have clear guidelines to select suitable candidates and weed out those who will not benefit greatly from surgery.
The ideal candidate for cosmetic surgery is an adult who is physically and mentally healthy, free of any physical or mental illness and is of normal body weight. She or he must have realistic expectations and is highly motivated for the procedure and aware of what the surgery entails. The candidate must seek surgery only for self-improvement and not for any unrelated relationship goals. (You may also want to share your plans for surgery with your GP/local doctor so that they know your intentions.)
Cosmetic surgery is only offered to patients free of any major health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory, kidney, and liver diseases. The key to faster, seamless recovery is simple – engage in simple fitness, eat healthily and take some supplements that work.
Positivity before surgery can have a significant impact on the outcome of the surgery and the recovery process. Studies have shown that patients who have a positive attitude and are well-informed about their surgery tend to have better outcomes and experience less pain and discomfort during recovery. Additionally, patients who have a positive outlook before surgery may be less likely to experience anxiety or depression following the procedure. Therefore, it is important for individuals to maintain a positive attitude and stay informed about their surgery to help ensure a successful outcome.
Smokers have a higher chance of developing wound complications and tissue breakdown following surgery. Therefore it is important to discontinue the use of nicotine completely for at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. This includes cigarettes, cigars, nicotine gum, and patches. Nicotine decreases blood flow to the skin after surgery and drastically reduces the body’s response toward healing.
- Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications before (and after) surgery thin the blood and can produce excess bleeding and bruising. It is highly recommended to stop taking Aspirin 2 weeks before surgery.
- Be sure to read the labels of any over-the-counter remedies you regularly take, as many commonly-used medications to contain aspirin. (e.g., Alka Seltzer) For the same reason, also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine before surgery.
- Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery.
Please refer to this article for additional information on pre-surgery medications and vitamins to avoid.
Some supplements have been known to affect recovery from anesthesia. Please refer to pre-surgery supplements to avoid for more information.
It is best to prepare your body and mind for surgery and to be in the best possible before your surgery. It is best to prepare your immune system and health by eating fresh, wholesome, and non-fatty foods, and exercising every day for a minimum of 20 minutes per day. A short walk around the neighborhood, taking your dog for a brisk walk or even some light aerobic/cardio exercise is the best way to improve your fitness levels prior to surgery. You may also consider vitamin and herbal supplements in the months before surgery to ensure your body is at its peak form for proper healing and recovery.
Oral and Topical Supplements
Oral supplements are dietary supplements that are taken by mouth, typically in pill or capsule form. They are used to supplement a person’s diet and can contain various vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and other substances. They can help to support overall health and well-being, as well as target specific health concerns such as heart health, immune support, or joint health.
Topical supplements are dietary supplements that are applied directly to the skin. They can include creams, lotions, gels, and oils that contain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other ingredients. They are typically used for skin care and can help to moisturize, protect, or improve the appearance of the skin. They can also be used to target specific skin concerns such as acne, aging, or sun damage.
Again, it is important to refer to yout booking form for any specific advice from the surgeon before taking any oral or topical supplements before surgery. The recommended supplements may vary by individual depending on the type of surgery and your personal medical history.
- Arnica – Begin using an Arnica supplement at least seven days before surgery and continue for two weeks following surgery. Arnica is a naturopathic remedy that not only helps prevent bruising but also aids in clearing bruising that has occurred faster after surgery. Many clients have recommended Arnica as it helps repair tissue damage, swelling, and bruising and promotes healing.
- Fish Oil – Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil may help maintain the body’s healthy response to inflammation, preventing the immune response from getting out of hand. Fish oil produces specific anti-inflammatory mediators that ‘cool down’ the inflammatory process and allow blood vessels to heal themselves better.
- Zinc – Apart from strengthening the immune system and stimulating the body’s natural healing systems, Zinc is responsible for assisting with over 200 zinc-dependent enzyme functions in the body. Zinc supplements also promote the healing of skin wounds – something recognized centuries ago by the ancient Egyptians who reportedly used it in a salve on burns. We recommend zinc sunscreens, particularly for post-face procedures, as it doesn’t get absorbed so quickly into the skin.
- Multivitamin – You may begin a good multivitamin supplement at least two weeks or more, ideally one month, before surgery. A normal dose of vitamins and minerals combined with a diet high in protein provides the necessary building blocks for wound healing.
- Vitamin C – A high dose of Vitamin C supplements (minimum 2 grams per day) both before and after surgery is highly recommended. This is the key nutrient needed for making collagen after surgery, which is what heals your tissues together. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, there is no risk of overdosing on it. What is not used by your body will be excreted in your urine.
- Though it is possible to obtain high doses of Vitamin C from citrus fruits and vegetables (you’ll have to consume a large quantity), the next alternative to obtain this vitamin intravenously (IV therapy), Vitamin C in intravenous dosage is helpful when fighting acute and chronic infections, fatigue, pre, and post-surgery and generally boosts the immune system. You can get intravenous Vitamin C when you return home; there are usually doctors in the major cities who will consult with you.
- Retin A – The main ingredient in Retin A is tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin A. It works to improve abnormal cell production, often caused by sun damage. Retin A as a topical cream to reduce the appearance of scars has been widely accepted, especially for acne scars. Results can usually be seen after just two weeks, and after continuous use for up to 8 weeks, scars are visibly diminished. As this is a prescription drug, it is important that you discuss it and that you follow your doctor’s directions precisely.
- Vitamin K – You might also consider adding Vitamin K to your diet. This fat-soluble vitamin plays an important role in blood clotting and can be found in whole foods such as spinach, broccoli, and kiwi.
- Vitamin E and Bio Oil – Topical applications of Vitamin E and Bio-Oil are popular remedies that help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and uneven skin tone. Vitamin E creams are touted to minimize scarring and reduce inflammation and can be applied before and after surgery for the best results.
Preparation and planning – what you need to know and take
Please note that some surgeons provide garments included in the price of the surgery. Please refer to your quotation for specifics on what is/is not included in your price.
If not included, surgeons may offer garments for an additional cost that will be specified in your quote. You can also choose to purchase a garment online or locally before departure. We recommend purchasing a medical compression garment for your comfort, better support, and results.
Currency and Spending money
Please refer to your quote and booking form for hospital terms and conditions of payment.
We advise you to take credit cards or your currency and to change only a small amount of money before your surgery, to cover small expenses for any meals or taxis you want on the first day. After your surgery, you can change more money at the hotel or in the shopping centers. Nearly everywhere takes credit cards – Visa or MasterCard – for shopping; however, you may need cash shopping in the markets or taking taxis. Ubers are also available in most countries.
- Credit cards: If paying your balance on arrival, it is best to pay with your surgery by credit card or cash. Although the hospital and most places do not add fees to credit card transactions, your bank may, so it is essential to check with your bank before you depart what the fees and currency conversion rates are. Before you depart your country, please inform your bank that you will be traveling, as many banks can stop international transactions thinking it is fraud. You cannot go ahead with surgery until all fees are paid to the hospital; the administration will assist you if you have problems with your bank. Still, it is in your interest to ensure that your credit card is approved so as not to delay your surgery. You can avoid this stress completely by making your payment to Gorgeous Getaways to be held in escrow and forwarded to your surgeon before your arrival.
- Wire Transfers: If you want to wire the money in advance to the hospital or through Gorgeous Getaways, please let us know, and we will provide you with wire transfer information to the hospital or to our corporate account.
- Cash: do not change money to the local currency before you depart, as there is a limit to the amount of local currency you can bring into the country. If you want to take large amounts of cash, please check the current limit that you bring in to your destination. If you do need cash for miscellaneous items, your hotel concierge will be there to assist you with any currency exchange queries. Any questions about any of this, let us know.
Weather conditions at your destination
You can find weather conditions online. Accuweather is a good app to download prior to departure and is available for both IOS and Android.
Tips for packing for your holiday:
- Don’t pack much, the shopping is great, and you will probably come back with too much
- Pack light clothing: t-shirts and long shorts, long skirts, and button-up tops are best for easy removal. Natural fibers and casual clothing are best to keep you cool for hot, tropical destinations. You may refer to the links on weather conditions above for your destination to help you pack accordingly.
- Malls, restaurants, and night spots are all air-conditioned, so you can dress up when you go out.
- Cover-up is necessary to keep scars out of the sun: make sure you have your hats, sunscreen, and scarves.
- If you are having any face treatments, bring a scarf for your head and face and oversized dark sunglasses.
Our destinations receive many tourists year-round and are fully accustomed to foreign visitors. From Malaysians to Mexicans, they are extremely friendly people, and you will find they go out of their way to help you. However, you must be aware that all cultures are different in some respects, especially in regard to the understanding of time. For example, you may find that they are not focused on specific appointment times, as they are people orientated rather than time-orientated. Please be patient and understand that this is not a reflection of the quality; it is simply a cultural difference.
Additionally, your appointments may be changed at short notice, especially surgery consultations, due to emergency surgeries that the surgeon may have to do. Do not worry about this, your appointment may just be delayed, not canceled, and you will always get your consultation as soon as the surgeon becomes available. All our surgeons are highly flexible, working at night and on weekends, so you will always be seen, although not always given a specific time. This flexibility is also beneficial to you, so you can make or change your appointment should you wish at short notice.
If you come during major/national holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Chinese New Year then please expect delays or fewer consultations than normal.
What to take for your Hospital Stay
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring with you:
- Toiletries: toothbrush and paste, towel (most hospitals provide handy disposables now unless you prefer to use your own toiletries)
- No valuables small amount of money is needed only for snacks and drinks
- Reading material – magazines
- Any medications
- Contact lenses or glasses
- Healthy snacks
- Bottled water
In addition to the above, there are a number of things that should be avoided before surgery in order to ensure a safe and successful procedure.
Please refer to your official booking form for any specific surgeon requests before surgery.
Some of these may include:
- Smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of complications during surgery and slow down the healing process. It’s recommended to quit smoking at least 4-6 weeks before surgery.
- Drinking alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of anesthesia and increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. It’s recommended to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before surgery.
- Taking certain medications: Some medications, such as blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs, can increase the risk of bleeding during surgery and should be avoided or discontinued before the procedure. It’s important to inform the surgeon and anesthetist of all the medications the person is taking.
- Eating or drinking: Most surgeries require the person to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure. This helps to avoid complications during surgery and ensures that the person is properly sedated.
- Neglecting to follow pre-operative instructions: Every surgery is different, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions given by the surgeon and anesthetist. These instructions may include details about fasting, medications to take or avoid, and other important information.
- Ignoring symptoms or signs of infection: If the person experiences signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or redness and swelling at the surgical site, it’s important to inform the surgeon and postpone the surgery until the infection is treated.
Depending on the treatments that you have, you will stay between 1-4 nights in the hospital. If you are having a tummy tuck, you may have drains for the duration of your stay, which are taken out before discharge. On discharge from the hospital, you will be given take-home medications, which include:
- Anti-swelling tablets
- Pain relievers
- Sleeping pills
It is important to take your medications as directed, if you are unsure or require more, please ask your surgeon at your follow-up consultation or ask one of our Destination Managers. The surgeon will also suggest the following for optimal recovery:
- Rest and relaxation is a definite MUST in the days after surgery – ensure that you don’t do anything too strenuous, including shopping in the first few days – there will be lots of time for this!
- Saunas and heat packs – this is recommended to drain excess fluids naturally. Patients who have 1 or 2 saunas a day and are diligent with applying heat packs (or hot towels) to the affected areas tend to recover quicker than those who do not.
- Ice packs can be beneficial after surgery as they can help to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. When applied to the area of surgery, the cold temperature causes the blood vessels to constrict, decreasing blood flow to the area and resulting in less swelling. This can also help to reduce pain and discomfort.Applying the ice pack in a wrapped condition to the area of surgery is recommended, leaving it on for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day. It’s important to avoid applying the ice pack directly to the skin, as this can cause frostbite, instead, wrap the ice pack with a towel or cloth.It’s also important to note that ice packs should not be used for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, as prolonged use can cause the skin to become numb and increase the risk of an injury.
- Gentle walking – it is important to move the body every day to keep the blood circulating and your spirits up!
- Phoning home and meeting others – in the days after surgery, you may feel down with the pain and medication, so it is important these days to keep your spirits up by meeting other people – the great thing about traveling with GG is that there will be other ladies and men who are going through the same as you! It is great to share a laugh and stories of your adventure; many people have become great friends on their holiday. Don’t hesitate to tell our managers your feelings; they are experienced and can help you should you require.
- Scar fading creme -there are a number of scar healing creme on the market; you can ask your local chemist or GP about these before you leave. One of the best on the market is Cica-Care – a gel combined with patches. The surgeon can also prescribe you a creme, and you can purchase this from the hospital or pharmacy. You may also try products from the company Cellex-C. Also, it is best to purchase your Arnica Gel/Creme before departing.
Tours and Excursions
It is generally recommended to avoid strenuous activities, including tours or excursions, for at least a few weeks after cosmetic surgery. The recovery period and specific instructions will vary depending on the type of surgery you had and your healing process.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on when you can resume normal activities and travel. Still, you should generally avoid any activities that may cause strain, stress, or pressure on the surgical area.
You should also protect the surgical area from sun exposure, infection, and other potential complications. It is always recommended to consult with your surgeon before making any plans for travel or excursions after surgery to make sure you have proper healing time and do not put yourself in any risk.
If you feel fit and follow surgeon guidelines, you can arrange tours at Viator. Viator offers a wide array of tours and excursions in the destination of your choice. You should book tours while in the country after your surgery and are feeling well.
On a last note, do remember the 3 Golden Rules:
- No smoking – 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery
- No drinking – 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery
- No sunlight near any wounds/scars
If you have any questions regarding preparing for your surgery holiday, or anything else, please ask your Destination Manager at any time!