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Getting ready for your procedure

Once you have scheduled your procedure, the hardest part is actually already done. At this point, patients often ask how they should best prepare for their procedure. Dr. Chang recommends first and foremost that you try to relax and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now is not the time for special diet and exercise programs.Patients should quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to their procedure and stop taking all over-the-counter herbal supplements and alternative medicines as they can cause bleeding and interfere with anesthesia. Two weeks prior to surgery, all aspirin and ibuprofen containing products should be discontinued, as these can cause increased rates of bleeding as well. A more complete list of drugs to avoid will be provided for you well in advance of your procedure.

Dr. Chang may request that you obtain special tests prior to your procedure depending upon your age, health, and the type of procedure that you are having. Examples of these may include an EKG, a mammogram, or a visual exam. Dr. Chang will often also recommend that you see your primary care physician prior to surgery for a complete check-up and lab work. All requested procedures and lab work should be completed at least 2 weeks prior to your procedure. The results should be forwarded to our office.

Patients should arrange for transportation to and from the hospital, and arrange for someone to stay with them at least the first night at home after surgery. Arrangements for child care should be made well in advance of the procedure. Transportation to and from postoperative visits should be considered as well. Car services can be arranged and postoperative recovery facilities or individualized nursing care can be provided if necessary. Out of town patients should book their travel arrangements and accommodations well in advance, and make sure that their return flight is changeable. Our office is always available to assist with any particular logistical concerns that you may have.

Approximately 3 weeks prior to your procedure, you will have a preoperative visit to our office. At this time the nurse will perform a comprehensive review of your health, your surgical plan will be reviewed once again with Dr. Chang, and more detailed pre and postoperative instructions will be provided. Your post-operative prescriptions will be given to you as well. We ask that you fill them immediately and leave them where your final place of recovery will be. There is no need to bring them with you to the hospital.

Patients may find that they get increasingly anxious during this time. Not to worry, this is perfectly normal. Dr. Chang and the office are always available to ease your concerns. They are seasoned professionals, and no question is too silly. We generally recommend that patients stop looking at the internet and eliminate all negative influences at this time. Remember, you have already made up your mind, and the hard part is behind you! Spend your time with a positive mindset, be productive, and think of how great you will look and feel when this experience is over. And remember, Dr. Chang and her office staff are always available to help you every step of the way towards achieving your personal goals.