Preparing for a dermatology procedure in advance can help you feel more relaxed and improve the results of your treatment. Depending on the exact nature of your surgery, your dermatologist will likely provide information about what to do beforehand. Carefully following your doctor’s pre-op instructions for dermatology can help ensure an easy recovery process and minimize your chance of complications.
What to Do Before Your Appointment
Every procedure is different and requires a unique set of pre-operative instructions. Your dermatologist can provide you with specific directions before your procedure. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure comfortable, effective treatment and an easy recovery.
Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you can eat a normal breakfast the morning of your surgery. If your procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, make sure to eat lunch as well.
Review Medications with Your Doctor
Do not stop any medications you are currently taking until you speak with your doctor. They should review a complete list and may advise you to refrain from taking certain medications, especially if they have blood-thinning properties.
Wear Loose, Comfortable Clothing
On the day of your procedure, choose clothing which you feel comfortable in. Depending on the area of the body your doctor is treating, you may need to change into a gown, so easy-to-remove clothing is best.
The morning of your surgery, shower and shampoo your hair. Your dermatologist may recommend a certain soap to ensure your skin is clean and free from bacteria.
Avoid Makeup or Moisturizers
Do not use makeup, heavy lotions, or other products on or around the treatment site as they can interfere with your result and prevent bandages from sticking.
Arrange for a Ride
Surgery can be stressful, so you may feel more comfortable bringing someone with you to drive you home. In some cases, bandages can block vision. However, you do not have to bring a driver unless you are receiving sedation.
Stop Smoking and Avoid Alcohol
For a few days leading up to your surgery (or longer, if advised by your surgeon), you should avoid tobacco and alcohol since they can inhibit proper healing.
Sedation and Anesthesia
Most surgical dermatology procedures are relatively painless and performed under local anesthetic. However, if you are nervous or anxious, your dermatologist may provide sedation to help you relax. Since sedatives affect your reaction times, you must have someone drive you home from your procedure if you are sedated.
Prepare for Your Recovery
In many cases, recovery after dermatology surgery is short and requires limited changes to your daily life. However, if your doctor indicates your recovery will take longer, it is a good idea to prepare a comfortable space to rest and relax.
Run your errands in advance so you have plenty of food, as well as necessary prescriptions, lotions, or ointments. You may also want to gather reading materials or other forms of entertainment so you will feel comfortable and relaxed as you heal.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
The most crucial part of recovery is to follow all directions from your dermatologist carefully. Your doctor can give you specific pre- and post-operative instructions based on your medical history and the nature of your treatment. For more information on preparing for dermatology surgery, contact a dermatologist today.