Your Health and Cosmetic Surgery

Your Health and Cosmetic Surgery

With all of the stories in the media every day about cosmetic surgery, many people begin to think that having surgery is an easy procedure that is kind of associated with getting a haircut. Because it is elective surgery, the weight of what is really happening is not always emphasized and it is taken lightly. People talk about having surgery and don’t always realize that is it surgery, there are risks, and your body must be healthy and in top condition in order to tolerate the surgery and heal well.

What should you do?

In addition to the instructions given to you from your surgeon, he or she might also require you to get medical clearance done by your regular doctor. This is usually an Internal Medicine doctor who specializes in this field.

He will do blood work, a physical exam, review your health history, check your vital signs, and maybe do an EKG of your heart.

This is generally done 1-2 weeks before your surgery, and it is an important part of your surgical experience. I have seen many patients find out that they have low hemoglobin and have to increase their iron intake, have thyroid issues and need to start medication, heart issues, or even find out that they are pregnant.

If you don’t already have an Internist, your surgeon should be able to refer one to you. If you are over 40 years of age, the standard of care is a full lab work up, EKG, and a letter from your internist stating that you are cleared for surgery. This should be done within 2 weeks of your scheduled surgery. If your surgeon says that this is not necessary, consider this to be a red flag. Also, a current mammogram is required if you are having surgery on your breasts.

For example, if you are diabetic and want to have elective surgery, it is crucial that your blood sugar is monitored closely right after your surgery, as high levels can impede healing. If you take blood pressure medication for high blood pressure, it is important to watch your blood pressure directly after surgery, because high blood pressure can sometimes cause bleeding.

I recommend staying at an aftercare facility especially if you are on medications, are having a large surgery, or if you are from out of town and want extra attention and nursing care to make sure that all goes well. Most of my patients stay at Pearl Aftercare where they are well taken care of by a well trained nursing staff in a beautiful Hotel setting.


In conclusion, your health and the physical condition of your body are very important in your surgical procedure and in the healing process. Having a full exam is done for your own safety, as well as providing information for the surgeon about your body before you choose to have your procedure done.

Sylvia Silvestri, R.N.