What to Know Before Surgery

When you‘re thinking about cosmetic surgery, it’s important to know what questions to ask. Confirming that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery helps serve as a warranty for the type of training they have received.

The initial consultation is a time for you to meet with potential surgeons (or members of their team) and get your questions answered. A few things to ask are:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure? Why or why not?
  • Are there treatments other than surgery that might work just as well or better for me?
  • How many times have you done this procedure? What were the results?
  • Can you share before and after photos or diagrams to help me understand the procedure?
  • Can the desired effect be accomplished in one procedure, or do you anticipate multiple procedures?
  • Will the results be permanent? If not, how long will they last?
  • What are the possible complications?
  • How will my progress be monitored after surgery? What follow-up care will I need? How long of a recovery period can I expect?
  • How much will the procedure cost?
  • What type of anesthetic will be used? How will it affect me?

When it comes to anesthesia, Dr. Poulter’s current multimodal pain therapy uses local anesthetic as the main component. Instead of being delivered in a little ball through a catheter, the local is injected into the area to be numbed, and it lasts for three days! This benefits the patient in many ways.

During the surgery, less anesthesia is needed to keep the patient asleep and comfortable throughout the case. This makes them less likely to be nauseated upon coming out of the anesthetic. Second, it keeps the pain pathway from developing, which helps block postoperative pain.

The pain pathway is also blocked by having the patients take a cough medicine and Gabapentin several hours before surgery. In studies, the medication in cough syrup was shown to minimize the need for narcotics following tonsillectomies in children. Liposuction patients receive IV Tylenol immediately before starting the procedure as well, also to block the pathway.

Another medication taken on schedule is regular Tylenol, taken every 8 hours. This controls most of our patients’ discomfort from the earliest postoperative period. When separated from the usual
combination of Norco or Percocet, the patient needs (and receives) less opioid, limiting its side effects of nausea and constipation.

Finally, the PRN, or as-needed meds, are a muscle relaxant and the lowest dose oxycodone. Taken separately, they offer the strongest medications to control breakthrough pain that a few patients experience. This usually contains the breakthrough pain, with an even smaller number of patients requiring the minimal number of opioids prescribed.

Managing postoperative pain allows patients to get back to their routine activities sooner, heal quicker and prevent postoperative complications. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Poulter today or call our office at (309) 663-1222 or Toll Free at (888) 841-4108.