Having Surgery?

Getting Ready for Surgery


Get Healthy!

The best way of preparing for surgery is to follow a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and plenty of rest can help you prepare your body for surgery. Stopping use of all tobacco and limiting alcohol intake will help your body heal faster after surgery. Homeopathic preparations Arnica Montana and Bromelain, if used, work best in limiting bruising and swelling if started at least 2 weeks before surgery.


The Admission Process

Prior to the day of surgery, the hospital will contact you with the specific arrival time on the day of surgery.


On the day of surgery, you will proceed to the main admitting area of the facility.


After verifying your address, home phone number and signing a general consent for treatment, you will proceed to the ambulatory surgery admitting area. Here you will be interviewed and examined by an anesthesiologist, and may receive a pre-sedative.


Pre-operative Process

The next stop is the holding area of the operating suite. An intravenous line will be started and a saline solution "drip" will be started.


If you did not receive a pre-sedative in the ambulatory surgery admitting area, one will be given intravenously.


Relax! The hardest part of your day (the I.V.) is behind you!


The Operating Room

Most facial plastic surgery procedures can be performed under sedation or under general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you receive will depend upon the type and length of your surgery and your general medical condition. Dr. Sclafani can give you an idea of how long your procedure will take. Based on these factors, you, Dr. Sclafani and the anesthesiologist will decide on the best type of anesthesia for you.


You will then be bought into the operating room. The array of monitors may at first seem overwhelming, but realize these will help make your surgery as safe as possible. Typically, there will be several people in the room, including the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and 2-3 nurses.


Once all is prepared, the anesthesiologist will first administer oxygen, followed by the other medications. You will be asked to take several deep breaths, and you will fall asleep. Generally, the next thing you will be aware of is that the surgery is over. (Frequently, as the patient is being taken out of the operating room, he/she will ask "When is the operation going to start?"!)


Waking Up

You will stay in the operating facility generally until you are full awake, able to take liquids and you are able to walk with assistance.


Initially, you will be monitored in the surgical recovery room. You may then be transferred back to the ambulatory surgery holding area, which is generally more comfortable and your friends and family can be with you.


If you plan to stay overnight, you will be brought to your room rather than the ambulatory holding area.


Length of Hospital Stay

Everyone reacts differently to anesthetics, and some people react differently to anesthetics than they had in the past.


Generally, you will be asked to be at the facility 1-2 hours prior to your scheduled procedure, and it takes most patients between 1 and 3 hours to fully wake up after surgery.


Adding to this time the length of surgery will give you a good sense of how long you will be in the hospital.


The Night of Surgery

Patients are generally given prescriptions for preventative antibiotics as well as pain medications.


Believe it or not, most patients will describe the worst of their experience as "discomfort", not "pain". Aftercare is generally limited.


However, patients with concerns may opt to stay overnight in the facility or arrange for a private nurse. If you think you may be interested, please let our staff know.

Day of Surgery​​​​​​​

A general physical examination by your primary care physician will be necessary prior to surgery. Blood tests, chest x-rays and an EKG may be required (our office will tell you exactly what is required for your surgery), and can be performed a few weeks in advance at your doctor's office. Ask him or her about taking your routine medications. If you do not have a general physician, our office can give you the names of several qualified physicians in your area.


  • Stop smoking at least two weeks before surgery (four weeks before a facelift). The nicotine in tobacco products causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the skin which are critical to proper healing.
  • Discontinue all ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), aspirin or aspirin-containing products and Vitamin E (above what is contained in a standard multivitamin) use two week's prior to surgery
  • If a resurfacing procedure is being done, please discontinue use of self- action tanning lotions/creams at least one week prior to the treatment.
  • Wash your face with a mild soap (Basis, Purpose, Dove, Jergens, Neutrogena) the evening before and the morning of the treatment.
  • Get a full night's sleep prior to surgery.
  • Wear light and loose clothing the day of the treatment, so you will be comfortable during the treatment. Avoid pull- over shirts/blouses that may irritate the treated areas when changing.
  • Do not wear any makeup (including mascara) or jewelry on the day of surgery.
  • If the procedure will be performed under either general anesthesia or sedation, eat nothing after the midnight before surgery.