how to prepare for plastic surgery

Facial plastic surgery involves much more than cosmetic procedures—it is often used to help patients who have difficulty breathing, who have had an injury, or who have had a skin cancer removed from their face as a part of Mohs treatment. Facial plastic surgery is also helpful for those who have structural problems with their nose or have septal perforations.

Some of the most common plastic surgeries we perform include skin grafts, rhinoplasties and otoplasties.

No matter what type of plastic surgery you are having, we will give you a specific set of instructions to follow that will address your specific case. Following is a basic guideline to help you prepare.

How to prepare for plastic surgery

1. Be sure you’ve discussed your needs and wants with us in detail before the surgery.

The nose and ears are some of the face’s most defining features. It’s important for us to know what you expect and what you want, especially if you are planning to have a rhinoplasty or otoplasty (a procedure to reduce the appearance of protruding ears). If you have had a nasal fracture or traumatic injury, please express your concerns with us. Our goal is to give you the services you need coupled with the appearance you desire.     

2. Let us know if you’ve had any changes to your medications.

We need to know if you are taking additional medication or have changed the dosages of your current medication. It’s also vital that you let us know if you’ve been taking any herbal supplements. We will review this with you again the day of the surgery, but it’s important for us to have the information in advance so we can coordinate your care.

Avoid Advil, Motrin, Aleve, BC’s, green tea, fish oil and other supplements 10 days prior to the procedure. If you are on aspirin, ask your surgeon whether you should stop it or not. 

3. Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Regardless of whether your procedure uses a local anesthesia (which only numbs a certain area) or general anesthesia (when you are “asleep” during the surgery) it’s important to have someone to drive you home. You should NOT use a taxi or a ride service such as Uber.

4. Fill any prescriptions you will need.

There may be medications you’ll need after the procedure. It’s in your best interest to have them filled beforehand so you can concentrate on your recovery.

5. Do not eat or drink after midnight before the procedure.

6.Wash your face and hair before the surgery.

7. If you smoke, do not smoke in advance of your surgery. 

In fact, we hope you will stop smoking completely. After your procedure, speak with us about smoking cessation programs and how we can help you.

8. Be sure you have your insurance card and other important papers with you the day of the procedure.

We suggest setting out what you will need the night before.

9. Do not wear jewelry, make up or nail polish the day of the procedure.

10. Do not bring any valuables with you to surgery.

We suggest having someone with you to hold your wallet, identification, etc. for you.

11. Arrive early

Give yourself plenty of time, and always take traffic into account when deciding when to leave.

12. Be sure you understand the post-op instructions. 

13. We prefer for someone to stay with you for a few days after the surgery, so make arrangements in advance. 


Raleigh Capitol ENT has the area’s leading plastic surgeons on staff

We’re very fortunate to have two of the area’s most well-respected surgeons – Dr. David Clark and Dr. Kevin Doyle. 

Dr. Clark has extensive expertise and completed a fellowship with the world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Farrior. Dr. Clark works regularly with patients who have undergone Mohs surgery, and he has performed thousands of skin flaps and grafts. He’s board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 

Dr. Doyle finished medical school, his residency and his fellowship at Duke University. He has extensive experience in nasal and sinus surgery reconstruction surgery and pediatric otolaryngology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American College of Surgeons.

Do you have questions about facial plastic surgery?

We encourage you to schedule an appointment to speak with us about your concerns, whether you’ve had Mohs cancer treatment, a broken nose, or you would like to have cosmetic surgery. We’ll be glad to discuss our complete range of surgical options

Interested in learning more? Read the following articles:
How Mohs is Revolutionizing Skin Cancer Treatment
What is a Skin Graft and Why Would You Need One?
5 Common Facial Plastic Surgeries
Rhinoplasty: More Than Mere Cosmetic Benefits

Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose, and Throat is the area's premiere physician-owned ENT practice with six convenient locations throughout Wake County. Our board-certified physicians have extensive experience in treating both common and complex cases to help adults and children alike. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.


Cleveland Clinic. “Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. Pre and Post-Op Checklist.” Online.