What I Need to Know About You: Why Your Medical History Is Important

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Buford

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Buford

Do thoughts about the possible risks associated with plastic surgery make you feel a little uneasy? That’s normal, sure, but worry won’t help as much as having a clear understanding of how to work with your doctor to minimize complications and help ensure safe surgery. Begin by making sure you consult with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon. Working together, the two of you will thoroughly evaluate the general state of your health well in advance of the surgery date.

All surgical procedures must be carefully planned and prepared for. A thorough review of your complete medical history will help the surgeon give you the best possible guidance as you get ready for your big day. I’d like to share some of the topics I explore in depth with all of my patients.

Chronic medical conditions pose special challenges for any surgical candidate. Diseases will need to be discussed, and detailed medical records reviewed. For example, hypertension creates a risk for excessive bleeding if your medication isn’t adequately controlling your high pressure; diabetes must be looked at, because of concerns related to insulin management and anesthesia during surgery and increased risk of infection afterward.

I examine your personal health history to look for certain issues that may be present in your family background—especially factors associated with your blood’s ability to clot. Being extremely obese, having a history of cancer, or having experienced severe and recurrent infections are also important issues to consider while developing a surgical plan. Allergies to medications are also vital information to disclose.

Smoking creates a number of risk factors and it is always recommended that you stop smoking—and stop using any nicotine products—some weeks prior to surgery. Nicotine affects your circulation by restricting small blood vessels no matter how it enters your body.

Medications and supplements can interact with anesthesia so these too will be looked at closely. Some long-term “maintenance” medicines, such as oral contraceptives and hormone-replacement therapy, can be managed as part of an overall approach to a cosmetic procedure. Surprisingly, certain dietary and wellness supplements might also need to be avoided, either because they are known to interact with anesthesia or because they thin the blood and affect clotting. Supplements to be avoided include (but aren’t limited to) common nature-based ingredients such as ginger and gingko. Even over-the-counter medications like normal aspirin can cause problems!

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I need to know everything about your health and lifestyle habits to help minimize risk during your surgery. Revealing all of the drugs and supplements you’re taking (or have recently stopped taking) will help me determine that you are at reduced risk for surgery.

When you prepare for cosmetic procedures at BEAUTY by BUFORD, we explore every angle of your health and wellbeing. This lets you enjoy one of nature’s most potent medicines: peace of mind.