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Liposuction: Preoperative Nursing Care At Burnett Plastic Surgery

Liposuction, also known as Lipoplasty, or simply Lipo, is the process of removing fat and fluid from under the skin using a suction assist device in the operating room or doctor’s office.

Most patients are concerned about small pockets of excess fat around their tummy, back and thighs. The ideal patient is at or near an optimal body weight and has tried exercise and diet to reduce the excess fat unsuccessfully in the past. We take a full surgical and medical history of the patient,we also take a baseline height, weight and measurements of the area (sometimes there is a slight reduction in weight and loss of inches after surgery)

We love helping patients prepare for surgery, it is an exciting time for them. We encourage them to bring a garment such as a bathing suit or sundress that they wish to be more comfortable wearing. Photos are taken and Dr. Burnett creates a surgical plan with the patient and the nurse Lori. We encourage our patients to call us via cell phone or email us with any questions they may have at any time during the preoperative phase.

We do however have to counsel the patient about the risks and hazards of any surgical procedure. Dr. Burnett’s policy of obtaining medical clearance on all patients 40 years and older as well as those with an ongoing medical condition also provides another layer of safety for the patient. We review the surgical consent thoroughly and answer any questions that come up. We also provide a Pre-Surgical instruction form on liposuction created by the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

This comprehensive form covers the last three weeks leading up to the surgical date and gives our liposuction patient an opportunity to plan and prepare for surgery. This planning covers everything from shopping for appropriate vitamins and minerals to enhance healing to planning for child care in the immediate post op period.

Dr. Burnett also believes in good hydration in the immediate post op period. We advise our patients to purchase Gatorade or Vitamin Water for fluid replacement and overall improved sense of well being and balance after the procedure. A final cornerstone of our practice is the use of Arnica Montana a homeopathic remedy that helps minimize post operative bruising and bleeding. The patient takes it as prescribed for at least five days, with great results. All patients are advised to get a good night’s sleep and have nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Next week I will talk about our care of the patient in the immediate post op period.

Carlos Burnett