Pre & Post Operative Advice

A good health condition, being psychologically stable and following your plastic surgeon's advice allows great results to be achieved in any type of cosmetic surgery.

Pre-Operative Advice:

  1. Well-balanced diet: Follow a nutrition program enriched in vitamins and proteins. Vitamins C and E are highly recommended, as are fruits, vegetables and white meat (fish and chicken without skin).
  2. Avoid: Alcohol, smoking or being with people who smoke four weeks prior to surgery and two weeks after surgery. This will prevent the forming of hematomas, which is the collection of blood under the skin. Hematomas delay the healing process.
  3. Medicines: Four weeks before the surgery discontinue any medication containing Aspirin, such as: Alka Seltzer, Heparin or Motrin (Ibuprofen), as they produce blood thinning. Tylenol and Acetaminophen are allowed.
  4. Medical Check-up: Have a complete medical check-up before surgery, including:
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Complete blood test (complete blood count)
    • Platelet count
    • Prothrombin and partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
    • HIV test
    • Urine test
  5. Photographs: Some cases require black & white photographs 5" x 7" (12.5 cms x 20 cms). Full front face photo and two profile photos are usually required.
  6. Antibiotics: Antibiotics will be prescribed twice a day beginning two days before surgery and continuing one week after surgery. Augmentin 500 mg, Amoxycillin 500 mg, or Ceclor or Ciproxine 500 mg.
  7. Personal Care: Hair should be washed twice: Once the day before the surgery and once the day of the surgery.
  8. Facilities: Surgeries are performed at one of three hospitals: Hospital Clinica Biblica, Hospital CIMA San Jose, and Hospital Santa Rita(*) which is located in San José. Hospital stay depends on the type of surgery, normally it ranges from an 8 hour stay to a 1-3 night stay.

* Hospital Santa Rita offers 20 rooms with private bathroom, private phone, cable TV. Laboratory, X-ray and drugstore are available at the hospital. It is recommended that you check in at least 3 hours before surgery.

Post-Operative Advice:

  1. Hospital Stay: For minor procedures the minimum recommended stay is of 8 hours. Patients that have undergone major procedures are encouraged to remain in the hospital 1 or 2 nights after surgery.
  2. Recovery time: Recovery time depends on the type of surgery performed. It usually takes from one to two weeks after surgery. People that live outside Costa Rica are asked to stay 1-2 weeks after surgery. Small and cozy hotels or bed-and-breakfasts are ideal for the recovery period.
  3. Well-balanced diet: Continue the well-balanced diet begun during the pre-operative period. During the first two weeks eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and white meat.
  4. Vitamins: Take Vitamin C everyday to promote healing. Two weeks after surgery vitamin E cream can be applied with a Q-tip to clean the stitches, aid scar-healing and remove excess scabs.
  5. Antibiotics and Analgesics: Continue with the antibiotics prescribed for one week after surgery. (Augmentin, Ceclor or Ciproxine). Acetaminophen, Naproxene or Aleve, Codeine or Tylenol are prescribed as analgesics for the first week. Avoid aspirin or similar, since they are blood thinners.
  6. Avoid: Smoking or drinking alcohol for four weeks to avoid hematomas or seromas.
  7. Exercise: Avoid exercises for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Avoid sudden, abrupt movements and bending over. Relax as much as possible. Consult your surgeon before starting any exercise routine.

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