Safety is key when it comes to surgery, and for many functional surgeries, doctors weigh the benefits and risks of doing the surgery before proceeding. While all surgery carries some risk, the risks from plastic surgery are very low, provided that the surgeon is highly skilled and the patient is a good candidate for the procedure or procedures in question. Sometimes, candidacy requires more verification than others, and medical tests can be a useful tool in assessing the safety of a potential operation. If you are interested in rhinoplasty, one of the most popular facial plastic surgeries in the world, then you may be wondering how much preparation and assessment is needed to determine your candidacy and move forward with the procedure. Here are some things to know about potential medical tests prior to rhinoplasty.
Depending on the patient and doctor, here are some tests that may be performed prior to rhinoplasty:
Rhinoplasty patients must be in general good health, and a physical exam helps a plastic surgeon assess candidacy. This is a common requirement, and may be done by the surgeon.
Depending on medical history, blood tests may be necessary to monitor factors such as platelet counts, in order to assess whether surgery is safe.
In patients with a history of heart issues, an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) may be required to check for issues and irregularities.
As a precaution, surgeons may order a pregnancy test in women of childbearing age, as pregnant women are ineligible for rhinoplasty.
Why They Are Done
Medical tests are usually done out of an abundance of caution. A plastic surgeon should never knowingly operate on someone who is not medically healthy enough to undergo surgery, and tests are sometimes done to make sure it is safe to proceed. Inconvenience and potential extra costs may be frustrating, but they can also be necessary to ensure your safety and results, the most important aspects of plastic surgery.
The pre-surgery testing requirements vary between surgeons and patients, and many times tests are not required. You should be prepared for the possibility of needing tests with your chosen surgeon, but you may be fine to undergo rhinoplasty without them. It may depend on your age, medical history, and other factors. You will be able to find out more during your consultations with prospective surgeons. Remember to choose the surgeon who is right for you, however, not just the one with the simplest preparation process.
Medical tests are not the only preparations you may need to make before the surgery. There are many medications and supplements that need to be stopped a few weeks prior to surgery. Over-the-counter painkillers, vitamin E, garlic, and others are common, seemingly benign medications that patients must not use before surgery. Patients on blood thinners either need to stop using the medication for a while or may not be eligible for rhinoplasty. Smokers must stop using cigarettes months or weeks prior to and after the surgery, as they are dangerous when combined with anesthesia and can produce complications both in and out of the operating room, including compromising the final results. Patients should abstain from alcohol for several days before and after surgery as well.
During your consultations, potential surgeons will assess your candidacy and ask questions about your health, medications, and medical history. It may be tempting to fudge the truth in order to seem like a better candidate, but you should always stick to the facts for your own safety and results. Be honest with your surgeon, and make sure the lines of communication are open at all times. Do not be afraid to ask questions. In fact, you should come prepared with specific questions written down so you do not forget them. Your consultations are extremely valuable and important, so be sure to make the most of them.
Tips for Choosing a Surgeon
When you choose a plastic surgeon, you need to be able to put complete trust in him or her. Your plastic surgeon should have impeccable safety standards, extensive knowledge and experience, and a track record of consistently excellent results for patients. Rhinoplasty is a complex procedure, and has a fairly high rate of revision, so you should be careful about doing your research and not compromising on quality.
Because of the difficulty of the procedure, it is best to choose a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty. The procedure takes many years to perfect, and the best surgeons are always striving for better and better results. Dr. Stuart Bentkover, of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), has a passion for rhinoplasty and has been giving patients great results for over 20 years. Call either location today to schedule a consultation.