Eyelid Surgery - How to prepare for surgery
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Hello! My name is Tristan McMullen, I'm an eye surgeon specializing in surgery in and around the eyes and eyelids and I've been asked to talk about the preparation for eyelid surgery today. This is an essential topic that I cover in detail with patients and give them written guidelines and instructions but in essence, we're talking about optimizing the results and minimizing the risks. I think probably the first and foremost thing that I'd like to bring out is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such is Aspirin or Ibuprofen which is marketed as Nurofen or Diclofenac which is marketed as Voltarol and there are various others as well. These can increase the chances of bleeding and I ask patients to stop these ten days before surgery if, and only if this is safe for them to do so. There will be patients who take Aspirin for example for general health indications, either with their heart or because they've had previous strokes. This needs a conversation that involves their GP, if their GP is looking after them or their hospital specialist and one has to balance the risks and benefits. In an ideal world, I have them stop these medications to reduce the chances of bleeding. Similarly, there are over-the-counter products that can prolong bleeding time and make surgery more difficult which can compromise the results in terms of the cosmetic outcome and more importantly can, if not addressed, increase the chances of complications. So the things I'm thinking of here are Ginkgo biloba, garlic, Vitamin E and St John's Wort. These are various over-the-counter preparations that if you don't ask patients if they take them, you won't find out and it's important to explore this. Similarly, smoking can adversely affect the outcome of surgery and obviously smoking is bad for your general health but in terms of cosmetic surgery, that can affect wound healing and in an ideal world, patients should stop smoking and if failing, that should avoid it in the two to four weeks prior to surgery. In terms of the run up to surgery, obviously it's best that patients have their health optimized and take it easy in the run up to surgery, avoid too much in the way of heavy nights out and should arrive for surgery rested and well prepared. I think as long as these questions are addressed in the clinic and with written information that patients read, then there shouldn't be any last minute glitches but those are the most important things I'd like to cover. In general terms, optimizing the skin care with moisturizers and on the day of surgery, it's sensible to avoid makeup and moisturizer. There are certain procedures such as peels which have a separate preparation protocol which we won't discuss here, that's a topic for another occasion. Thank you.
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