Pre-operative Preparation


  • have anything to eat at least 6 hours prior to your surgery. You can drink CLEAR fluids (ie nothing with milk in it) up to two hours before your surgery
  • smoke for at least 6 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. This is particularly important for patients undergoing Breast Reduction, Tummy tuck or Facelift surgery.
  • overdo alcohol. You don’t have to stop all alcohol intake but it would be sensible to keep intake to a minimum for 1 week prior to surgery.
  • take the following oral preparations at least 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after surgery:

Any mixture containing any of the following:

  • Vitamin E
  • Effamol G
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Salmon Oil
  • Codliver Oil
  • Ginseng
  • Imedeen

Antiinflammatory medications

  • Piroxicam
  • Indocid
  • Nurofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Surgam
  • Voltarol
  • Naproxen
  • Froben
  • Lederfen

Anticoagulants (medications to thin your blood)

  • Aspirin/salicylates:
  • Anadin
  • Disprin
  • Codis
  • Or any cold or Flu medication e.g. Lemsip etc.

Do not wear any eye or face makeup on the day of surgery as this may interfere with the surgery.


  • feel free to take paracetamol if experiencing any pains or discomfort for any reason prior to surgery.
  • take any regular medication (i.e. blood pressure tablets) prior to and up to the day of surgery- you can use up to 20-30mls of water to help swallow any tablets even within the 6 hour pre-operative fasting period mentioned above in the “Don’ts”. If you are taking any ACE inhibitors (blood pressure tablets that end with ‘–pril’-Enalapril, Lisinopril etc) you should omit these on the day of your surgery or the night before.- check with Mr Murphy’s team if you are not sure.
  • take Arnica tablets. Arnica is a herbal remedy that has gained a considerable reputation in recent years in helping to decrease bruising and swelling and to promote healing after surgery and trauma. It is now used routinely in many branches of surgery and I recommend it for all patients. It is available from larger pharmacies and health food shops without prescription.
  • shower or bath on the morning or evening prior to surgery, cleansing your entire body.
  • remove any contact lenses, nail polish, jewellery and all makeup whilst at home on the day of surgery. Wear comfortable, front opening and loose clothing to the hospital.

How can you prepare at home before surgery?

  • Unless you have someone who can cook for you, you should shop for food and treats such as prepared meals, frozen dinners, puddings and such. You can also cook a few meals ahead of time and freeze portions.
  • Clean your house – or have it cleaned. You are not going to be up to housecleaning for at least a few days after your surgery, and probably longer.
  • Take out the rubbish, recycling, etc. so you don’t have to worry about it when you get home after your procedure.
  • Do all your laundry and change the sheets on the bed.
  • Make a ‘Things to Do’ list (pay bills, change thermostat settings, errands, feed the pets, whatever) to remind your significant other what needs to be done.
  • Purchase all of your medications, vitamins and bandages beforehand so that you have them ready.
  • Place all medications either in a weekly pill case or in labelled containers. Mark the containers with the day and time you need to take them.
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to look after your pet until you’re on your feet again.
  • Have a table by your bed or reclining chair prepared with all of your medications, ample light, bottled water, remote control (with new batteries) and your phone.
  • Have a night light set up so you don’t fall during late night bathroom trips. Medications can make you disoriented.
  • If you are going home on the same day as your surgery, get some extra blankets, since you may get the chills after a general anaesthetic.
  • Place anything you usually need on a daily basis at hip level or on counters so that you don’t have to reach up or bend down. This means canned and dry goods in the kitchen and toiletries in the bathroom.
  • Have your dressing gown and slippers near your bed. Get slippers with non-slip soles, since you will be a bit unsteady on your feet for a few days.
  • If you think television, video games, or reading are eventually going to bore you or stress your eyes, have a CD or tape player on hand with your favourite relaxing music. Download audiobooks and podcasts to vary your stimulation.
  • Have lots of pillows on hand. Whatever your operation (face, breast, abdomen) you will be more comfortable resting and sleeping with your head up for the first few days.