A favorable result from the surgery requires adequate blood supply to the skin. Smoking decrease the oxygen supply and the blood flow in the small blood vessels, which can compromise the result from surgery and increase the risk for complications for the anesthesia. Therefore you need to stop smoking at least one month prior to surgery.
Treatment with blood thinners, pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications need to be stopped or the dose may need to be changed prior surgery.
Local tenderness is common but is usually resolved in 1-2 weeks. There may also be decreased sensation and some hardness under the skin, but this will usually be gone in 6 months.
After the surgery
The compression garment needs to stay on all day and all night and can only be removed for showering/bathing. The skin must be kept soft and moisturized and the garments must be washed in between changes. Always have an extra pair to use while the other is being washed. The team at the clinic will inform you exactly on how to handle this.
If you are ready to commit to wearing your compression garments, we can promise you a full or nearly full reduction of your lymphedema and increased quality of life.