Surgical Recommendations

Important To Consider Before Surgery

All patients must have a complete check up, complete blood work (CBC – comprehensive blood count), TP, PTT, and an EKG before their plastic surgery in Costa Rica.  You should visit your primary care physician with these tests for clearance for your surgery.  If you have these tests done before you will not travel in vain, since everything must be in perfect prior to surgery.

If you smoke, there is increased risk of problems while healing, infection, as well as other complications. So, you should stop smoking at least a month before your surgery. “Cutting down” is not enough to remove the adverse effects.

Stop if you take vitamin E, aspirin, arnica, green tea, garlic capsules, discontinue use for at least a month before your plastic surgery in Costa Rica.

Post-Surgical Recommendations

Plastic surgery helps reduce effects of aging, weight or genetics.  Results do not last forever, the patient should have a healthy lifestyle.  Recovery period varies with each procedure, but is usually a week to 12 days.  Some people find it more comfortable to travel with a family member or friend to help with everyday activities.  Most recovery retreats for plastic surgery in Costa Rica have personnel to help, too.

  • Keep Dr. Alfaro´s phone number always by your side, and call us with any questions you might have.
  • Make up should not be worn in any treated area for at least a week.
  • A light diet is best for the first few days after surgery.
  • Wash with soap and water as specified by Dr. Alfaro to avoid an infection.
  • Take only the pain medication prescribed by Dr. Alfaro.
  • Do not apply anything on your incisions that has not been prescribed for you by Dr. Alfaro.
  • If there is persistent redness or fever, call us.


Some frequent questions that you can through recovery are:

  • For all procedures
  • Walk for a few minutes everyday inside your recovery facility, at least 5 times a day.
  • It is better to sit than to lay down, to reduce risk of infection or other complications.


Face lift and eyelid lift

  • Take bandages off the day after surgery.
  • Wash your face and hair gently using shampoo.
  • Hair should be washed daily.
  • Use two pillows for sleeping to keep the head raised and reduce swelling.
  • Comb hair with your hand for two weeks. After that time the patient can use a brush.
  • Contact lenses can be used a week after surgery.
  • Hair coloring at least a week after surgery.
  • Don’t use a hair dryer for at least two weeks.
  • Don’t bend down for a week, and when turning to the side turn your whole body not just your head.
  • Sleeping on your side is fine.
  • You can wear glasses a day after the surgery.
  • Exercises are not recommended until one month after the surgery.


Breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift.

  • Don’t take off your bra for two days.
  • At day three, shower with plenty of soap and water.
  • Surgical bra should be worn day and night for at least two weeks, then during the day for another two weeks.


Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck

  • Try to walk the same day of surgery. If you can´t, try again the next day. Walk for four to five minutes five times a day.
  • Shower daily.
  • Keep your feet raised when seated.
  • Starting right after surgery, breathe deeply and cough ever 15 minutes.
  • Cover the wound with gauze or sanitary napkins specially where drains are placed.
  • No exercise for a month.
  • Take only the medication prescribed by Dr. Alfaro.
  • Wear the compression garment day and night for one month and during the day only, for another month.



  • Do not take the compression garment off for the first 48 hours.
  • At day three, shower with plenty of soap and water, and daily after that.
  • Don’t exercise for four weeks.
  • Avoid sun exposure on treated areas for three months. If you are in the sun before this, you must use sun block or you will get dark spots on your skin.



  • Change the bandage every time it is dirty.
  • Keep the splint dry.
  • No physical efforts or bending down for two weeks.
  • No exercise for a month.
  • Don’t wear glasses during the healing process.