Preparing foryour surgery

Before your surgery, your surgeon may order some tests and do some examinations. You should tell your surgeon about any health problems you have.


Smoking slows down the rate of wound healing and increases the risk of infection as well as failure of the graft or flap. You need to stop smoking for at least a week before surgery and until the graft and donor site have healed.

If you smoke, now would be a good time to quit. The free HCF Quit Smoking app can help you kick the habit.


Uncontrolled diabetes affects the rate of wound healing. It can also increase the risks associated with general anaesthesia. If you have diabetes, make sure it’s well controlled before your surgery. Let your surgeon and anaesthetist know if you have diabetes.


Some medications that may affect the outcome of the surgery include blood-thinners (such as aspirin, clopidogrel or warfarin), steroids or chemotherapy drugs. If you’re taking these, you’ll need to discuss it with your surgeon.

Discussing the type of surgery

Skin graft and flap surgery needs to be carefully planned. It can be done in a variety of ways. You should discuss with your surgeon the type of surgery that's best for you.

Your anaesthetic options

About the anaesthetic and post-op pain relief.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.