So you’ve scheduled a facelift – now what? Take a look at our list of steps that you can take to prepare for the procedure weeks in advance, and some last-minute tips for the dawn of the big day.
1) Arrange Transport (and After-Care)
While discomfort following a facelift is fairly mild compared to most surgical procedures, patients will not be in ready driving condition due to the lingering effects of anesthesia and possible vision blockages due to heavy bandaging. Have a friend or family member take you home – most also find it helpful to receive assistance with routine tasks over the next couple of days.
2) Set up a Recovery Area
In the first day or two following surgery, you will likely want little more than to take it easy in a comfortable setting. Plan ahead by gathering books, balms, pillows, beverages, and anything else you may want within reach of your bed or sofa.
3) Keep Those Numbers Handy
Ensure that you have contact information for your plastic surgeon and at least one or two nearby friends or family members who you can reach out to if necessary during the recovery period. Don’t forget a phone charger in your recovery area!
This won’t apply to everyone, but if you are a habitual smoker you’ll want to stop for at least a month prior to, and after, the procedure. Nicotine impairs tissue blood flow and concentrations in your body will often lead to longer recovery times and increased scarring.
5) Avoid Over-the-Counter Painkillers
Medications like ibuprofen and aspirin thin the blood and will diminish the body’s ability to heal trauma effectively. Your surgeon will likely recommend that you stop taking these in the days or weeks leading up to the procedure, as well as for a short time afterwards.
6) Adopt a Clean, Healthy Diet
Your diet is surprisingly important in the speed and effectiveness of post-surgical healing. In the weeks leading up to (and after) your facelift, avoid starchy carbohydrates and excess salt, and be sure to get sufficient protein, fruit, and vegetable intake. Stock your fridge up with healthy foods so that you don’t have to worry about shopping while recovering.
7) Supplement with Vitamins
Some vitamins and enzymes – especially Vitamins A and C, and Bromelain – are effective at improving healing times and reducing swelling. Your surgeon may have specific recommendations – talk with him or her before beginning any supplementation.
8) Don’t Eat in the Hours Beforehand
Any surgical procedure that involves anesthesia can cause involuntary vomiting – minimize the risk by avoiding food and drink intake at least 8-12 hours prior to your facelift.
9) Wash Your Hair Thoroughly
While surgeons take every precaution to minimize the risk of infection during a procedure, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ensure that your hair is as clean as possible. Don’t forget to scrub behind your ears as well!
10) Dress in a Front-Opening Shirt or Blouse
Pulling a shirt over your head in the hours (or days) following a facelift can be difficult and uncomfortable. On surgery day, plan appropriately with easily removable clothing.
Questions regarding the facelift procedure? Reach out to Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery, P.C.