You feel at peace with your decision — you’re getting a facelift. You’re excited to see the results of your facelift procedure, which generally includes a more youthful, well-rested appearance. But, as the day approaches, you find yourself wondering what steps you should take when preparing for a facelift.
Your chosen plastic surgeon will walk you through what you need to do in order to ensure you have the most successful surgery possible. However, there are some general steps patients can take when preparing for a facelift.
A facelift consultation is the logical first step in preparing for a facelift. During this important meeting, your plastic surgeon will talk with you about the goals you have for the procedure and take a detailed health history, including chronic conditions and previous surgeries.
It is imperative for you to be as honest and direct as possible during this conversation with your plastic surgeon. It is your first step in preparing for a facelift and can play an important role in getting your desired outcome.
“One of the most important things we do is educate that patient about the procedure,” says Constance Barone, MD, FACS, a plastic surgeon practicing in San Antonio, Texas. “You also have to address health issues and rule out general health concerns. You also have to understand what they expect out of the procedure.”
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
Many patients undergo a facelift and are thrilled with the results. The procedure makes you look and feel younger but in reality you probably won’t look like a teenager again. Patients who opt to undergo a facelift with the idea that they will look like they did in their senior portrait will most likely be disappointed.
However, that doesn’t mean the results aren’t noticeable, aesthetically pleasing and easily able to take several years — perhaps even a decade — off your appearance. If you go into the procedure with the right mindset, you’ll likely be pleased with your results.
Before The Procedure
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, your surgeon may want you to undergo blood tests and medical labs before your procedure. These will generally be scheduled well in advance and can fit into your schedule. Additionally, your plastic surgeon may suggest altering your current course of medication. If you are a smoker, your plastic surgeon will generally advise you to stop smoking several weeks before the procedure.
In order to ensure that the risk for bleeding complications is as low as possible, you will likely be asked to avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and certain herbal supplements before undergoing your facelift.
If the procedure is being performed as a day surgery — most facelifts are — you will likely also be advised to have a friend or family member take you home after surgery and stay with you for a few hours after the procedure.
Facelifts can reverse the signs of aging; however, they can’t stop them completely. In order to ensure your facelift has the best and longest lasting results possible, you should commit to avoiding tobacco use, wearing sunscreen and living a healthy lifestyle.