Your Pre-Op Facelift Checklist
Preparing for a facelift surgery might just be enough to cause a panic attack unless you know how to plan and check off your to-do list. There are many things to be done ahead of time to ensure a smooth recovery and your best results.
Follow the instructions of your plastic surgeon to be sure you hit all of the key points, but this list can certainly serve as a starting point for your facelift preparations.
One Month Before Surgery…
With your facelift surgery on the books and drawing ever closer, the last three to four weeks is the perfect time to start preparing for your facelift. Of course, your surgeon will give you the most detailed instructions for this time frame, but some of the items on that list may include:
- Pre-surgical laboratory tests and EKGs, if required by your surgeon. Not all patients will require these tests to be performed, but if they are needed, don’t wait until the last minute. Get yourself cleared for surgery as early as possible for a smooth ride to the finish.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle, including a proper diet and regular exercise. Staying fit and healthy can only increase your chances for a safe and quick recovery.
- Have your hair cut as needed. If your surgeon asks for you to make changes to your hair, this is a good time to make that salon appointment.
- Avoid pregnancy. Female patients should be extra cautious in the weeks leading up to their procedure, as pregnancy will cause your procedure to be delayed until after your child is born. Plan accordingly.
Two Weeks Until Your Surgery…
As your surgery draws near, you should start planning for your recovery and taking steps to ensure your optimum health and minimal risks during and after the facelift surgery. These measures may include:
- Stop taking certain medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E, which can increase your risk for certain surgical complications.
- Avoid using any nicotine from this point on, including cigarettes, pipes, chew, and even smoking cessation patches. Nicotine can interfere with healthy circulation through your body, which can impact your surgery and increase your complications risk. You will also need to avoid smoking for two weeks following your surgery
- Wear sunscreen daily to avoid any sun damage, especially on your face!
- Add 1000 mg of vitamin C to your daily routine. This essential vitamin is critical to the healing process, so supplements will help prepare your body for surgery.
- Make plans for your accommodations, if necessary. For patients traveling more than 30 minutes between their home and the surgical office, hotel bookings should be arranged for the first night following your surgery. The 30-minute distance is too far to travel after your surgery, even with a friend or family to chauffeur you. Book the hotel and enjoy the excuse to relax.
- Start preparing your Recovery Area, a designated space in your home that you design to be as comfortable and accessible as possible. Gather pillows, blankets, comfortable clothes, entertainment, healthy snacks, water, and any medical supplies to keep your Recovery Area well-stocked with all of the essentials.
One Week to Surgery:
You’re almost at the finish line now, but you still have much to do in order to be completely prepared for surgery and your recovery time. Don’t forget to take care of these odds and ends:
- Abstain from alcohol for one week before and one week after your surgery to prevent any bad reactions to other medications or procedures.
- If you chemically treat your hair with perms or hair color, squeeze in one last appointment during the week prior to your surgery or you’ll have to wait five weeks until after your facelift incisions have healed.
- Take care of any last-minute errands you might have, such as a big trip to the grocery store, the pickup of your dry-cleaning, having the dog groomed, etc. Plan out your responsibilities for the first week of your recovery and do as many as you can ahead of time. You won’t be able to run errands while you recover, so don’t procrastinate.
- Add two 2-pound bags of frozen peas to your shopping list, since you will be using these as ice bags after your facelift.
The Day of Your Surgery
As this day arrives, you’ll want to check and double-check that you’ve accomplished all of the bullet points on your list. Don’t forget that there are also things to be done on this last day, just before your facelift surgery is scheduled to begin. Make sure you take care of these last-minute details:
- Do not eat or drink anything, not even water, after midnight on the night before your surgery.
- Have a friend or family member bring you to the clinic for your procedure. They should plan to drive you home as well, since you will not be allowed to leave aloneafter your facelift.
- Take a nice, relaxing shower before your surgery but do not wear any makeup, hair styling products or sprays, or nail polish.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that does not pull over your head, as it will be difficult to put on and take off after your facelift.
- Leave all of your jewelry and valuables at home on the day of your surgery.
- Do not wear contact lenses on the day of your surgery. You may bring your glasses with you as needed.
If you follow these instructions closely in the weeks leading up to your facelift surgery, you may be surprised how smoothly everything goes after your procedure has been completed. Talk to your plastic surgeon about any issues or concerns you may have about the process to eliminate any confusion and guarantee your very best results.
Plan Your Procedure With the Right Surgeon Today
Consult with the right facial plastic surgeon to address your aging concerns and deliver the results you want, plus the instructions you need to get through your recovery right.
Dr. Rami Batniji has dedicated the whole of his career to beautifying the face through a variety of techniques. He is board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and by the American Board of Otolaryngology. Call his practice at 949-650-8882 or 310-467-2180 to schedule a consultation.