There are many things you should do to prepare, and many things you will be required to avoid, before your facelift or minilift surgery, and in anticipation of your facelift recovery. Your facial plastic surgeon’s office should provide you with specific pre-operative instructions to follow regarding eating, drinking, medications and hygiene. If you don’t understand any of the instructions, ask for clarification, because failing to follow them could put you at risk.
Don’t take any over the counter medicines that can prolong bleeding including aspirin, motrin, high dose vitamin E, fish oil, and herbal medicines. These should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Don’t make any drastic changes to your diet.
Don’t eat foods with high salt content within a few days of your surgery.
Don’t eat or drink (that includes water) from midnight on the night before your procedure until your surgery is complete.
Don’t Smoke! Smoking alters blood flow, and people who smoke will not heal as quickly as those who don’t. You are advised to stop smoking for at least several weeks prior to your surgery.
Do tell us about any medication you are taking. Include any over-the-counter medicines, herbs or supplements.
Do minimize the risk of infection by washing your hair and body thoroughly the night before and the morning of your facelift surgery with hibiclens. Perfume, lotion, deodorants and other products should be avoided, and you should arrive for your surgery wearing no makeup or jewelry. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing including a button up or other front closing shirt as you will not be able to slide clothing over your head after your procedure.
Do avoid alcohol in the days before your surgery, and get some rest!
Do plan for transportation home after the surgery and to have someone stay with you for the first few days after your surgery. If you live alone, ask us to recommend a home care service to assist you in your care.
Do prepare your home and schedule.
- Go shopping to purchase items you will need for the first few days. Buy soft foods that are rich in protein, low in sodium, and require little preparation such as oatmeal, applesauce, and soup. Only drink beverages such as bottled water or fruit juice.
- Have extra pillows on your bed to elevate you and keep you comfortable.
- Fill prescriptions ahead of time so you have them readily available when you get home.
- Have ice packs ready to help with swelling. This is best used up to 48 hours after your procedure.
- Stock up on books and movies you’ve been wanting to read and see so you won’t get bored while resting and recovering.
- Make arrangement for children and pets.
Do make and keep your follow up appointments with your facelift surgeon. It can take a full year to see the final results, and every follow up appointment is as important as the last.
Speak candidly to your facial plastic surgeon about all pre and post-op concerns, because proper preparation for your procedure will truly help you have a much better recovery.