Facelift Preparation Checklist
A facelift, like any surgery, is an important event. Even a minimally invasive surgery like my Band Aid Facelift or Band Aid Micro Mini Facelift requires careful preparation in order to achieve the safest and most successful results possible. The planning actually begins from your first web search to find a board-certified plastic surgeon or to learn about the procedure you’re considering. But I’ve gone into detail about these steps in earlier blogs, so today, I’m going to focus on the time between your pre-surgical consultation and your actual surgery. In addition to the specific pre-surgical instructions you will receive at your consultation, I have put together a checklist to guide you through the weeks before your facelift.
- Complete all your required medical testing. Your safety is the most important part of the process, so to ensure that you are healthy enough for the surgery or to be sure that I can make any necessary adjustments, I require each patient to have a set of medical tests, like specific blood tests, urinalysis, EKG, chest x-ray, or other evaluations, depending on your medical history and the details of your procedure.
- Fill the prescriptions you will need after plastic surgery. You will be prescribed a pain medication and possibly an antibiotic to take after your procedure, so to make your surgery day easier, have these prescriptions filled and easily accessible beforehand.
- Make arrangements for transportation and caregivers. You may or may not be able to drive home after your procedure depending on what type of facelift you have, but follow-up appointments are crucial too, so you should set up a ride to and from all of these appointments as well.
- Set alarms or calendar reminders for when to stop eating, smoking, and taking certain medications before and after surgery. You will be given these timelines with your other pre-surgical instructions, but setting reminders can help to keep you on track.
- Prepare your resting area. You should sleep at a 30-45 degree angle for the first days of your recovery, so either bring everything you need to a recliner, or have a wedge pillow or several extra pillows set up in your bed to create the angle you need.
- Move everything you’ll need to torso-level. You should avoid bending over and straining after surgery, so make sure everything you need is accessible around the level of your waist or chest.
- Find entertainment that allows you to keep your chin level or pointed upward. This may include movies, TV shows, or books if you can prop them on something at eye level. Just avoid activities that require you to tilt your chin down.
- Put your plastic surgery aftercare instructions in an easy-to-access place where you and/or your caregiver can refer to them as needed. Make sure my office’s phone number is easy to find as well, in case you need to call with any questions.
- If needed, over-the-counter medicines that don’t include aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, or certain herbal and nutritional supplements. Keep in mind that many cold medicines contain aspirin. You will receive a full list of medications and supplements to avoid.
- An alternate method of birth control if you are a woman who is taking an oral contraceptive and will be taking an antibiotic after surgery. Antibiotics interfere with hormonal birth control, so it is wise to have a back-up.
- Antibacterial soap, which you should begin using on your face three days before your facelift.
- Soft foods, as well as foods that are easy to prepare and gentle on your stomach. You will be limited to soft foods for at least the first 24 hours, but even after that time, being prepared with easy foods will help you avoid straining yourself.
- Broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Your skin will be particularly sensitive while it heals, and you should be especially cautious to protect the area around your incisions from the sun if and when you go outside.
- A nightlight or flashlight. In case you need to get up and move around in the middle of the night, you may have limited mobility of your head, and you don’t want to complicate your surgical recovery by injuring yourself, too.
A surgery may only take an hour to two to perform, but the full process actually spans from your first step of learning about your options through the full recovery period, and each stage will factor into how successful of an outcome you attain. To get started on your personal journey, schedule an initial consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more helpful plastic surgery tips, videos, medical news, and more, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.