Referred to as “rhytidectomy” a facelift is designed to smoothen loose skin and wrinkles on the face and neck, tighten underlying tissues which have become lax with age, and gets rid of fatty facial issue. As a result a patient undergoing facelift surgery can expect the face to appear firmer and more youthful.
Choosing the right Specialist Plastic Surgeon for your facelift is important and you should ensure that you are comfortable with the specialist chosen, have checked their credentials, feel satisfied with their level of expertise in performing facial surgery and that, after consultation, you both have realistic expectations on what can be achieved.
Choosing the right surgeon aside, preparing for your surgery, and post-surgical care are both important factors to ensure you do everything you can to get the best outcome.
Patients who elect to undergo face lift surgery at Brighton Plastic Surgery are given a comprehensive list of pre and post-surgical instructions. This post aims to summarise some of this information, providing an overview of what you should expect when undergoing this type of plastic surgery.
Two Weeks Before Your Face Lift Surgery
Two weeks before your scheduled surgery you should expect to meet with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for a final consultation. Any administrative matters are generally tended to at this point and you will be given detailed instructions on pre and post-operative care.
You should cease smoking at least 2 weeks prior to undergoing facelift surgery. Smoking is known to impede the healing process. If continued, blood flow, which carries all the healing properties to your wounds is significantly reduced and will cause delays in your recovery or could cause wound breakdown. Better still why not use your upcoming surgery as a catalyst to stop smoking all together!?
Aspirin and other medications known for their blood thinning properties should be avoided at this point. Other medications to cease 2 weeks prior to surgery include anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins or herbal/complementary medicines.
It is critical that you discuss any medications you take with your Surgeon at both your initial Consultation, and when you meet with them 2 weeks before your procedure. They will advise what you need to stop taking and what you may need to start taking. To ensure a successful surgical outcome it is important that you follow your surgeon’s directions without deviation.
48 Hours Before Facelift Surgery
You should refrain from drinking alcohol 48 hours before your facelift procedure. Alcohol will dehydrate you and prolong your recovery period. You should follow any additional instructions provided to you by your Surgeon at this time including taking any additional medications required.
The Day of Your Face Lift Surgery
Have a good shower and thoroughly wash your hair on the morning of surgery. Do not put any hair products in your hair, including hairspray.
Bring comfortable loose clothing with you on the day of your surgery. Tops should be buttoned or zipped down the front, so nothing will pull at your wounds. This should also be the case for sleeping attire. Easy to slip on shoes are essential to avoid bending over after surgery.
Facelift surgery usually takes between 3-6 hours depending on each patient’s specific needs. Facelift surgery is performed as an inpatient procedure and is performed under general anaesthesia. You can expect to be in hospital for 1-2 nights after your surgery.
You will need to ensure that you have pre-organised a responsible adult to pick you up from hospital and have them stay with you day and night for the first 48 hours after you are discharged.
Face Lift – Post Operative Care
There will be many specific instructions provided to you to follow post-surgery. It is important that these are strictly adhered to in order to facilitate the best surgical outcome.
After your surgery you should expect some post-operative swelling, bruising and/or numbness for some time – this can continue for a matter of weeks or months. All incisions and dressings should be kept dry until your Surgeon indicates that showering or bathing is ok.
It is important to keep your head elevated for the first few weeks after your surgery. We suggest sleeping semi reclined on 2-3 pillows, on your back. This will aid your recovery.
You should aim to keep a light schedule in the weeks following your surgery to allow for adequate healing time. Extra rest is important to promote proper healing. Refrain from physical activity (i.e. exercise) for first 2 weeks, after which time you may gradually increase activity. No strenuous exercise or activity is recommended for 6 weeks after surgery (gym, yoga etc).
Deciding to undergo face lift surgery is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If it is something that you are considering we recommend booking a consultation with Mr Mutimer, a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon. He’ll be able to inform you on all aspects of the surgery, perform a full assessment of your suitability, discuss expected outcomes and answer any questions that you may have,