In order to keep you safe and give you the best possible results, there is some preparation involved in having a facelift. You will need to be carefully assessed and take a number of steps to be sure that your procedure goes perfectly.
Preparing for a Facelift
When you come in for your first appointment before your facelift, we will present you with a lot of information about what the procedure involves and what you can expect before, during, and after the process. It is crucial that you understand what you are choosing to have done and that you have as much information as possible about what is going to happen.
Another important part of preparing for the procedure is evaluating whether or not this is the right course of action for you. You need to be comfortable with the treatment, and we need to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure medically. We will need to ask you a series of questions in order to be sure this option is safe for you. We will ask about your general health as well as any recent surgeries or medical treatments you have had.
We will also ask you about your lifestyle choices like whether or not you are a smoker and how much alcohol you drink regularly. We will need a list of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take, including supplements and vitamins. We will ask some questions about your family history and about any problems you have had with your skin. These questions will help us know if we would recommend the procedure to you.
Your consultation is also your first opportunity to ask any questions you have about any part of the procedure. Please write down a list of questions and bring it with you to your appointment. We want you to be completely comfortable with your knowledge of the process, and we encourage you to ask any questions you have, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Even after your consultation, we are always available to answer your questions or provide clarification on any part of the process. Your health and comfort are our top priorities.
Depending on your particular circumstances and needs, we may recommend that additional procedures be done while you are in surgery for your facelift. Some of these are facial implants or a transfer of fat. This is where we use an implant or take fat from another part of your body and place it into your face. This adds volume to areas where your skin has hallowed and gives your skin a plumper, more youthful look.
We may also recommend that we inject fat or fillers into your face during the procedure. This fills in shallow places and brings a more pleasing contour to your skin. There are other techniques we can use to improve the tone and texture of your skin as we work. We will suggest the treatments that will bring you the best results.
We may schedule you for several appointments before your surgery to conduct health screening and further discuss your options as you go through the treatment. Please be sure to keep all of these appointments because it is important that we know you are healthy enough for the procedure. If you have to miss an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reschedule.
One lab test that you may need before your surgery is a hemoglobin test. The hemoglobin in your blood is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout yr body and bringing carbon dioxide to your lungs. If your hemoglobin levels are low, you may need iron supplements to build up your red blood cell count before you have surgery.
ECG or EKG
Patients over 50 may be required to have an ECG or EKG before surgery. This test measures how efficiently your heart is working. It shows how fast your heart is beating and if your heart beats have a regular, steady rhythm. Issues with your heart don’t automatically disqualify you for surgery, but a heart problem is a factor that will need to be considered.
Additional testing may be required depending on your personal circumstances and any concerns you, or we, have about your health. These tests are an important part of making sure you stay healthy throughout the process.
As you prepare for your procedure, you will need to quit smoking for at least a few weeks before the date of your surgery. You should attempt to quit smoking completely if at all possible. Smoking plays a part in your skin’s premature aging, and your results will be much better if you no longer smoke after your surgery.
You may be given prescriptions for medication to take after the procedure. These can include medicines for the management of pain as well as antibiotics and medications that promote healing. Be sure to fill these medications before the day of your surgery so that you have them ready when you need them.
You will also need to stop taking certain medications in the days leading up to your procedure. These can include blood-thinners and anti-inflammatories. We will give you a list of medications to avoid. If you have any questions about whether a medicine is appropriate for you, please ask us. Your list of medications not to take will also include herbal supplements.
We may also ask you to avoid particular skin products, particularly those that are harsh on the skin. Some skin products contain chemicals and other ingredients that can affect the outcome of your procedure, so you will need to stop using them several days or weeks in advance of the surgery. Please supply us with a list of products you use on your skin, and ask us about products if you aren’t sure.
We may also recommend topical skin products to use after your surgery. They may be prescription or over-the-counter. Please get these products well before your surgery so you have them on hand when you are ready for them.
You will need to abstain from alcohol or several days before the surgery. We will give you instructions about when to cut back on your drinking and when to stop.
It is important to protect your skin from the sun in the weeks leading up to your procedure. If you happen to get a sunburn, the surgery may have to be postponed. Sun damage is a major cause of wrinkles and skin aging, so it is important to wear sunscreen all of the time. You will also want to use it regularly after your surgery for optimal benefits.
We will ask that you wash your hair the day before the surgery. This is because incisions will be made at the hairline and the area should be as free of dirt and oil as possible.
Make arrangements for someone to take your home after your procedure and to spend a few days with you if you live alone. You will need someone who can help you with your recovery procedures and keep an eye on you.
You will be instructed to fast for several hours before the procedure. This is a standard request in preparing for any surgery because you will need to be sure there is no food in your system while you are under general anesthesia.
When you come in on the day of your surgery, we will begin by putting you under anesthesia so you are completely sedated during the procedure. You may be under general anesthesia or we may use intravenous sedation. We will discuss these options with you and recommend the choice that we believe will best suit your needs.
This procedure begins with an incision that starts at the temples and goes down around the ear and follows the hairline down to the lowest part of the scalp. There may also be a second incision made at the chin depending on the extent of the changes that need to be made.
This is a smaller incision that is done in cases where there is less work to be done. This incision starts at the temples and ends just under the ear.
A neck lift only addresses the lower part of the face and neck, so the incision does not need to be as high at the temple. For a neck lift, the incision begins at the ear lobe and goes back to the hairline behind the ear.
After the incision is completed, fat is removed and redistributed so it will be smooth and even under the skin. Sometimes it may be sculpted to fit properly in its place. Tissues deep in the skin are also moved, and some of the muscle is lifted.
When everything is in its proper place, the top layer of skin is placed back over the area that was treated, and any excess skin is removed. The incisions are closed with traditional stitches, dissolving sutures, or glue.
When the surgery is over, you will have a bandage around the area treated that will be removed at the doctor’s office within a few days. You may also have tubes placed in the area to let any fluids drain. We will give you and the person with you information about how to care for yourself in the first few hours and days after the procedure. We will also schedule follow-up appointments to check on your healing.
It will take about a month before you will be able to see the results from the surgery, and will take four to six months to be completely healed. During this time we will check on you regularly, answer questions, and provide support.
A Youthful, Beautiful Face
We are committed to helping you get the results you want from your cosmetic procedure. Contact us at Eric P Bachelor MD FACS East Bay Aesthetic Surgery in Pleasanton, CA to schedule a consultation about your facelift surgery. We are a team committed to helping you be the best version of yourself, and we can help you get the confidence that comes from loving the way you look. You deserve a beautiful, youthful appearance. Let us help you get the results you want.