Typically facelifts are performed when patients want their skin to look younger and tighter. The surgery, though, involves much more than skin.  In fact, the majority of the surgery is focused on tightening muscles, fascia, and repositioning or sculpting of the facial fat compartments.  Facelifts can revitalize your appearance and, with the right techniques, result in a natural, fresher look. 

In a previous blog, we discussed the details of the procedure to help you better understand how it works and what results to expect. 

What many don’t know is that facelifts require intricate preparation and a careful recovery process. Keep reading to learn how to properly prepare for getting a facelift and enhance your results.

Tips To Follow Before Surgery 

  1. If you’re a smoker, you’ll have to stop smoking at least a minimum of 6 weeks before the facelift. Nicotine from cigarettes can slow down or have serious effects on surgery healing.  This happens because nicotine constricts blood flow to the skin and exposes the healing skin to a number of noxious elements.  Depending on your smoking history, you may even need to quit for a longer period of time.
  2. Avoid taking any aspirin, vitamins, or herbs, and avoid any remedies that can thin the blood. Your plastic surgeon will let you know what medication you can and can not take before and after your facelift. 
  3. Comfort is key! Be sure to wear surgery-appropriate clothing both before surgery and at your follow up appointments.  Ideally, this would be a casual shirt or blouse that can be buttoned and easily placed and removed without having to pull it over your head. 
  4. If you typically color your hair, this should be done prior to surgery. After your surgery, you won’t be able to have your hair done typically for 6 weeks.
  5. Talk to your doctor about taking Arnica and Bromelain. Facelift patients in the past have found that these supplements can help reduce postoperative swelling. If recommended by your surgeon, be sure to have these ready for after surgery. 
  6. And lastly, before heading to surgery, prepare your house for your return. You’ll need lots of pillows to help you sleep in an elevated position and your prescriptions ready to go. It’s also important to have someone who can take care of you for at least 48 hours after your operation. 

Tips to Follow After Surgery 

  1. It’s crucial to stay hydrated and drink as much water and clear liquids as possible. 
  2. Rest, rest, rest! As with any operation, it’s important to give your body enough time to heal. 
  3. Avoid picking up any heavy items or performing any intense physical activity.   This is especially true in the first week after surgery.  At your follow up visits, your surgeon will let you know when and how to resume your normal physical activity.
  4. Facelifts often result in noticeable bruising.  This will typically begin to fade by 14 days after surgery.  You may be able to use concealers to cover up bruising, but these are often special cosmetic applications and not the standard concealer you may be accustomed to.  For these reasons, and due to swelling, it is wise to schedule surgery when you have ample time to heal.  Do not schedule surgery in close proximity to weddings, parties, holidays, work functions, or other events that require you to be seen.  Dr. Stallworth typically recommends surgery be performed at least 3 months prior to major engagements.
  5. Dr. Stallworth will typically allow you to wash your hair 24 hours after surgery.  
  6. The first couple of weeks (or sometimes months) after your facelift, you’ll notice your skin  feeling tight and maybe even numb. Don’t be alarmed. It’s usually a good sign that the proper tissues were lifted. You will typically be scheduled postoperatively for a lymphatic massage in our spa to help with swelling and skin stiffness. 

Ready for a facelift?

When selecting the right plastic surgeon for your facelift, it is important to find a doctor who specializes in facial plastics, cares about the quality of their work, and provides the best, natural-looking results. If you’re ready for beautiful facelift results, contact Dr. Stallworth to schedule your first consultation!