When considering facelift surgery, the first step is to find a board certified plastic surgeon who has the credentials and experience to safely and effectively perform your procedure. To do this, I recommend conducting extensive online research, viewing each prospective doctor’s before-and-after photos, and possibly even reaching out to previous patients to learn about their overall experience and the quality of care they received.
Once you have chosen a surgeon you believe is qualified, the next step is to schedule a consultation and meet them in person. At this time, you will have the opportunity to discuss your aesthetic concerns, ask questions, get to know your physician on a personal level, and find out if you are indeed a good candidate for facelift surgery. Your surgeon should be upfront with you about all the benefits, risks, possibilities, and limitations of surgery, and they should fully divulge everything about their technique and what you can expect throughout each stage of the treatment process. If at any point in time you don’t feel completely comfortable with your decision, it is one hundred percent okay to revisit your options until you find the right doctor for you.
When you’ve found a surgeon you like and are comfortable proceeding with surgery, you will need to set a date for your procedure. Your physician should provide a comprehensive list of pre-operative instructions, including what medicines to avoid, helpful vitamins to take, when to stop eating/drinking the night before surgery, and other details that are unique to your treatment. If you are a smoker, they will likely advise you to stop smoking and/or using tobacco products at least two weeks prior to the procedure.
In most instances, laboratory work – such as blood testing – will need to be completed in order to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. Additionally, arrangements will need to be made for someone to drive you to the surgical facility as well as take you home after your treatment. Facelift surgery requires general anesthesia, and it is unsafe to drive in the first 24 hours following sedation. A close friend or family member will also need to be available to help you with any heavy lifting and/or normal household activities for at least a couple days after facelift surgery so as to not compromise the healing process.
Ultimately, I encourage all patients to ask any questions or voice any concerns that come to mind leading up to facelift surgery. Having a complete understanding of what to expect before, during, and after your procedure can significantly improve the treatment process from beginning to end.