1) What do I do to prepare for surgery?
Although the preparation for surgery is pretty simple, it is an essential element in a successful outcome. To prepare for surgery, a preoperative appointment will be scheduled with one of our experienced nurses. Read on if you would like to know more about the preparation and postoperative care involved with a facelift.
2) What happens at the preoperative appointment?
Many things! To name a few, you will meet with our nurses who review your health history, answer your questions, instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, provide prescriptions for use after surgery and tell you what to expect. Most of the instructions are listed here below. This list of questions, however, will not take the place of a preoperative visit, which is essential in determining a patient’s understanding and readiness for surgery. We will be sure you are signing an informed consent.
3) What does informed consent mean?
Informed consent means you have an excellent understanding about the benefits of surgery as well as any risks, and all the preoperative and postoperative information. You are making an “informed” decision as to whether surgery is right for you.
4) What are the benefits and risks of a facelift?
As part of your initial consultation, your physician will review your expectations for surgery. At that time, he can provide a realistic picture of what surgery can and cannot accomplish. Depending on which procedures you are interested in, we will provide you with a list of any risks reported in the medical literature associated with all procedures you are considering. Although risks from cosmetic surgery are uncommon, every patient should be fully informed of any risk associated with surgery.
5) Where will my incisions be?
See the illustration for placement of incisions in front of and behind the ears. Because incisions are placed in a natural skin crease, facelift incisions heal very well and most patients and family members will not notice them after a few weeks.
6) What if I have a history of bad scars?
If you have pierced ears, the way you healed there is a good indication of how you will heal from facial plastic surgery. Scars on the rest of the body typically are not an indication for how patients heal following facial plastic surgery. At the time of your consultation, it’s important to show your physician any previous scars that are of concern to you so he can give you a realistic assessment of your healing potential following facial plastic surgery.
7) What are some of the other things to do to prepare for surgery?
We review your health history and any daily medications you may be taking. Because tobacco abuse impedes wound healing, you will be asked to stop for two weeks before surgery and two weeks following surgery.
8) What about my daily medications before surgery?
You will have a preoperative appointment well in advance of your surgery when our experienced staff will review all mediations with you. If you are on “blood thinners,” you will be asked to stop them approximately one week prior to surgery. We also ask that you avoid certain over-the-counter medications. We will provide a “Medication List” for medications and supplements to avoid prior to surgery.
9) I take vitamins and supplements. Do I need to stop them before surgery?
Most vitamins and supplements have few side effects. However, there are some, such as vitamin E and ginko-bilova, that affect bleeding during surgery. Also, because there are now so many supplements available, we do not know how supplements interact with anesthesia. We will provide a “Medication List” for products to avoid before surgery.
10) Do I need any special prescriptions before surgery?
Most patients do not need any special prescriptions before surgery. Please let us know of any special medical concerns you may have. (We will address prescriptions needed after surgery below.) You will also be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
11) Why will I be asked not to eat or drink anything?
Anesthesia medications can cause stomach upset. The best way to prevent after effects from anesthesia will be to avoid food or drink from midnight the night before surgery. For patients with special concerns, such as a patient with diabetes, our nurses will be happy to address special arrangements with you ahead of time.
12) What happens when I check in for surgery?
Our nurses will help you get ready for surgery. You will have an IV and change into a gown. Please let our nurses know of any special needs you may have. Also, be assured that you have plenty of time for any last minute questions with your doctor.
13) What other instructions are there?
Glad you asked! See the postoperative instructions below.