Two of the major steps you need to take before your facelift surgery are already complete. You picked a highly qualified, dual board-certified cosmetic facial plastic surgeon, and you’ve scheduled your procedure. But your work isn’t done quite yet. A facelift is major surgery that requires physical, psychological, and logistical preparation.
Manolis Manolakakis, DMD, FACS — director at Advanced Facial Surgery — is an expert surgeon with many years’ experience transforming and rejuvenating faces with facelift surgery. However, he knows that the patient, too, is instrumental in achieving an optimal outcome. Here’s how you can prepare for your facelift.
Be COVID safe
Our office and the hospitals with which Dr. Manolakakis is affiliated are all compliant with the CDC’s recommendations to keep patients and medical staff safe. All medical and supportive staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and disposable gowns and gloves.
Our staff and hospital staff regularly disinfect surfaces. We also make sure that all patients for elective surgery test negative for COVID and have no symptoms of disease. We test everyone’s temperature each day.
We ask that you, too, comply with COVID safety regulations. Get tested before surgery, and bring your results with you. If you’ve been vaccinated, bring your vaccination card. Be sure to wear a mask until it’s time for your procedure.
If you’re a smoker or use tobacco, you must stop before your surgery. And the sooner, the better. Smoking and anesthesia don’t mix well. Smoking raises your risk for:
- Blood clots
- Postoperative heart attacks
- Compromised healing
During your consultation, Dr. Manolakakis will have advised you to immediately stop smoking. If you haven’t been able to, please contact us at once so we can refer you to a cessation program. You should also refrain from smoking after surgery, to aid in healing.
Avoid certain drugs and supplements
Even healthy herbs and foods may cause complications during surgery, including excessive bleeding. Substances that thin your blood and should be cut out before surgery include:
- Ginkgo biloba
- Fish oil
- Kava kava
- St. John’s Wort
- Dong quai
It’s best to stop blood-thinning herbs and those with sedative qualities at least two weeks before your surgery.
Add in these nutrients
In contrast, other supplements and nutrients strengthen your immune system and give your body the building blocks it needs to heal. Try to get as many of these macronutrients and micronutrients by eating fresh, healthy foods. Add in:
- Proteins and amino acids
- Vitamins A, Bs, C, and D
- Magnesium and zinc
After surgery, take vitamins E and K to accelerate healing.
Take time off and get some help
Although you shouldn’t feel any pain after your surgery (you can take painkillers), you won’t be in any shape to drive or take care of yourself. Anesthesia makes you dangerously groggy, and surgery creates bodily trauma. Make sure a friend or family member drives you home from the hospital.
Arrange to take off from work for at least a week or two so that your body can rest and recover. You shouldn’t try to cook for yourself or clean your house, either. Post-surgery is a time to be pampered and have others do your chores for you.
We also give you explicit aftercare instructions, including how and when to remove bandages and clean your face, and when it’s OK to shower again. Be sure to stock up on any supplies you need, including the post-care products we recommend to use on your skin as you heal.
Keep your head elevated
You may wish to purchase a pillow that holds your head in an upright position while you sleep so that you don’t accidentally turn over onto your face. Be sure you don’t bend down to tie your shoes or lean over to grasp an object. Blood flow into your face could cause swelling and distort your results.
Get ready for recovery
Part of your recovery process is purely psychological. You opted for a facelift because you want to look better … and you will. But the recovery period can be trying.
You’re swollen and bruised and won’t look like your beautiful new self at all for several weeks. Never fear, the results are worth the patient wait!
To learn more about how to get the most stunning results from your facelift, contact us today at either of our locations: Shrewsbury, New Jersey, or Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York City, New York.