Pre-operative Instructions for Your Facelift
By Peter Brownrigg on April 08, 2014
When you visit our Ottawa office for plastic surgery, you benefit from advanced procedures and Dr. Brownrigg’s decades of surgical expertise. Still, the entirety of your cosmetic experience is not just limited to what transpires during the procedure. The steps you take prior to surgery and the resulting recovery period are both important factors in the treatment process. In order to help you achieve the most satisfying results, we wish to convey the best things you can do in the weeks and days leading up to treatment.
With facial plastic surgery, it is especially crucial to take the right precautions, as any complications or irregularities during recovery are immediately noticeable. If you plan on undergoing a facelift at our practice, take note of the following pre-operative instructions.
What to Avoid Before a Facelift
In the weeks leading up to treatment, patients should take care not to consume anything that may lead to complications or interfere with recovery. Even certain foods and seemingly innocuous supplements can negatively interact with the body or other medications after surgery. As a result, try to avoid each of the following:
- Smoking: Tobacco inhibits natural healing and nicotine reduces circulation. Patients are therefore advised to abstain from smoking three weeks prior to surgery and throughout recovery.
- Alcohol: Alcohol weakens the immune system and should therefore be avoided for a week before and after surgery.
- Blood thinning medications: Aspirin and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can result in bleeding complications, and should be avoided for at least two weeks before surgery. Regardless, any medications should be discussed with your doctor beforehand, whether they are prescription or not.
- Herbal supplements: Some herbal supplements, such as echinacea and ginseng, can increase the risk of complications during or after surgery. Even some vitamins, such as vitamin E, can have post-surgical risks. Discontinue the use of any such supplements unless your doctor has specifically permitted or recommended them.
- Haircuts: If you plan on getting a haircut in the near future, get one more than two weeks in advance. This will leave your scalp clean and free of stray particles for the facelift incisions. Likewise, remember to consistently wash your hair and scalp for the same reason.
Staying Healthy Before Facelift Surgery
In addition to what you should avoid, also keep in mind that positive health habits will lead to an optimal surgical experience. The same general rules that apply to everyday health are doubly true for pre-operative health. First, remember to get plenty of rest every night throughout the weeks prior to surgery. A rested body performs better overall, including its healing, circulation, and resistance to infection.
Diet also plays a strong role in health. It’s important to maintain a full, balanced diet in order to receive the proper nutrients and boost your immune system. However, some foods in particular may do more harm than good in conjunction with surgery. Sodium has a tendency to prolong swelling - a common side effect of facelift surgery - and should be kept to minimum. Additionally, foods with salicylic acid can thin blood, and should also be avoided. Such foods include olives, tomatoes, vinegar, mushrooms, and citrus fruit.
The Day of Surgery
Because a facelift is often performed using general anesthesia, do not drink or eat anything after midnight of the preceding night, as this may result in unconscious regurgitation and damage to the lungs. It is similarly important to get a full night’s sleep right before the facelift. When getting ready that morning, follow the below recommendations:
- Wash your face and hair thoroughly.
- Keep your face clean and natural; do not apply any makeup, lotion, perfume, etc.
- Do not put in contact lenses. Wear glasses if need be.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and sneakers.
- Try to wear a shirt that does not need to be pulled over the head.
Contact Us for More Information
Your safety and comfort are of paramount importance to us. If you have any questions about your upcoming surgery or would like to meet with Dr. Brownrigg, contact our office via phone or email.
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