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How Preparation Speeds Recovery for the Facelift Patient

March 27th, 2012 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

Thoughtful preparations prior to face lift surgery for the San Francisco Bay Area patient can lead to reduced discomfort and promotes faster, successful healing. Many patients ask what they can do to get ready for surgery, and surprisingly there is much that can be done.

Planning ahead one should decide if they plan to lose weight in the near future. Being at one’s goal prior to surgery will allow the surgeon to tighten any resulting loose skin. It is not necessary to lose weight prior to surgery if one is stable and satisfied with their weight.

If a patient smokes, it will be necessary to quit 2 to 4 weeks prior to surgery and not resume for 2 to 4 weeks after. A nicotine patch is not an acceptable alternative as nicotine constricts the flow of oxygen to treatment areas greatly impeding the healing process. It is hopeful that a patient that has quit smoking for 1 to 2 months for their surgery will be able to quit for good.

If you color your hair you should do it just prior to surgery or you will need to wait at least a month afterward.

Being at optimal health is best for going into surgery. If you don’t already have a healthy diet this is a good time to consider making smart changes. Lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein are recommended. After surgery be sure to eat lean protein which assists in healing and avoid sodium as it increases swelling. Prepare frozen meals in advance that are healthy and easy to fix. Plan on soft foods for the first couple of days, again foods that are high in protein and low in sodium. Drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol. There are excellent vitamin products and homeopathic remedies that help with bruising and healing, Dr. Delgado’s patients will be advised of these prior to surgery.

Plan where you will recuperate. If you have a recliner chair, they are the most comfortable for elevating the feet, knees and head. Some Marin County patients have gotten a chair at a garage sale and then donated it after recovery. If you do not have a recliner, be sure to have lots of pillows available to prop up your head and knees. If possible have a speaker phone by your bed and a remote control for the T.V.

Decide what you will be wearing for the first few days, pick items that open in front and do not have to be pulled over your head. Same for what you wear the day of surgery. Wear slip on shoes. You must have someone pick you up as you will not be able to drive as long as you are on pain medication. Plan to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours or even a couple of days if possible.

Have ice packs or a couple of bags of frozen peas for the first few days. Be sure to get plenty of rest and plan on not doing any housework, heavy lifting or exercise,  avoid hot showers, hot tubs and saunas for 2 to 3 weeks or until you get clearance from Dr. Delgado. Brush hair gently and do not tug at the hairline.

The cost of a face lift can vary greatly as each surgery is individual to the patient’s needs. To obtain an accurate personal quote, see Dr. Delgado in consultation.  View Dr. Delgado’s vast collection of face lifts before and after in the photo section of this site.

You may choose to meet with Dr. Delgado’s esthetician prior to surgery for camouflage makeup tips to hide bruising and to get on a good skin care regimen.

Dr. Delgado’s cosmetic face lift surgery patients will receive a preoperative surgery packet of information at their visit prior to surgery that will describe the prescriptions that will be given. Be sure to fill prescriptions in advance and write down the time they are taken, it is easy to forget. The packet will have an extensive list of medications and herbs that must be avoided 2 weeks before and two weeks after surgery as they can cause bleeding issues.

In order to go into surgery as relaxed as possible, it is important to address any questions or concerns with Dr. Delgado and Dr. Gaynor the anesthesiologist. Their goal is to keep you comfortable and have your surgery experience be positive.

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