Deciding that you want to undergo a face lift is just the first step in the process. You might want the procedure, but your body might not be ready for it just yet, or you might not be a suitable candidate. Talking to a plastic surgeon before the surgery is a must. Your surgeon will let you know what you need to do to get ready for the procedure and whether or not a face lift is the right choice for you.

Adopt Healthy Habits

A face lift is an elective procedure, meaning you don’t need to have it done to protect or preserve your health. What you do need to be is in good health for the surgery to be as successful as possible. If you don’t currently have the healthiest of habits, it’s a good idea to adopt them well in advance of your consultation and the surgery itself.

For example, quit smoking or using other tobacco products. Nicotine found in tobacco slows the rate of healing, which can make surgery riskier. You should quit smoking anyway, as it’s one of the least healthy habits out there. Typically, doctors recommend quitting two or three weeks before and after the surgery. You should also stop using nicotine replacement products a few weeks before and after the procedure.

Being a healthy weight is also best before undergoing a face lift. Dr. Moynihan recommends being within 20 pounds of your ideal weight. Adopting a better diet, full of whole foods that are nutritionally dense, will help you drop extra pounds and improve your healing after the procedure. Any significant changes in weight after your face lift may negatively impact the results.

Check Out Your Health

Before giving you the all-clear, your plastic surgeon will review your medical history and your current state of health. Having certain conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, increases your risk if you decide to have plastic surgery. To compensate for such conditions, your surgeon will usually take a more conservative approach to the procedure.

During a consultation, your surgeon will typically review your face and discuss what you want from a face lift. The consultation is important for several reasons. Your facial structure plays a big role in determining the final results of the surgery. It’s also important that you have realistic expectations for the surgery’s results.

Double Check Medications

Certain medications can slow healing or create problems during the surgery. For example, you’ll typically need to steer clear of medicines that contain ibuprofen or aspirin a few weeks before the surgery. These increase your risk for bleeding during the procedure, as do certain herbal supplements.

Your surgeon should give you a comprehensive list of medicines to avoid in the weeks leading up to the surgery. If you are taking a medication for a condition, he might recommend adjusting it or suggest an alternative in the weeks before the procedure. To avoid any complications or problems, you need to be completely upfront with your surgeon about any medicine you take, even if it’s just a supplement or over-the-counter drug.

Find Someone to Help Out

You won’t be able to drive yourself home right after the surgery and it might be a day or two before you’re back on your feet. Recruit a loved one or friend to help take care of you after your face lift. Coordinate your schedules so that your helper can drive you home after procedure and can make sure you’re comfortable at home. The person who helps you should stay over at least the first night, just in case you have problems.

Prep the Night Before

You’ll have to follow the directions your surgeon gives you to the letter the day and night before the surgery. Usually, you’ll be told not to eat after midnight on the eve of the procedure. Find out from your surgeon what foods are OK to eat the day before your surgery, as well as what type of liquids you can consume.

While you should wash up the night before surgery or the morning before, you want to avoid using anything that’s very cosmetic. Skip the hair product, deodorant and lotion, for example. There’s no need to wear makeup to the surgery center, either.

Choose a plastic surgeon who has a great amount of experience and training for your face lift. Dr. George Moynihan is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon in Chicago. Contact his office for a consultation today by calling 312-988-9300.

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