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How to Prepare for a Facelift: Tips From a Plastic Surgeon


A facelift surgery can resolve sagging skin, lines and wrinkles, jowls, loose skin, loss of volume, and more in both the face and neck. Whether you are having a mini facelift or a full facelift, it is important to properly prepare for the surgery so that you can have a smooth and stress-free recovery. 

At Maryland Plastic Surgery and PURE MedSpa, we prioritize patient comfort, safety, and results. We can help you prepare for your surgery by providing you with all of the information you will need, giving you detailed preoperative instructions, and discussing your goals so that we can align the results of your rhytidectomy with your desired outcomes. 

What Is a Rhytidectomy?

A facelift and a rhytidectomy are different names for the same procedure. During a rhytidectomy, excess skin from the face is removed, underlying muscles and tissues are lifted and tightened to provide additional structure and support, and skin is redraped for a more youthful appearance. Depending on the type of surgery that you and your surgeon choose for your situation, your facelift can address concerns in the midface, lower face, and neck. 

Types of Facelift Surgery

Mini Facelift

A mini facelift is a type of surgery that can address more minor sagging and wrinkling particularly in the lower face and neck. This type of surgery involves a smaller incision that is made just in front of the ear and into the hairline. Sometimes called an s-lift because of the shape of the incision, this type of facelift can be performed in a shorter amount of time and can require less recovery time. This surgery may be right for younger patients with only mild signs of aging. 

Full Facelift

A full facelift, or a traditional facelift is a more invasive surgery that can address more severe signs of aging in the skin such as more advanced jowling and sagging, deeper lines and wrinkles, loose skin in the face and neck, and loss of volume in the face. A full facelift will involve a longer incision so that more excess skin can be removed and it may require a longer recovery time. A traditional facelift may be the best option for older patients. 

How Is Facelift Surgery Performed? 

Regardless of whether you and your surgeon choose a mini or full rhytidectomy, the process will be very similar. You will be placed under anesthesia. This can be local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia depending on your preferences and your surgeon’s recommendations. Next, the incisions are made next to the ear and into the hairline and excess skin is removed. Underlying tissues are also lifted and tightened in both procedures. Then the incisions are closed using sutures. This suturing is done expertly with minuscule stitches to avoid excessive scarring. 

Preparing for Your Facelift Procedure

Step 1: Have a Consultation

A comprehensive consultation with your surgeon is the first step to any facelift procedure. During your consultation, you can become more familiar with your surgeon. They will examine your face, talk to you about your health history, and discuss your goals. You may also have to undergo certain tests to ensure that you are a good candidate for the surgery. 

Step 2: Take Care of Your Body

It is important to take care of your body in the weeks leading up to your surgery. You should stop smoking 4-6 weeks before your surgery. You should also make sure to eat a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Continue with your exercise routine so that your body is strong and active and in the best shape for recovery. 

Step 3: Adjust Medications

Under the direction of your doctor, you will want to adjust certain medications that could lead to additional bruising and swelling such as NSAIDs. Other prescription medications can cause more bleeding and bruising so it is important to disclose all of your medications and supplements with your doctor before having your facelift surgery. You will also want to avoid caffeine and alcohol both before and after your procedure. 

Step 4: Check and Follow any Pre-Operative Instructions From Your Doctor

If your doctor has given you any other special pre-operative instructions for your procedure, be sure to carefully read over them and follow them. 

Step 5: Make the Appropriate Arrangements at Work

Taking time off to heal and recover from your surgery is important for a successful result. Make sure you talk to your doctor to find out how much time they recommend that you take off from work. This can differ depending on the type of job you have. Next, talk to your employer to arrange your time off. 

Step 6: Prepare Your Space at Home

When you get out of your facelift surgery and it is time to go home, you will want to come home to a space that is already prepared for your arrival. You should have a comfortable place for recovery along with everything that you will need within arm’s reach. While you will be encouraged to take very short and easy walks the day after your surgery, you will still want everything close and convenient.

Helping You Prepare for Your Facelift

If you are considering a facelift procedure, you don’t have to undertake the process alone. At Maryland Plastic Surgery and PURE MedSpa in Millersville, MD, we will be here to guide you through every step. From your consultation to your surgery, you will have all of the information you need. Call us today to schedule your consultation or request more information through our website. 

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