Grow Your Hair
If you're having a facelift, a Endoscopic Forehead Lift, eyelid surgery, or otoplasty, one of the first things you might want to do before surgery is start growing your hair. Your hair will hide incisions while they're healing, though most incisions are well hidden. Otoplasty patients sometimes prefer not to draw a tt ention to their ears after surgery.
If you smoke, you'll need to quit two weeks or more before surgery and remain a nonsmoker throughout your recovery. As smoke enters the bloodstream, it compromises vascular function, interferes with proper healing, and increases the chance for complications. In fact, it is estimated that the risk of skin death, or necrosis, is 1,500 percent more likely for smokers than for nonsmokers.This applies to all forms of smoking - cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
Follow Your Diet Instructions
Your surgeon might give you a diet to follow in the weeks before surgery. Dine well the evening before your procedure, because you'll probably be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight except small sips of water needed to swallow medications. Avoid alcohol the evening before surgery because alcohol tends to thin your blood and can lead to increased bruising.
Cleanse Your Hair and Face
You might be instructed to shower and wash your hair with an antiseptic shampoo both the night before and the morning of surgery. In any case, your hair should be clean and free of styling products. After washing your face, don't apply moisturizers or other skin conditioners unless your doctor says it's okay.
It's extremely important to follow your doctor's directions meticulously, for your own safety and for the best possible outcome. Call the office and ask about instructions you don't understand.
At the Surgical Center
Arrive at the surgical facility wearing loose-fitting clothes you can take off and put on without pulling them over your head - a shirt or sweater that fastens up the front, for example. Don't wear makeup, jewelry, or fragrance.
Before the operation, depending on the type of procedure and your doctor's practice, the medical staff will prepare you for surgery.
- You may be given a pill or an injection to help you relax. If not, and you are anxious, ask if you can have a sedative.
- Monitoring pads may be taped to your chest to keep track of your vital signs.
- You may have an IV in place, probably in your arm, delivering saline solution to keep you hydrated, as well as a small plastic port inserted for administering anesthetics, antibiotics, and other medications. Placement of the IV and port won't be painful, though you might feel a slight stinging for a few seconds.
- You'll probably be given IV sedation and local anesthesia, which your doctor may refer to as twilight sleep or managed-care anesthesia. Local anesthesia with sedation will keep you asleep during surgery. It's unlikely you'll have general anesthesia unless you're undergoing additional complex procedures at the same time. General anesthesia puts you into a deep sleep during surgery.
- Your doctor will use a marking pen to mark your face to indicate placement of the incisions.