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Before Facelift Surgery

Written by: Dr Kristie McNealy                                      Reviewed 28 June 2010

Your Initial Consultation

The facelift operation is not, as some magazines suggest, a relatively minor operation which is quickly performed on an outpatient basis. If it is done properly, it is an exacting procedure that needs to be performed by a skilled surgeon, working under hospital conditions. In your initial consultation your surgeon should discuss your reasons for wanting surgery. A facelift procedure should not be considered as a remedy for depression, or as a guarantee of future happiness. In fact it is important that you are both mentally and physically well before the operation.

Talk to your surgeon about the treatment of the hairlines. Some surgeons cut along the hairline, others make incisions through the hair. Sometimes there are technical reasons for these differences, which may be influenced by your hair or your hairstyle, or the requirements of the individual procedure. However it is very important that you discuss these matters fully with your surgeon beforehand so that you understand how scarring will affect the way you wear your hair.

You should feel free to discuss costs and your hospital stay during your first appointment. These may vary widely – and may include additional costs for liposuction of the neck and dermabrasion of the top lip or laser resurfacing of fine wrinkles.

Preparing for surgery

Your surgeon may advise you to wash your hair with an antiseptic shampoo for three or four days before surgery to sterilize the hair and scalp.

If you smoke it is essential that you discuss this with your surgeon honestly. Many surgeons will not perform the operation on patients who smoke. Smoking may seriously delay wound healing. It is best not to smoke for two weeks before and after the operation.

You will be admitted to hospital either the night before or on the morning of your operation. The surgeon will see you in the ward before surgery to mark out the proposed incisions and dissections. Very few surgeons cut or shave the hair before surgery.

Next: The Facelift Procedure

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