Face Lift Surgery Instructions
1. Do not take any aspirin (including any medication containing aspirin) for seven days prior to surgery and two days after surgery because aspirin always interferes with normal blood clotting. Do not take any prescription or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for three days before surgery and for two days after surgery for the same reason. These drugs are used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain and fever. Examples of these over-the-counter medications are Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc. Stop any Vitamin E and herbal supplements for three weeks before and one week after surgery. Please check any multi-vitamin you may be taking.
2. Smokers should stop smoking as far in advance of the surgery date as possible to minimize complications from the anesthesia. Be sure to inform Dr. Oldham if you smoke.
3. Immediately report any signs of a cold, infection, boils or pustules appearing within two weeks of surgery.
4. Do not eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight. Do not chew gum after midnight before your surgery.
5. Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. Someone will also need to stay with you the first night.
6. Wash your face and hair thoroughly the night before or the morning of the surgery. Do not use cream rinse or hair sprays. Avoid having your hair dyed or chemically treated 1 week before surgery and for 2 weeks after surgery.
7. Women should use no makeup on the day of surgery.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
1. If your pain is mild take extra-strength Tylenol. For more significant pain, take the prescription pain medication given to you by Dr. Oldham, but be sure to take it after eating to minimize nausea which is always a risk after taking any stronger pain medication. Regardless of whether you are taking extra-strength Tylenol, the prescription medication or alternating between the two, it is important to wait four (4) hours between doses in order to avoid potentially harmful over-dose of Tylenol (Acetaminophen).
2. Use several pillows to elevate your head as high as possible for a few days after the surgery to help minimize bleeding and swelling. You may sleep on your back, of course, or you may sleep on your side if it is not painful to do so.
3. Do not use cold, warm, or hot compresses on the face immediately after the surgery or for three months thereafter to avoid injuring the cheeks where the sensation may be somewhat diminished.
4. Women may wear makeup at anytime.
5. If you have drains, make an appointment to see Dr. Oldham in the office the day after the surgery so he can remove the drains and the dressing. He will see you again approximately three to four days after the surgery. NOTE: When you come to the office, for your privacy and comfort, enter the door to the private waiting room, located to the right just after you enter the suite from the outside hallway. (Not necessary if it is a Saturday as there will be no other patients in the office.)
6. You can expect:
a) Mild crusting behind the ears for a few weeks.
b) Bruising of the lower cheeks and neck.
c) Tightness of the neck and under the chin for a few weeks.
d) Numbness of the neck and also the cheeks for a few months, if you have had a face lift as well.
e) Extreme firmness and lumpiness under the chin for four to five months.
7. You may wash you hair the day after the surgery but use only a mild shampoo.
8. Do not eat solid foods that require extensive chewing for the first three days.
9. Avoid strenuous activity for two weeks. You may, however, do light exercise after one week.
10. Avoid any exposure of your face to the sun for several months to prevent permanent or prolonged discoloration and redness of the incisions (you may spend time in the sun if you apply generous amounts of sunscreen).
11. Some people experience brief episodes of depression or anxiety following surgery, similar to the well-known post-partum depression. This is quite normal as your body adjusts to the physiological changes taking place.