How to Prepare for a Facelift

During facelift surgery, the soft tissues of the face are lifted, excess skin is removed and the skin is draped back over the newly repositioned contours. The neck is usually addressed as part of a facelift, but this depends on the individual. A facelift does not improve the quality of your facial skin, so if you have wrinkles and sun damage, our New York City board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark H. Schwartz, may also recommend a laser resurfacing procedure. Facelifts can be combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as eyelid surgery, brow lifts and fat grafting.

What a Facelift Can Treat

Facelift is designed to improve the appearance of the following:

  • Loose, sagging facial skin
  • Excess skin of the lower jaw line (jowls)
  • Vertical bands in the neck (platysmal bands)

What to Expect Before and After Surgery

Dr. Schwartz will carefully review your medical history. He will ask questions about current and past medical conditions and surgical history, as well as discuss all the medications, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, you are taking or have taken recently.

He will also conduct a physical exam to determine your best treatment options based on the quality and quantity of your facial skin, bone structure and neck. He will note any scars, skin irregularities or asymmetry in your face.

Like any other type of surgery, facelift poses a risk of bleeding. If you are taking blood thinners, aspirin or aspirin-containing products, Advil or blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix or Xarelto, know that these can interfere with your blood’s ability to clot, and increase the risk of bleeding after surgery. Dr. Schwartz will provide comprehensive preoperative instructions that include what medications and supplements will need to be stopped and when they can be resumed after surgery.

Dr. Schwartz will also require medical clearance from your internist or cardiologist prior to surgery. He instructs smokers to stop all forms of nicotine intake for four to six weeks before surgery. Dr. Schwartz and his nursing team will review all your instructions carefully before surgery, including when you can color your hair, how to arrange for adequate help during your recovery, how and when to take pre- and post-op medications, and what to expect throughout the process.

Dr. Schwartz performs most facelifts in his private surgical facility, although some cases are performed in-hospital. Most facelift procedures are performed under general anesthesia, and in some cases, under twilight anesthesia (i.e., sedation).

Facelift patients typically return to socializing in about two weeks with makeup, depending on the extent of the surgery. Dr. Schwartz recommends Oxygenetix as an ideal camouflage for bruises, redness and incisions. You will be advised to avoid direct sunlight for six weeks and refrain from strenuous activities for at least four weeks. You may be allowed to fly as early as two weeks after surgery, if needed.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Schwartz

For more information about facelift, browlift and blepharoplasty procedures, call 212.737.9090 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark H. Schwartz.