Before you make the final decision to have a facelift, it’s important to sit down with at least one facial plastic surgeon and find out as much about the surgery as you can, as well as much about the surgeon as possible. Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed when meeting a doctor face to face, it’s a good idea to prepare a few questions about the facelift in advance, so that you leave no stone unturned during your consultation.
Where Will the Incisions Be?
You might be concerned about the possibility of visible scars after your surgery or about other changes that can occur based on the location of the incisions. For that reason, it helps to ask the surgeon where he plans on make the incisions during the procedure. Making them along the hairline, instead of in the hairline, and in front and behind the ears helps to make scarring less visible as you heal. It also reduces the chance that you’ll have any major changes in the shape of your hairline or any hair loss due to the scarring.
What Technique Do You Use?
There are several ways of performing a facelift, and some are more advanced than others. Talk to the surgeon about the technique he uses for the procedure and why he uses that technique. The more advanced the surgeon’s technique is, the more likely it is to produce results that look natural, rather than the windswept look associated with facelifts of years past.
Generally speaking, the deeper the surgeon works, the better the results. A facelift that focuses on the skin only will produce short-term results that might not look as natural as they could.
What is Recovery Like?
Don’t forget to ask the surgeon about the recovery period after the procedure. While after patient is somewhat different, and some are ready to get back into the swing of things almost right away and others need a bit more time, ask your surgeon how long he recommends that you take off from work or other commitments and what you can expect during your initial downtime.
Are There Any Things You Should Avoid Before or After Surgery?
You might have to make a few changes to your lifestyle and habits before the surgery and continue to avoid certain habits afterwards. Your surgeon will give you a fair idea of what is off limits before and after a facelift. For example, smoking is typically a big no-no starting at least two weeks before surgery and for several weeks after it. Nicotine affects your body’s ability to heal and can make scarring worse.
Some medications need to be avoided before and after a facelift, too. You might be surprised to see the list of medications and supplements that are on the “do not take” list before any type of facial plastic surgery procedure. To make sure you don’t accidentally take a medication that can interfere with the procedure or after your healing, give your surgeon a list of everything you take regularly or semi-regularly, including herbal supplements and vitamins.
How Many Surgeries Has the Surgeon Performed?
You want to get a feel for your surgeon’s experience performing facelift procedures. Ask him how often he performs facelifts, particularly the type of facelift you are considering, if you are thinking about a mid-facelift or are seeing a surgeon for a mini-facelift. Ask how long he’s been performing facelifts, for pictures of past patients, and for references from past patients, too.
This is also a good moment to find out more about your surgeon’s training and qualifications. Find out if he is board certified in facial plastic surgery, where he completed his residency, and anything else you can you about his training and experience. Most board certified surgeons are proud of that fact and will happily show you the proof when you ask.
What Type of Anesthetic Will Be Used?
Also take a moment to ask about the type of anesthetic a surgeon plans on using during the facelift. The type of anesthetic typically varies based on the surgeon’s preference, the type of facelift he’ll be performing, and in some cases, your preference. For example, local anesthesia is often used during a mini facelift because the incisions are smaller and the procedure is much less invasive than a standard facelift. IV sedation or general anesthesia might be used during a standard facelift or mid-facelift. Your surgeon will let you know what you can expect from each option and what sort of preparation is required.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
There are many reasons to choose a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Facelift is a serious procedure; doctors must be able to predict outcomes and sculpt beautiful new contours of the face.
If you’d like to discuss the possibility of a facelift at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call our offices in Birmingham or Dearborn, MI (866-487-3223) to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haitham Masri.