Patients are advised not to eat or drink after midnight prior to day of the facelift surgery. Also, it is advised to not have alcohol intake for a minimum of two weeks before surgery. One should get adequate sleep and eat nutritiously so that you have good vitamins. Dr. Bandy has a vitamin protocol that she recommends to her patients that include arnica and bromelain, as well as vitamin c and calcium.
Although you can have a light sedation for a facelift (depending on the technique being performed), it is a lengthy surgery and typically a deeper sedation or a general anesthesia is preferred for the patient’s comfort as well as airway protection.
Facelift is one of the least painful procedures performed. There is a sense of tightness in the neck and jaw-line when the necklift is performed. However, very little pain or discomfort shall occur from the incision or the procedure itself. Nevertheless, narcotic pain medication is given in case patient needs it for their first couple of days right after surgery.
Results of the facelift will be seen within the first few days. On the day of surgery and the first post-operative day, there is enough swelling to make it difficult to tell the complete results. However, within two to three days after surgery, the swelling should subside and one would be able to start seeing an improvement.
Scars are typically very minimal and placed along the natural curves along the face. The scars are typically not noticeable and heal well. Even if the patient has a tendency to develop keloid scars, it is uncommon in the areas where incisions are made in the face for a facelift.
Dr. Bandy typically requires that her patients wait until the third day post-op before showering and washing their hair. By then, they are allowed to shower and completely wash their hair and get the incisions wet, which should not create a problem. Other post-operative care will require antibiotic ointment occasionally over the incision site to prevent infection. Besides that, there is really minimal post-operative care required. Typically, by one week post-op, the patient is able to wear makeup except for directly on the incision site. By six weeks, one can even put makeup on the incision site if needed. At about six weeks, the patient is able to get their hair dyed or permed or whatever else they prefer.
The cost of a facelift will vary depending on the extent of the facelift and whether or not any other procedures are being performed at the same time. Necklifts as well any other adjunct procedures will factor into the overall cost. Therefore, the cost of facelift can range from $7,500 to $25,000.
The patient has multiple financing options. For example, the patient can pay for the surgery on credit card, and make monthly payments back to their credit card. Additionally, CareCredit is a financing company specific for cosmetic surgery; patients can apply for care credit, and there are multiple options for CareCredit. Sometimes, patients opt to make payments directly to the office. This is a prepayment plan where a patient would pay until he or she pays the entire balance for the surgery; then, they would have their surgery.
The facelift and necklift procedure is entirely cosmetic and is not covered by health insurance.
The post-operative recovery for facelift will depend on the type of facelift a patient has. Recovery time will depend on how invasive and how deep the plane the facelift is. If it is more invasive and more deep plane, the recovery time will be longer. A Deep Plane Facelift can take a patient up to six months before the patient really starts to recognize their old self, because the patient will have more swelling with a Deep Plane. With a SMAS facelift or a Skin Only Facelift, there is not as deep of a dissection. Therefore, it is not as invasive of a procedure. Typically within a week to ten days, a patient can look quite well and can get the majority of the swelling down. There may be still some small residual bruising, but typically by a week to ten days, most patients are able to apply makeup and go out in public and look healed.
We do have a post operative recovery facility that we refer our patients to in Orange County, CA and Los Angeles, CA. In these situations, they will be picked up by the post operative care facility from our recovery room and brought to the recovery center where they are recovered overnight, and then brought back the next day for their follow up appointment.