Face Lift : Rhytidectomy Pre-op and Post-op Instructions


1. If you smoke, it would be very beneficial if you refrain from smoking at least one week prior to your surgery. This is to help your lungs and circulation be in their best condition for surgery and to aid in healing.

2. Please do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Aleve) for 2 weeks preceding surgery. These substances can cause excessive bleeding. You may take any Tylenol products if necessary.

3. No diet pills or herbal supplements two weeks prior to surgery.

4. On the day of surgery, please do not wear wigs, hairpins, jewelry, false eyelashes, or contact lenses. Wear or bring loose-fitting clothing and/or button down blouse. It would be a good idea to bring a pillow to make your ride home more comfortable. You may wear panties during the surgery.

5. If you have long hair, please pull it away from your face with a band.

6. Carefully shave underarms 48 hours prior to surgery and not later.

7. Please DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING after midnight the day before surgery.

8. Have prescriptions filled before your surgery.

9. If you develop any illness prior to your surgery, contact our office as soon as possible.


1. You must have someone available to drive you home from the surgery center and remain with you for the first night following surgery. If you live further than 30 miles away from the surgery center, we ask that you stay locally for the first night. There are post-operative care facilities close by if interested. Please ask our office for numbers. The office will call you the evening of surgery.

2. Return home and go directly to bed for 24 hours, with bathroom privileges only. Take the pain medication every three to four hours, if needed. Ideally, it should be taken with food to prevent nausea. Take the antibiotic every eight hours for 3 days.

3. Upon leaving the surgery center, you may have small quantities of liquids as desired and tolerated. The following day you may progress to a soft diet. After the above, you may eat as desired. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES are allowed for one week after surgery and especially while taking the medications.

It is also a good idea to record when medications are taken to avoid taking too much or not enough.

4. Sleeping on your back will be the most comfortable position and will help to keep the swelling down. Use a pillow under your neck as a neck roll to elevate your chin. Keep your chin up at all times.

5. You will have a large cotton bandage on your head for about three days. This helps protect and cushion the surgical sites and also keeps mild pressure on the suture lines.

6. You can expect some swelling and bruising, sometimes unevenly. Rarely are the two sides of the face the same at any time during the first few days after surgery. Each side heals at a different rate, but be assured the swelling and bruising will subside gradually after the first week. You may have some numbness in the ears and jaw areas. This is normal and feeling will return gradually.

7. You will be told when you may shower and wash your hair.

8. Social activities should be restricted for 10-14 days after surgery. Excessive exercise and contact sports should be avoided for three weeks. Do not swim or fly until told you may do so.

9. If there are any complications, such as severe pain or excessive bleeding, please call the office at 619 466-8851.

Prime Plastic Surgery consists of the top board-certified surgeons in the country providing the highest caliber of patient care. We offer cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to help patients achieve truly life-changing results. Our surgeons are members of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities

Discover what the Prime difference can do for you. Request a consultation online or call our practice at (858) 285-4667.

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