What Things can I do to Prepare for Facelift? Diet Changes?

I am scheduled for a facelift in 2 weeks and i have some questions on getting prepared. Specifically my questions are: Low salt diet before and after, does it really help? What about foods rich in vitamin e since you are told to stop vit e supplements? What about vitamin e in face care products? Finally, must i stop restasis and antihistimine and decogestant eye drops and if so when? Thanks in advance - there are always great answers from the doctors on this site.

Doctor Answers 15

Preparation for a facelift

There are many things you can do to prepare for your surgery.  Most involve things to avoid.  There are many over the counter medicines that prolong bleeding including aspirin, motrin and related analgesics, high dose vit E, fish oil, and herbal medicines.  These should be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery.  Since we don't really know what may or may not be in some over the counter herbal meds, I tell people to stop them all 2 weeks before surgery.  If you need something for a headache in the meantime stick with tylenol.  Your surgeon will go over any prescription medicines before surgery also.  As far as diet is concerned, son't make any radical changes and avoid high salt content within a few days of your surgery. 

Mobile Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Preparation for your Facelift should be left to Your Surgeon

Hi there-

While I know your question is innocent, and also that most of the surgeons on this site mean well and want to help, the truth is that your surgeon would probably be a bit sad and frustrated if he knew that you were asking strangers on the internet these questions, instead of letting him tell you what he thinks is safe and effective in his practice.

Think of it this way- none of us know you as well as your surgeon does; none of us have examined you, and none of us knows exactly what the details of the surgery your surgeon is planning are. Your surgeon is therefore the only one qualified to answer. Give his office a call before you do anything.

Best of luck- I hope you look great!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Facelift Preparation?

Thank you for the  question.

Assuming you are currently following a good/healthy diet,  I do not think you need to do anything special prior to surgery. Your plastic surgeon will “micromanage” your medications and management of any medical issues prior to surgery (usually during a "pre-operative” visit).

Equally important, the plastic surgeon will help prepare you for the aftercare required. Optimal results require well guided preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care.

Best wishes with your upcoming surgery.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Pre and post op face lift care; What works

There are many opinions of what works and what doesn't. You have asked for opinions and I will give you mine based on 23 years of practice. 

  • no question in my mind that low salt diet absolutely helps. If you eat a bag of potato chips you know you will retain water and some of you may notice the swelling. A surgical site is more prone to swelling than normal tissue. The last thing you want is to have your face swell any more than necessary as this stretches the tissues beyond normal and lessens the tightening you are paying for. 
  • optimize weight. You want to be as close to optimal weight as you can so there is less weight on the facial skin flaps and the skin is looser and can be pulled more efficiently. The only caution is that you don't want to starve yourself before surgery. Any weight loss should be slow and steady with a good healthy diet. No diet pills, especially phentermine should be utilized.
  • no Aspirin, anti-inflammatories like Advil or Ibuprofen, no vitamin E as it thins the blood
  • if you take supplements you need to give a complete list to your doctor to review

There are more things to consider, but this hits the high points and hopefully addresses some of your concerns. Good luck and congratulations on being proactive with your surgery, trying to do your part. 

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Preparing for Facelift

The best thing you can do to prepare for your facelift is adopt healthy habits and discontinue any lifestyle choices that deplete the body and reduces its healing capacity. This includes staying hydrated, eating a well-balanced diet, and not smoking. If you are a smoker, you should quit at least 3-months prior to surgery and plan on staying a non-smoker after your surgery. Fill all prescriptions prior to your surgery and make sure your home is well-stocked with all the post-op provisions you need.

Julian De Silva, MD
London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Face Lift Diet Concerns

A low sodium diet, less than 1500 mg/day is fine - and making it even lower will not make a significant difference. I would otherwise eat a balanced diet which includes a protein source but doesn't have to maximize it. In fact not eating a balanced diet, for example high protein and low fat and low carbohydrate diet can cause metabolic imbalance (ketosis) which may have a negative impact. Foods rich in Vitamin E are OK as long as you have a balanced diet.

You do not have to stop your antihistimine or restasis.

See the below links on how to prepare for and the post op instructions we give our patients for a fast recovery.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Preparing for a lift

Each situation is unique and only your surgeon knows the specific details of your procedure and should be the person commenting on post-operative questions such as this

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Diet Changes Prior to Facelift

These are critical questions to ask  of your surgeon.   In general, vitamin E must be avoided, while I encourage the taking of vitamin C and K.  For facial care products, I generally see no reason to stop these, unless they are extremely irritating.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Diet and medications to prepare for a facelift

Before surgery you should be at a weight you are comfortable with because significant weight loss after a facelift can sometimes deflate the face and give somewhat of an aged appearance. Preoperatively minimize sodium intake so there is no additional swelling and a diet that doesn't contain  vitamin E, Ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, and garlic as these and other medications can cause increased bleeding during and after surgery.  You can continue your eye drops as there is no contraindication for surgery.

Joseph Hunstad, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Things to do to prepare for a Facelift

In preparing for a facelift the most important thing to do is follow your surgeon's instructions.  It is important that you and he or she is on the "same page".  It is also important to avoid medications such as aspirin and motrin which could cause bleeding.  Avoid heavy lifting, straining, exercise, or even bending over for the first couple of weeks after the surgery as these activities can increase blood pressure and also can cause bleeding.  Usually one should not eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the surgery in order to avoid nausea and vomiting.  Be careful not to irritate your skin prior to the surgery, avoid excessive tanning or sun exposure, also avoid harsh facial chemicals.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.