Before every facelift performed, there’s the facelift consultation. The facelift consultation is a chance for you to really get to know your surgeon, to learn more about the surgery, and to decide if it’s the right move to make.
Having a list of questions can help you get the most out of your facelift consultation. It helps to have a list written down and at the ready, so that you don’t miss any details. If you’re stumped about what to ask, here are a few of the most important questions to bring up during your consultation.
What Are Your Qualifications?
You don’t just want any surgeon to perform your facelift, you want the best possible surgeon to perform your facelift. Don’t just take that your doctor is qualified at face value. Dig deeper and ask why she’s qualified to perform the surgery. There are a few things you need to look for in a facial plastic surgeon. They are:
- Board certification (that means she has years of training and experience, specifically in facial plastic surgery, beyond medical school).
- Years of experience and training. You don’t want to be the surgeon’s first or fifth facelift patient.
- Continuing education. Today’s facelift procedures are vastly different from the procedures of yesteryear. You want a surgeon who’s up-to-date on the latest techniques.
- Hospital privileges. That means that you can be whisked off to the nearest hospital if there’s a problem and that a hospital thinks your surgeon has training and experience enough to practice there.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Facelift?
Not everyone is a good candidate for a facelift. You might be too young and not have enough skin laxity or sagging to really benefit from the procedure. You might have too many health problems to safely undergo surgery. A good surgeon will evaluate your health, your skin and the signs of aging you have and let you know honestly if a facelift is the best choice for you.
What Happens During a Facelift?
Unless you’re into medicine, you probably don’t need all of the gory details about the surgery. However, you will want to know the basics, such as where your incisions will be and how big they will be. It helps to know if the incisions will be visible afterwards or if you’ll have major scarring.
It also helps to have a basic understanding of what the surgery does. Usually, a facelift involves tightening the underlying tissue, to create a more lifted appearance. The surgeon might tighten the skin, but that’s not the only thing that happens during surgery.
How Much Time Will I Need to Heal?
A facelift is a commitment and it helps to know how much of your life you’ll need to dedicate to healing and recovery. You’ll want to know how many days or weeks you’ll need to request off from work and how the recovery will affect your life otherwise.
For example, if you’re very active, there might be a period of adjustment after the surgery, since you’ll be limited in what you can do. Usually, it’s recommended that you avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity for at least a month after the surgery.
How Long Will It Take Before I See Results?
It’s a good idea to prepare to look worse before you look better after a facelift. Ask your surgeon how long it usually takes before final results are visible and what you can expect to see as you heal. For example, swelling and bruising are common. It helps to know how much of that to expect and how long to expect it to last.
Where Do You Perform the Facelift?
A facelift shouldn’t be done as an in-office procedure. Ideally, it should be performed in either an accredited surgical center or a hospital. Be sure to ask where your surgeon performs the procedure and ask if that location is accredited.
Can I Talk to Past Patients or See Photos?
A facial plastic surgeon who has lots of experience and lots of happy patients will be proud to let you speak to a few of them. Many surgeons also have photos available, so you can get a sense of how people looked after their surgeries. Ask your surgeon for references and be sure to call those people to ask what they thought of their experience.
What Type of Anesthesia Do You Use?
You probably want a bit more than a local anesthestic during a facelift. But you might not need to be fully under. Ask your surgeon which type of anesthesia she uses and how she decides which type is best for which patient.
Should I Consider a Different Type of Procedure?
Even if you are a good candidate for a facelift, it might not be the best possible procedure for you. Ask your surgeon if she thinks a different surgery might be a better option for you or if you’re better suited for a non-surgical option. It might be that you’d benefit from another procedure in addition to a facelift, rather than instead of a facelift.
Dr. Jessica Kulak is an aging face specialist practicing at the Naderi Center, with offices in Virginia and in Maryland. She’s happy to answer your questions about a facelift during a consultation at either one of the center’s offices. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulak in Virginia, call 703-481-0002. For an appointment at the office in Maryland, call 301-222-2020 today.