Neck Lift Pre- and Post-Operative Care
for Baltimore -area Patients
Cosmetic surgeon Ronald Schuster, MD and his knowledgeable staff work with each patient at their Baltimore area practice to ensure personal treatment planning and care. Prior to your neck lift procedure, they will discuss the details of the pre- and post-operative instructions with you and answer any concerns you may have.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE NECK LIFT SURGERY:
- Stop taking aspirin and products containing aspirin.
- If you develop a cold or illness prior to neck lift surgery, please notify our office.
- Schedule pre-op exam, blood work, and test through your family doctor to be completed within one week of surgery.
- Schedule your post-op visit.
- Vitamins are important in healing. Begin taking multi-vitamins with C, E, minerals and iron.
- If you are having surgery as an outpatient, make certain arrangements have been made to have someone else pick you up after surgery and to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
TWO DAYS BEFORE NECK LIFT SURGERY:
- Have your hair done i.e., color, perm, etc. Set aside your sunglasses and scarf.
- Prepare for ice cold compresses: small zip-lock bags for crushed ice, frozen peas, soft commercial ice packs are good alternatives. Another option: place ice in a large bowl, place a small bowl into the ice, and place damp cloth/gauze into small bowl. The ice will chill the cloth/gauze. Regardless of what method you choose, plan to rotate the compresses to keep them cold.
- Purchase that new tape/CD you’ve been wanting. Try a “book on tape.”
- Go to the grocery store to buy “light foods” such as juices, tea, soup, toast, crackers, bagels, jelly, etc.
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and to buy Betadine™ liquid soap/scrub.
EVENING BEFORE NECK LIFT SURGERY:
- Shampoo your hair and apply conditioner. Wash your face with Betadine™ soap for three full minutes. Avoid contact of jewelry with Betadine™; it stains.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- DO NOT eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight prior to surgery.
DAY OF NECK LIFT SURGERY:
- Do not eat or drink anything prior to surgery. DO NOT SMOKE.
- Wash your face with Betadine™ for three full minutes and go to the bathroom. Do not wear any facial make-up or lipstick after washing.
- Do not wear wigs, hairpins, hairpieces or jewelry. Dress in loose comfortable clothes. Do not wear pullover tops or panty hose.
AT HOME AFTER NECK LIFT SURGERY:
- Elevate head at all times. Avoid turning head from side to side. To turn, move head and shoulders together. No lifting or bending over.
- Get out of bed with help. It is not good to lie still in bed, so move your feet and legs a couple of times every hour while you are awake.
- A liquid diet is best for the day of the surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to soups or JELL-O®. You can start with a light diet the next day.
- You may have drains in place after surgery; if so, instructions will be given.
- You can expect some swelling of the face and eyes after surgery. Call if swelling on one side is definitely more pronounced or harder than the other side; or if you are having pain which is not relieved by pain medication.
- Remember: DO NOT SMOKE, or be around smoke, until Dr. Schuster tells you it is okay. This is very important.
- While bandages are on, do not fall asleep in a chair.
OTHER POST-OPERATIVE NECK LIFT INSTRUCTIONS:
- Discourage visitors and keep facial movements (smiling, talking, chewing, yawning, etc.) to a minimum for the first few days.
- You will return to the office every few days to have bandages, stitches removed. Wear your scarf.
- After bandages are removed, you may begin to shower. Wash your hair gently with baby shampoo and rinse thoroughly until the soap is out. It may take several washings before all the crusts are out of hair. Do not use hairsprays, conditioners, gels, etc. You may wash your face gently with a bland soap (Dove, Neutrogena, etc.). You may use a moisturizer on your face, being careful to keep it away from the stitch lines.
- Makeup may be applied immediately, but do not get it near the stitch lines until two days after the stitches have been removed.
- Normal activities can be gradually resumed after two weeks. You may resume exercise after four weeks.
- The skin of your face is sensitive to sunlight after surgery. Protect your facial skin with sunscreen (SPF – 15 or greater). Sauna and steam baths should be avoided for four weeks following surgery.
- Swelling and bruising will almost always be more than you expected. Bruising generally subsides in seven days. Most of the swelling subsides in two weeks. It will continue to improve for two to three months.
- The scars have a tendency to redden and become more noticeable a few weeks after the surgery. However, the redness will fade with time.
- Numbness of the scalp is common. Often this begins to return in six weeks but may take six to nine months to improve.
- Discoloration of the whites of the eyes may occur if there’s a lot of swelling. This is painless, will not harm your vision and will disappear completely.
WIVES TALES WHICH MAY HELP AND CERTAINLY WON’T HURT:
- Arnica/Arnicaid reduces swelling and bruising and can be found in natural food/nutrition stores. Begin taking two days before surgery.
To learn more about neck lift surgery, contact plastic surgeon Ronald Schuster, MD to schedule a consultation at our Baltimore, Maryland area office.