Facial Plastic Surgery: How To Prepare

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If you are having cosmetic facial plastic surgery, you will need to prepare for your procedure several weeks in advance. Facelift, rhytidectomy, rhinoplasty (nose job), eyelid lift, forehead lift, laser resurfacing, and hair transplant are some of the elective surgical procedures that are done to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck.

Before your surgery, you will need to make some lifestyle adjustments and follow preoperative guidelines, such as medication modifications and not eating or drinking starting the night before your surgery.

Doctor examining a woman's face marked for a facelift - stock photo

Klaus Tiedge / Getty Images


Cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures may be done in the following locations,

  • Accredited office-based surgical facility
  • Licensed ambulatory surgical center
  • Hospital operating room

If you are having surgery at an outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, you could be transferred to an affiliated hospital if you develop a health emergency.

Cosmetic facial plastic surgery is usually a same-day surgery procedure that doesn't require an overnight stay in the hospital. You need to have a friend or family member available to drive you home after your surgery.

What to Wear

You can wear comfortable clothing to your surgery appointment. You will have to change into a surgical gown for your procedure.

It's best to have a loose-fitting zip-up or button-up shirt to change into after your procedure. The surgical area on your face will be sensitive, and you shouldn't pull anything over your head and face.

Food and Drink

You will likely be required to stop eating and drinking starting at midnight the night before your surgery.

You will be given specific instructions about the timing of eating and drinking at your pre-operative appointment.

If you do not follow these guidelines, your surgery could be canceled.


Make sure to bring a list of all medications, supplements, and vitamins that you take to your pre-operative appointments, including the dosage.

You might be instructed to stop or reduce some medication doses for up to a week before your surgery.

Your surgical team will tell you which medications you should take on the day of your procedure.

What to Bring

Here is a list of items to bring with you on the day of your scheduled cosmetic procedure:

  • Insurance card and personal ID card
  • Emergency contact information
  • A copy of your legal paperwork pertaining to your health (such as your healthcare proxy or living will)
  • A complete list of all the medications you currently take including the dosages, how often you take them, and when they were last taken
  • Any adaptive equipment for mobility including cane, walker, or wheelchair
  • Comfortable loose-fitting clothing, robe, and rubber-backed, non-skid slippers
  • Personal care products, such as toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Storage containers for glasses, contact lenses, and/or dentures if you wear them
  • Hearing aids if you use them
  • Cell phone charger if you are bringing your mobile phone

You should not bring:

  • Valuables
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Laptop

Pre-Op Lifestyle Changes

Following certain lifestyle habits prior to your procedure will help your recovery process and prevent postoperative complications.

Important pre-operative adjustments include:

  • Quit smoking: Smoking increases the risk of surgical complications. If you smoke, stop smoking for two to six weeks before your surgery.
  • Don't drink alcohol: Alcohol may increase the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure. Most surgeons recommend no alcohol for a minimum of 3 days prior to the procedure.
  • Avoid new tattoos: Avoid getting any new tattoos or eyebrow microblading prior to your surgery, as it may increase the risk of infection.
  • Ask your doctor about non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs): Aspirin and other NSAIDs can increase your risk of bleeding. You might be taking aspirin to prevent a blood clot, so follow your doctor's instructions about how and when to take these medications.
  • Avoid sun exposure and/or wear sunscreen: It's best to have a natural skin tone for the procedure to optimize results. Also, avoid spray or fake tans.

Stay well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat a healthy diet. These habits can help keep your immune system at its best and help you heal faster.

A Word From Verywell

The decision to have facial plastic surgery can be unnerving, but with the proper preparation, the results can be life-altering. Optimizing your body for surgery may include getting better sleep, avoiding sun exposure, and additional lifestyle changes.

It's important to remember to fully prepare yourself, your home, and your caregivers for what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

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2 Sources
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  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Facelift surgery.

  2. Hunter Plastic Surgery. What to pack in your hospital bag before surgery. August 19, 2020.