Anytime patients get cosmetic procedures, they should bring as many questions as they can think of to their plastic surgeons. In the Bay Area at my practice, I have heard a lot of good ones over the years, so I thought I would tackle some questions on facelift surgery, one of the country’s top procedures. Check out my answers to some of my favorite questions, both big and small:
- How soon can I wear earrings after surgery? I recommend you wait 3 to 4 weeks after surgery, or until your incisions heal, before wearing earrings — as long as they are small studs or lightweight. Heavy earrings put too much pressure on the ears and can cause tears in your facelift incisions; they should wait until 6 to 8 weeks post-op.
- How soon can I color my hair? Chemicals in hair dyes can delay the healing process by irritating your incisions. Generally, you can color your hair once the incisions heal, usually around 3 to 4 weeks for most women, but it could take as long as 6 weeks for your incisions to heal completely.
- What age do I have to be to get a facelift? There’s no textbook answer, because everyone is different, but most patients get facelift surgery in their 40s and 50s. Older patients in their 60s and 70s can also be good candidates, as long as they are in good health and up to the physical demands of surgery.
- Will my face look pulled too tight? A skilled plastic surgeon knows how to avoid the “windswept” look by tightening the underlying facial muscles on both the vertical and horizontal planes before redraping the skin. The best advice I can give you is to carefully look through the before-and-after photos on your surgeon’s website to get a good idea of his or her typical results.
- Will I have obvious scars? After facelift surgery, any visible scars will be obvious at first, but as the tissue heals, they will fade and blend into the skin. You can camouflage any faint scars with makeup, and most facelift scars are in areas where they can be hidden by your hair.
It’s not uncommon as you get closer to your facelift surgery — or even afterward — that you will have other questions. A good rule of thumb is to jot them down as they come to mind and then talk them over with your surgeon.