Once you have made your decision and want to go ahead, you should obviously let us know and we will start making all the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, there is a lot you can do to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible.
Learn what to expect
Once again, time spent on our patient Forum can be invaluable. Many, if not all, of your concerns are addressed there. We will also send you a list of the videos from our website that you should try to watch in sequence. We are also just finishing a book about having a facelift (which includes a selection of patient diaries) that we will send you as soon as it becomes available.
Get ready physically
It is never a bad idea to get into shape before any operation. If you are intending to lose weight (like most of us!) then you really should try to achieve this before having your facelift. You might also wish to grow your hair out a little (to help conceal the scars in the early days) and dye your hair a few days before the operation as you will not be able to for six weeks afterwards. If you are taking any medication or food supplements you should let us know, as you may need to stop these six weeks before a facelift.
Things to avoid
Sorry to labour the point, but smoking and aspirin-type drugs must be avoided for at least six weeks before a facelift. There is also a list of food supplements that can interfere with blood clotting that you should avoid for six weeks that can be viewed here.
As soon as we have agreed a date for surgery, then things will start to move up a gear. You will need to clear at least two weeks in your calendar. You will need to make appropriate arrangements for travel and accommodation – many people like to stay in Bristol the night before their operation. Ideally you should have a friend escort you home afterwards, although we do realise this may not always be possible. You will not be able to drive for 48 hours after sedation and we do not advise travelling home on public transport, so you will need to think this through carefully. Many people like to arrange a brief holiday the week after surgery, so this will also need to be arranged.
Things to bring with you
The Spire Hospital is well equipped, but you will obviously need to bring a few things with you. If you are self-conscious, you may find a headscarf and some dark glasses (think Audrey Hepburn) for the trip home give you a confidence boost. More practically, a travel neck pillow and a cardigan (so you do not have to pull clothes over your head) can be very helpful.
Lastly, we do need payment a minimum of two weeks before your operation, so please make sure that you have made the appropriate arrangements.