If you've ever gone under the knife, you'll know the importance of avoiding alcohol in order to ensure your surgery goes as smoothly as possible. Typically, surgeons will ask that you avoid drinking alcohol for 12-24 hours before and after your operation; however, with facelifts, this window might be extended. There are a few reasons for this:
Alcohol Dehydrates the Skin
The main reason for avoiding alcohol after a facelift is that consuming excessive alcohol can dry out your skin entirely. The reason for this is that alcohol forces your kidneys to work excessively, in turn leading to more frequent urination. This frequent urination is your body's attempt at breaking down the alcohol and removing it from your system; however, this also means that your skin can potentially become dehydrated.
While this process will occur irrespective of any plastic surgery carried out, dry skin can cause particular problems after a facelift. During a facelift, the skin is pulled taut in order to remove any existing wrinkles from the surface. However, dehydrated skin has a much higher risk of cracking. This increases the difficulty of the facelift procedure, as your surgeon has to be extremely careful when stitching the skin back together. While a highly experienced and qualified surgeon may be able to work around the dry skin, it isn't advisable, as your finished result will likely be less than optimum.
Facelifts can be expensive procedures, so you won't want your hard-earned cash to be wasted by drinking too close to your procedure. If you're worried about drinking alcohol in the run-up to your facelift, speak to your surgeon who will be able to give an exact time and date for when you must abstain from drinking.
Alcohol Makes Your Blood Thinner
Research has shown that drinking alcohol, even in relatively moderate amounts, can cause your blood to become thinner. While this has positive as well as negative health effects, it can cause significant problems when going under the knife.
Many cosmetic surgeons will refuse to operate on people with a high alcohol content in their body. The reason for this is that during a facelift, there will inevitably be some blood lost. Blood that is thinner than normal will take a much longer time to stop bleeding naturally, meaning your surgeon will have to take measures to protect against excessive bleeding.
Additionally, thinned blood will result in a longer recovery time following the facelift. As your surgeon will have to intervene to stop the bleeding, it's possible that you will have additional scarring that needs time to heal. Therefore, it's best to avoid drinking alcohol in the run-up to your surgery to avoid any adverse effects.
Alcohol Can React Badly with Medication
Following your facelift, you'll likely be on a number of medications designed to return your body to its original condition and control any pain. However, it's vitally important that you avoid drinking alcohol while on this medication in order to avoid any side effects occurring.
These side effects occur when the body tries to break down both the alcohol and medicine at the same time. Your internal organs become overworked, leading to a number of adverse effects, including (but not limited to):
- Flushing of the skin
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
Therefore, it's best to avoid consuming alcohol immediately following your facelift. Your surgeon will likely give you a specific period of time to avoid drinking alcohol for; however, it's important that you use common sense. If you are still feeling the effects of the medication following your period of sobriety, you should extend your non-drinking period until you feel normal again.
For more information, contact a local clinic like My Plastic Surgery Group.