A facelift is an invasive procedure and as such, you will be required to take sufficient time afterward to recuperate and heal. Rushing back to work or doing the wrong things with regards to taking care of your face can put you at risk of complications and affect the overall outcome of your procedure.
To help prepare you for the hours, days and weeks after your surgery, here are our top do’s and don’ts for your facelift recovery.
Expect some discomfort
It is not at all unusual for patients to experience mild to moderate discomfort after their facelift, along with swelling, bruising and even some numbness of the face. You will be given pain medication to take and you should ensure you take this at the recommended times, rather than trying to hold off for as long as possible. Being in pain can slow the healing process – and it’s not nice for you either!
Have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours
You should treat your facelift recovery just like any other post-surgical period and having someone with you will enable you to rest since they can help with transportation, providing food and drink and ensure that your medications are taken as directed.
Follow your post-operative instructions
You will be given very specific instructions to follow regarding your care at home. These will relate to caring for your dressings, tell you when you can do certain things such as wash your face and give you all of the advice you need. It is important that you follow these to the letter if you are to make the best possible recovery.
Wear button-down tops
It’s not something that many people think of at the time, but your choice of clothing in the day of and days after your procedure is important. You don’t want to be wearing tops that need to be pulled off over your head. Instead, choose button-down shirts.
Get plenty of rest
If you are someone that heals well, it can be tempting to start trying to get back to your usual routine fairly quickly. However, you should avoid and restrict physical activity for a minimum of 5 days after surgery to obtain the best results. You should also avoid bending and lifting heavy objects for up to a fortnight.
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet is important for any recovery period as it can support and speed up the healing process. Drink plenty of water too as this will help you avoid dehydration and ensure that your body is in optimal condition for your recuperation.
Smoking isn’t just bad for your general health; it is also extremely bad for post-surgical situations. This is because it slows healing and has been shown to increase the risk of complications. Definitely, don’t light up for at least a fortnight after your facelift and try and use the opportunity to quit for good if you can!
Wear cosmetics for at least a week
It can be tempting to try and cover up bruising and marks that you experience after your facelift, but you should avoid wearing cosmetics for at least a week as doing so could put you at risk of infection.
Expose your face to the sun without a high SPF sunscreen
High SPF moisturizers or sunscreens are essential for avoiding UV damage to the face that causes lines, pigmentation, and wrinkles. You should particularly avoid direct exposure of your face to the sun for a few weeks and when you do go outside, cover up with your high SPF sunscreen!
Be afraid to call your surgical team for advice
Your surgical team’s responsibilities don’t end the moment you walk out of the door. If you have any concerns at all, contact them immediately and obtain expert advice.
If you would like more information and advice on the recovery process after a facelift procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced cosmetic surgery team at Alan Matarasso MD in New York, NY who will be delighted to help (212) 249-7500.