How to care for yourself after your Facelift Surgery?
A facelift is a complete life-changing experience. Not only does it help you look younger but it also gives you a confidence boost. However after your facelift, it is time to coddle your skin and follow your surgeon’s post-operative guidelines for a smoother recovery and to flaunt your new youthful appearance!
Always remember, if you choose the right surgeon and follow all the aftercare guidelines, then you can enjoy a smooth and faster recovery. By following all the post-operative guidelines in this article, you can be rest assured that you will be soon on your way, enjoying the results of your surgery.
What to Expect in the First Few Days after a Facelift?
After you have a facelift, the first few days are crucial for your recovery. It is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, during this time to ensure proper healing. Here’s what to expect during this time:
- You are likely to leave the hospital wearing a surgical head garment, which you should not remove for at least 7 days.
- You can expect to feel little un comfortable on your face, for the first few days.
- You will also be swollen and bruised; so expect to look a bit different than usual.
- You may experience numbness on your face and ears for few weeks.
- There will also be stitches and staples. Your stitches will be removed post 7-day check-up and staples will be removed after 14 days.
Medications Prescribed to manage your post-surgery pain:
Post-surgery pain management is a critical factor in the overall success of your surgery. Thankfully, there are various kinds of medications available that can help alleviate your pain and speed up your recovery.
Here are some medications prescribed by your surgeon and how they work:
- It is normal to undergo some post-operative pain. However, your surgeon will prescribe some pain relief to help you manage the pain. As prescribed, take your pain relief at regular intervals and you can dis-continue them when you are no longer in pain.
- Paracetamol and codeine are usually prescribed but after 2-3 days, they can be discontinued if you no longer require them.
- If you are taking pain relief containing codeine, you may also experience constipation and bloating. So, it is recommended to stop taking them, when you no longer need it.
- You should take Senna or a similar over-the-counter remedy if you become constipated.
- If you are provided with oral antibiotics, it is advisable to complete the full course as prescribed, to further reduce your risk of infection. If you experience any adverse side effects, please dis-continue them and contact us for further advice.
How to care for your incision after surgery?
An incision is a surgical cut made by your Surgeon during your surgery. It is important to take care of your incision, after surgery to prevent infection and promote healing. Here are a few things you need to know:
- Post one week of your surgery, your nurse will remove the bandage and check the wound.
- After this appointment, you are permitted to shower and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
- Avoid hot baths and keep the dressing dry.
- For 3 weeks, your nurse will prescribe a lighter bandage or band to wear at night. In this way, your ears can remain in the correct position while you sleep and your ears do not fold forward while sleeping, which can spoil the cosmetic result.
- Avoid direct exposure to the sunlight during your recovery period.
- You should keep your head elevated for 2-3 days to minimize swelling and speed up your recovery.
- You should avoid wearing makeup for at least 10 days post-surgery. Also, please ensure that you don’t have any open wounds before applying makeup.
By following all of these aftercare tips, you can enjoy a faster and smoother recovery after your facelift surgery.
Dietary Guidelines to help you through your recovery:
If you are on the mend after surgery, you need to give your body, the time and nutrients it needs to recover fully. Consider incorporating the following dietary guidelines into your post-operative routine:
No Smoking: In order to prevent wound breakdown after surgery, you should refrain from smoking for at least 3 months after the facelift.
No Alcohol: Alcohol should be avoided one week following surgery, as it can thin the blood and increase bruising.
Stay Hydrated: Getting enough water is essential for healing. It is important to take plenty of fluids throughout the day in order to prevent dehydration.
Have Balanced Diet: Ensure that your diet includes fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins and minerals. For at least a month refrain from sugar, caffeine and refined carbohydrates.
Post-Operative Guidelines for Activity and Exercise:
Generally, we all would have an urge to get back to our normal activities and exercise levels as soon as possible after surgery. The key over here, is to listen to your body and give yourself enough time to rest and heal. Here are some of the guidelines for getting back into the action after surgery:
- Avoid driving for the first 1-2 weeks following surgery and until you are no longer required to take pain relief.
- Heavy lifting and stretching should be avoided.
- Avoid bending down as the pressure can cause bleeding. You can bend your knees if you have to.
- After surgery, it is recommended to avoid high-intensity exercise for at least 6-8 weeks. Gentle exercise such as walking, is recommended in order to avoid blood clotting issues such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- The anti-thrombosis stockings should be worn for at least 2 to 3 weeks after surgery and a bit longer if you are inactive.
- Tennis, swimming and any strenuous activities should be avoided for at least 10 weeks.
However, once you start feeling better, gradually increasing your activity level is the key to prevent any further complications and promoting healing.
When should you call an Emergency?
The following symptoms indicate a medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must call 999:
- Sudden chest pain
- Spike in body temperature
- Sudden bleeding that won’t stop
- Signs of DVT such as calf pain and swelling
Following the above-mentioned guidelines, will make your surgical experience and recovery easier. With proper care, you will be able to achieve the desired results from your facelift surgery.
If you have any questions or concerns, please schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr Deemesh Oudit. We are available to answer any questions, you may have. Give us a call on 0161 989 1234 for further information.