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Our Guide to Making the Most of Your Facelift Recovery

We know that preparing for your facelift is both and exciting and a little stressful.  It is exciting because you will achieve the rejuvenated, refreshed and renewed look you want, and stressful because you don’t know what the healing process will be like.  At Burt and Will Plastic Surgery, we understand your feelings. This guide will put you at ease and educate you as to what to expect during recovery.

Smooth Recovery Begins with Good Preparation

If you are a smoker stub out those cigarettes at least two weeks prior to your surgery. Smoking impedes healthy healing and if you return to puffing, pursing your lips around that filter will etch more fine lines around your lips.

Aside from quitting smoking, here is a list of things to do before your surgery:

  • Make sure you have all the lab tests ordered by your surgeon completed.
  • Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • Use sunscreen everyday
  • Boost your Vitamin C
  • Stop drinking alcohol prior to your surgery
  • You will need to refrain from taking blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal remedies and Vitamin E. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when it comes to your medications.
  • If you color your hair, you may want to freshen your color and update your cut prior to your surgery.
  • Check your stash of sunscreen
  • Make sure your recovery room at home or your hotel has clothes, blankets and light compresses you will need.
  • If you have time, on the day before the surgery, make sure to wash your hair.

Recovery and Care

Expect your surgery to last between 2 and 3 hours.  When you wake up make sure you have someone to drive you to your home or hotel room, as you will not be able to do this yourself.

To minimize pain or discomfort, it is vital to listen to your surgeon’s orders. You will be given medication to control discomfort and you will have compresses around your face.  Swelling and bruising begins to subside two days following surgery.

While those ten days may not be the most fun, you will be able to return to work 10 days to two weeks following a facelift.  While you can get back to work, you will want to keep your head elevated as much as possible to minimize blood pressure in the face, neck and head. It also reduces the risk of bleeding and hematomas. Additionally, try to walk around or sit as much as possible to minimize blood pressure. It is also important to not bend or lift anything heavy for at least a week.

Keep your incisions and their dressings dry until your surgeon tells you it is okay to wash.  Your doctor may recommend topical creams to help with scarring and bruising. Make sure to use pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed, and sleeping aids or melatonin as recommended by your doctor.

Again, your doctor knows what is best for a full, easy recovery.

Since all surgeries are major surgeries, your skin will be highly sensitive post-op, so it is essential to use caution when applying hot and cold compresses. If care is not used, you can suffer a burn or frost bite more easily then when your skin isn’t impaired.

Do not scratch or pull on your skin while healing. Your skin may also feel numb, but this feeling will go away with time and sensation will be restored. You will want to avoid stressing or wrinkling your skin  so use a children’s toothbrush you bought before your surgery to brush your teeth.

Pay Attention to Your Incisions

The sun is not your friend when it comes to preventing scarring, apply sunscreen daily and try to avoid direct sunlight. When your incisions sites have made headway healing, you may begin to apply concealer to cover up bruising.

Your stiches will be removed about seven days following surgery. You should then start to see the attractive beginnings of your results.

If you notice that your incision is separating or becoming asymmetrical contact your surgeon immediately.

You’ll Be Back to Normal Life Before You Know it, till then:

  • Do not engage is vigorous exercise for at least two weeks. After that ease slowly back into working out. Consult with your surgeon to find out when you can swim again.
  • You can generally shower within two days of your surgery with your doctor’s permission. Turn your face away from the shower spray. It can take a while to totally heal.
  • Plan on a softer diet for the first week to avoid stressing your jaw muscles and skin.

Our best words of advice are really one word: “patience.”  Each day will bring further improvement, healing and new energy.  Your decision to have your appearance reflect the way you feel inside will offer you a new way of looking at the world and the way the world looks at you.

For best results always select a board certified plastic surgeon who is highly trained in performing cosmetic surgery.  The science and technique of the surgeon is what drives your outcome.  At Burt and Will Plastic Surgery we are dedicated to offering the professionalism and care you deserve.  Book your appointment and find out what we can do for you.


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