Facelift Recovery Tips: First 30 days
Facelift surgery is one of the most drastic procedures to look younger. Technically referred to as rhytidectomy, a facelift is performed on patients concerned with the signs of aging by addressing deep wrinkles, droopy jowls, and saggy neck.
However, the success of this cosmetic procedure lies both in the hands of the surgeon and the patient. The best specialist on earth will not likely get the most satisfactory results if the patients do not follow proper post-operative care.
What to Do During Your First 4 Weeks After Facelift
The final results of facelift surgery are not instant. Since they occur over time, paying close attention to your recovery process is paramount. Here’s what you can do for the first 30 days to take advantage of all the positive changes associated with the surgery.
During this period, you must prioritize post-operative incision care to prevent any infection. You will be discouraged from taking full-body showers. In your first week of recovery, bathing needs to be done only from the neck down, no washing the face or hair.
Day 1 — Since you may feel dozy and wobbly following your facelift procedure, ask a family member or friend to drive you home. Your first day is typically the time when you most need pain medication to alleviate the discomfort. So, have someone to look after you at least on your first night home.
Day 2. Your surgeon will likely schedule a follow-up visit on your second day. They will check your incisions for swelling and if everything looks good and normal, they will re-dress the area. They will surely go over the necessary post-operative guidelines once more and send you on your way.
Day 3. You should start to feel better on your third day and will likely want to move around. However, rest is recommended for this day. Bruising and swelling often reach their peak between days 3 and 4, but they can also be noticeable for several more weeks. If you experience any discomfort, just take your medicines as prescribed.
Days 4 to 7. Most patients will no longer need their pain medicines by this time. The swelling should have gone down a little bit and you should feel less discomfort when moving about. If you feel strong enough, doing some light housework may be allowed.
Days 7 to 14. For this period, some bruising and swelling may still be present around the affected areas. These can cause some numb and tingling sensation, but this is normal and should not worry you. By the end of your second week after the facelift, you may start to feel like yourself and may even be ready to go back to work. This might be possible depending on the kind of job you have. Light activities, such as walking, may be allowed.
Third and Fourth Weeks
Day 15 to 30. Depending on the extent of your surgery and your recovery process, your sutures may be removed sometime between the end of the first week and third week. Some swelling and tightness may still linger by weeks 3 and 4. However, you should start feeling and looking much better for the most part. This is the time when you should begin to notice real stunning changes in your facial contour. Incision sites usually have a pinkish-red glow, but this should fade eventually.
Caring for yourself after surgery is very important. Pain can be minimized, and any risk of complications can be avoided if all the necessary post-operative care instructions are followed carefully. However, not all of these recovery tips may apply if the aftereffects of your surgery are quite minimal. Depending on your age, overall health, and extent of surgery performed, recovery times can vary. When in doubt, always check with your health care provider.
If you are interested in a facelift, schedule an appointment today with Jason K. Potter, MD, DDS, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. Get in touch now at (214) 892-2474.