Facelift plastic surgery involves a significant recovery component. The surgeon will discuss various aspects of the facelift procedure, including recovery, at the time of initial consultation. After the surgery, the patient will be provided with clear instructions and tips for the recovery phase.
If the patient is committed to following the surgeon’s recovery instructions, they will usually achieve a safer and faster recovery with long-lasting results. Astute and board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Angela Champion provides facelift surgery to patients in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and surrounding locations.
Immediate Post-Operative Phase
Once the facelift surgery is completed, the patient’s face and head will be wrapped with a supportive bandage for some time. The surgeon may place temporary drainage tubes beneath the skin in the incision sites to collect excess fluid. Initial mild pain and soreness in the treated areas can be managed with pain medications prescribed by the surgeon.
Mild bruising, swelling and numbness in the incision areas are expected after facelift. Some patients may also experience skin discoloration. These side effects will resolve on their own in a few weeks, but mild swelling may linger on for a few months. The patient should keep their head in a raised position for the first few days to improve swelling.
While strenuous exercises and lifting of heavy weights must be avoided in the first few weeks, patients are encouraged to perform short walks and light activities at home in the first week itself. This will help to improve blood flow and prevent clotting. Sutures and drain tubes may be removed around the end of first week.
In the first week, the patient should:
- Change the bandages as required, and keep them free of contamination
- Measure and empty drainage periodically as advised
- Avoid submerging the incision areas in water until the surgeon permits
- Use ice therapy or cold compresses in the incision sites in the first two days to mitigate swelling
- Visit the surgeon’s office for the scheduled appointment around the end of first week
Board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Champion receives patients from Newport Beach, Orange County, CA, and nearby areas for facelift.
Bruising will largely subside in about two to three weeks after facelift, but swelling will resolve gradually over several months. In a few days after the surgery, the patient will be able to use makeup to conceal the swelling. In about 10 to 14 days, most patients can return to their normal routine or go back to their workplace.
A few restrictions may be in place for a few weeks, even after the patient has resumed their regular activities:
- For the first two weeks, the patient should sleep with the head in an elevated position
- Exercises, sports and heavy lifting of weights should be avoided for a month
- Sauna, hot tub, and swimming pool should be avoided until cleared by the surgeon
- Smoking and use of blood thinners and NSAIDs will have to be avoided for a specified time period
Certain types of makeup as well as direct sun exposure in the treated sites should also be avoided until the surgeon allows you to go outside when it is sunny and so on.