Choosing to have a facelift is a big decision. Before committing to this surgery, you should have a good understanding of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Once you think a facelift is right for you, you should begin to plan your recovery time. Here are a few tips to help you through the recovery process.
1. Manage Your Expectations
Managing your expectations is a crucial part of healing well after your facelift. After the procedure, you may feel impatient and want to see superb results right away. It’s important to remind yourself, that, when it comes to cosmetic surgery, results take time. Immediately after your surgery, your face can be swollen, bruised, and will be wrapped in a bandage. It’s important to remind yourself that this is completely normal and that your face will soon heal. The worst of the swelling will begin to fade after three days, although there may be some lingering swelling for a month or more. Within a week, however, you should be able to cover any remaining bruising with carefully applied makeup and, within two weeks, you’ll start to really see your results!
2. Keep Your Head Elevated
While recovering from a facelift, you should avoid any activities that will cause blood to rush to your head. This means no crouching, bending over, and no heavy lifting. You should keep your head elevated at all times, even when sleeping, just as you should keep a sprained ankle elevated while it heals. Elevation is an important part of the healing process, because it prevents blood from pooling at the site of the surgery. Pooling can lead to pain and inflammation, which you’ll certainly want to avoid as much as possible.
3. Drink and Eat Well
After your facelift, opening your mouth wide may be uncomfortable. This may make it tempting to avoid eating and drinking. It is important, however, to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal properly. In addition, you’ll likely be taking pain medication for a few days following surgery. Taking this pain medication on an empty stomach can lead to nausea, so be sure to eat something before swallowing that pill. If you’re worried that you’ll have a hard time eating enough, it may be a good idea to invest in some meal replacement beverages high in protein.
4. Pamper Yourself
The only way to recover properly from your surgery is to allow your body the time it needs to heal. Don’t rush into things you don’t feel ready for. Instead, view your recovery time as an enforced vacation. Catch up on your favorite TV shows, finally read that book you’ve been meaning to read, and just enjoy some time off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Although resting is important, be sure to include some movement in your daily schedule. Walking is a great way to keep your circulation going without overdoing it. While you heal, don’t try to rush into working out or doing any heavy housework as doing so can compromise your recovery.
5. Follow your Plastic Surgeon’s Instructions
Your Plastic Surgeon will give you detailed instructions regarding your post-operative care. It is vital that you follow these instructions exactly. These instructions will likely include specific steps to take in caring for your incisions, a schedule of post-op doctor’s appointments, instructions for taking pain medication, and guidelines for when you can begin to perform different activities. For example, you may need to wait a few days to wash your hair, and maybe a few weeks to begin heavy exercise. Your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon will tailor your post-operative instructions to your unique needs.
We hope these recommendations will help to make your facelift recovery as quick and easy as possible. Although following these recommendations after surgery is vital, there is something even more important: choosing your doctor. Your results are, literally, in your surgeon’s hands. With this in mind, be sure to select an experienced, highly-regarded, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon. Our five Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons all have the experience and skill to perform your facelift with absolute precision.