Be Ready for Your Post-Surgical Facelift Recovery

When you’re planning for your facelift surgery, there’s a lot to do to get ready before the day of your procedure. A facelift is an investment of your time and energy, but one that will definitely reap big rewards. You’ll start with a consultation with your plastic surgeon, who will guide you through the process step by step and give you all the tools you need to achieve successful results. At a certain point, however, there is a point when your facelift results will be in your hands. A strong and complete recovery is necessary to preserve the expert work performed by your plastic surgeon. Will you be ready when it’s up to you?

Understanding the Facelift Surgery

To be fully ready for your recovery, you should have a good understanding of the changes that will be made during your surgery. Most facelift surgeries last about three hours and are performed under general anesthesia. Your plastic surgeon will focus on refining your profile, reducing the signs of aging, and achieving a more youthful look. Before surgery, you will have the chance to work with your surgeon to determine your short and long-term goals as well as the most optimal surgical plan.

Typically, facelift surgery begins with the placement of incisions along the hairline, continuing down around the ears and along the lower scalp. This pattern of incisions allows optimum access to the areas that require the most modification during the facelift. With these in place, your plastic surgeon will then work to create a more youthful look for the lower part of your face. Often, this includes removing or redistributing fat cells from the chin, neck, and jawline to improve definition. The muscles will then be lifted and tightened, along with the underlying supportive tissues, in order to refine the facial contours. Finally, your skin will be adjusted to appear firm and smooth before any excess skin is carefully trimmed away.

When the procedure is finished, your plastic surgeon will close the incisions with sutures. Draining tubes may also be inserted to prevent the buildup of excess fluids for the first day or two after surgery. At your first follow-up appointment, these tubes will likely be removed. Around seven to 10 days after your surgery, your plastic surgeon will remove the sutures.

Prepare for Success

To have a successful facelift surgery, you need to be prepared. Setting the tone for fast and easy healing can help you coast right through your recovery process. Take the time between your consultation and your surgery date to concentrate on a healthy lifestyle and proper care of your skin to keep it in top form. When your body is in good health, it shows through your skin.

To achieve your best pre-facelift health, take these steps:

  • Stop smoking right away. Nicotine can create blood flow problems and delay the healing process.
  • Talk to your plastic surgeon about any medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking. Follow his or her instructions to stop taking anything that can hinder your recovery or lead to further post-surgical complications.
  • Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin regularly to keep it looking fresh, clean, and healthy.
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients to focus on your own wellness. Avoid crash diets or restrictive meal plans before your surgery.
  • Exercise regularly to improve the elasticity of your skin, helping it to bounce back more quickly after your surgery.
  • Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin.

Understanding the Facelift Recovery Process

One of the biggest surprises that many patients discover is how moderate the post-surgical pain really is after a facelift procedure. While you’ll definitely want to take steps to ease your own discomfort, the actual pain can be managed with proper measures. Most patients also report feeling a tightness in the lower part of the face and often some tingling or numbness. These feelings will gradually resolve, as will any swelling you experience around the lower and mid-face areas.

To manage your pain and discomfort, follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions instead of trying to “tough it out.” Take your pain medication as prescribed; skipping doses can actually lead to increased stress and ultimately delay your healing. You may also use cold compresses to help with any pain or swelling. Keep your head elevated at all times to reduce blood flow to the head and let the swelling subside at a faster pace. Give yourself enough time to heal before resuming any strenuous activities or exercises. Make sure you are clear to participate in these activities again before you overexert yourself, sustain an injury, or setback your recovery process.

Set the Stage for Recovery

You’re going to spend many of your early recovery days inside your home, so make this area the focus of your preparations. Choose a place that you are comfortable sitting, sleeping, and relaxing. Many patients set up their recovery space in their own bed or on a favorite couch or chair. Gather pillows, blankets, and loose-fitting clothing close by, as well as any medical supplies or medications you may need during recovery. Prepare some healthy snacks that are easy to eat and stash them in your recovery space, along with bottled water for convenience. Plan to keep anything you’ll need as close to your recovery space as possible in order to minimize your trips around the house. Remember that taking it easy can only help you to see your best results when your recovery is all over.

Let your friends and family know that you’ll need them to give you some quiet time during these early post-op days. Limit phone calls and social visits as much as you can. If you need helping hands around the house, ask someone to spend the first 48 hours in your home to help you with anything you might need. You should also ask a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment, as well as any follow up visits during the first week or two. If you’re still taking pain medication, you cannot drive so you must plan accordingly.

Above all else, follow your plastic surgeon’s advice closely. He or she will be able to give you more specific recommendations for setting up your recovery space, planning for your healing process, and more.

Plan Your Facelift Surgery Today

To learn more about facelift surgery and how you can have a smooth recovery, meet with an experienced plastic surgeon to get your very best results. Frederick G. Weniger, M.D., F.A.C.S. provides his patients with years of experience and knowledge during one-on-one consultations regarding the surgeries and nonsurgical treatments available at his practice.

Dr. Weniger is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He believes good information lies at the heart of success in all of his surgeries and interactions with patients.

To schedule a consultation, contact the office of Weniger Plastic Surgery today at (843) 757-0123. The practice is located at 350 Fording Island Road, Suite 200, in Bluffton, South Carolina.