A facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure routinely performed by Dr. Schwarcz to enhance the skin elasticity and youthfulness of the face. As with any surgery, it will take a while to recover from a facelift. In general, it takes two or three weeks of rest and healing before you will be ready to get back to your normal routine. But there are some things you can do to make your recovery faster and more comfortable. Keep these ideas in mind when preparing for your recovery period.
Tips for Successful Recovery During The First Week
The first week after cosmetic surgery is when the pain, swelling, and bruising will be most intense. It’s important that you get plenty of rest and avoid physical strain during this period. Keep your head elevated while you rest or sleep, using pillows or a bed wedge.
For the first couple of days, use cold compresses to help bring the swelling down and ease the pain. Apply the compresses to the affected areas for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
Your cosmetic surgeon will prescribe a pain medication to help provide pain relief after the facelift surgery. Take it as directed, and don’t mix over-the-counter and prescription pain medications.
It is also important to wash your face regularly to avoid infection. However, you should not wash or shower for the first 24-48 hours. Afterward, use a mild soap and/or baby shampoo with lukewarm water to avoid irritating your skin.
You should not smoke or drink alcohol while recovering from a surgery. Doing this will only slow your healing and make recovery more difficult.
Stitches are typically removed within 7-10 days.
Tips for Successful Recovery After the First Week
After the first week, you should feel ready to start moving around some more. Don’t stay in bed or on the couch all day. Light activity will help your circulation and encourage healing. Continue to avoid strenuous exertion and activity.
While healing from cosmetic surgery, you should avoid hot, steamy environments — use tepid water to shower. Avoid the sun as well, since it can irritate the skin. If you use sunblock, do not put it directly on the incisions.
Your surgeon should have instructed you on how to care for your wounds, including when to change dressings and whether to use antibiotic ointment.
Remember, any surgery, even a minimally invasive one like a facelift, carries a risk of infection. If you feel excessive pain and swelling, or have a fever or inflammation, call your doctor right away, as these can be signs of a dangerous infection.