More and more people have been turning to facelifts recently, thus the procedure has quickly become one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States. While the majority of us will know what kind of results to expect from the operation, few know much outside of that. During the procedure, an incision will be made across your hairline, with excess skin and fat being removed or pulled back to reduce many of the signs of aging. Please keep reading for more information about caring for your face after a facelift.
As the Mayo Clinic has noted, the operation typically addresses skin sagging and any excess fat that may have developed around your face as you age. This is primarily driven by the fact that skin becomes much less elastic as we get older, which is something that the cosmetic surgery looks to address.
There are a few incision methods available, depending on your specific needs. For a full facelift, this will typically extend from the top of your scalp, around your ears and toward your jawline. However, there is also a mini facelift involve that will involve a much smaller wound, while a neck lift is also available. As we mentioned, the length of this will depend on the results that you’re looking for and the extent of the wrinkles and other issues that you’re looking to address.
While a cosmetic surgeon will be well-trained in what to do during the surgery, much of the aftercare may often be left in our hands. While a medical professional will give you instructions on how to take care of the wounds after the operation, many of us will still wish to know what’s involved in the process before we meet with the surgeon. In general, there are a few common things that you should do after undergoing the procedure.
What to Expect
As Healthline notes, one of the first things that a cosmetic surgeon will do is prescribe you pain medication. This is because there will be a certain amount of pain afterward, with most experts noting that this will be a low-to-moderate level. However, it’s been stated that this pain can vary from case to case and is primarily driven by how well the operation was performed, the size of the incision, and how well you’re looking after the wound.
There is also more discomfort associated with the healing process, with much of this being driven by a certain amount of swelling and bruising once the surgery has been completed. Both of these are entirely natural, and your surgeon should speak with you about this before the operation begins. In some cases, they may prescribe you with medication that will help ease this discomfort, although this will primarily be a pain management medication.
This bruising and swelling will be at its worst in the two days immediately following the surgery, although they should begin to subside relatively quickly. The majority of this is driven by the sutures and stitches that may be used once the operation has been completed; you should expect these to be removed between 5 days and a week after the procedure has been completed, which will help to speed up the reduction of swelling. In the majority of cases, you should expect the recovery process to take two weeks, although this can be slightly longer or shorter depending on your surgery.
Medical News Today notes that there may also be a certain amount of numbness and stiffness in your muscles in the days following your procedure, although this should begin to subside relatively quickly. Also, of note is a certain amount of scarring; although minimal, this may be noticeable in the months following your procedure. Similar to the majority of other side effects of the operation, these should begin to fade and can often be sped up with a high-quality aftercare routine.
After Care Routine
To help speed up your recovery process after a facelift, there are a few things that you should do, as well as a variety of things that it’s recommended you avoid. The first of these is naturally to take any medication that your surgeon has prescribed, as well as in the recommended dosage. You will also need to rest your head regularly, with experts noting that you should keep it elevated when lying down. Ice packs have been something that many people have recommended, as these will help to reduce the amount of swelling and pain that you may be experiencing.
There will be some follow-up appointments that you will need to turn up to. While these can vary from surgeon to surgeon, you can typically expect an appointment the following day to remove the drainage tube that would have been placed during the operation. Next is a meeting between two and three days after your procedure to replace your bandages with a facial sling, while your surgeon will remove the stitches roughly a week later. After this, you may need several appointments in the following weeks, although this may vary based on your specific case.
Common Post-Surgery Questions
One of the more common questions that many people will have about the procedure is how much pain to expect. This should be relatively low, and your cosmetic surgeon will give you medication to ease this pain. Should you experience a severe amount of pain, then you may need to see a medical professional as this may be outside of the norm and may need addressing. The vast majority of discomfort, however, will be driven by swelling, which should go down relatively quickly.
Many of us may wonder what kind of downtime they may expect once the operation has been completed. This is something that can vary from case to case, as the incision and many other factors can play a significant role in the healing process. Generally speaking, you may need to spend several weeks recovering, with a certain amount of this needing to be spent indoors to limit any sun exposure to your face. This also means that you’ll need to avoid using shampoo and soaps, which may have a detrimental effect and may lead to an infection.