Facelift Recovery: What To Expect At Home
Dr. Paul Angelchik is a Phoenix plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Angelchik is well-trained and experienced in all forms of plastic surgery, namely breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation. He has been serving patients for over 20 years. Dr. Angelchik brings his surgical experience, expertise, and quality care to patients in and around Phoenix, Arizona.
A facelift is the best way to restore a more youthful, rejuvenated look. If you’re planning to receive facelift surgery, you might want to know what the recovery entails. For most patients, the facelift is an outpatient procedure, so it’s helpful to know what to expect when you are healing at home. These are some of the key points you should know about facelift recovery.
During the facelift surgical procedure, incisions are made along the hairline to remove sagging skin and restructure the underlying facial tissues. After the procedure, your face will be heavily bandaged with gauze and an elastic band wrapped around your face and neck area. This elastic bandage will help minimize swelling and keep the healing facial skin in place. A drain might be put in place to prevent fluid buildup of excess blood and fluids. If you have a drain, Dr. Angelchik will give you detailed instructions on how to care for it until he removes it a few days later at a post-operative appointment.
It’s normal to feel moderate pain for the first few days after surgery and you might have some difficulty opening your mouth. The treatment areas around the incisions will be numb for a few days (or up to a few weeks for some patients) and the incision sites might be itchy or painful once the feeling returns. You will be given prescription pain medication from Dr. Angelchik that can ease most of your pain and keep you comfortable. Using a cold compress for 15 minutes at a time throughout the day can also improve your comfort and reduce swelling and bruising. Antibiotics will also be prescribed and should be taken as instructed to limit the risk of infection.
Resting is crucial for proper recovery. Most patients take 2-3 weeks off work. Most of the healing process is completed after this period and your face will start to appear “normal.”
Swelling, bruising, and mild to moderate pain are often worse during the first few days so movement should be limited to walking small distances around the house. Showering should be avoided for 1-2 days after surgery since the incisions cannot get wet. For about one week after surgery, sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling and ease discomfort. More strenuous activity can start to be resumed after 2-3 weeks, but make sure you receive approval from Dr. Angelchik before you begin running, weightlifting, or performing any other exercises.
Since you might not be able to open your mouth fully for the first few days, a soft diet is necessary to prevent the incisions from opening. Soft foods will also be less uncomfortable to chew. Soup, pudding, scrambled eggs, yogurt, applesauce, pasta, and mashed potatoes are great options for recovery’s first few days. Most pain medicine should be taken after eating. Additionally, make sure you are drinking plenty of water and fluids since your body needs to be hydrated to function effectively and heal properly.
Although most patients heal without any complications, it’s important to know what to look out for in case an emergency does occur. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call our office immediately or visit an emergency room. Signs of an infection include increasing pain, warmth, swelling, or redness around the incision sites. Red streaks, pus, and fever are also common signs of infection. Pain that does not get better after taking medication, bleeding from the incisions and loose stitches should also be examined by a medical professional to make sure you heal properly.
Schedule a Consultatio
If you are considering a facelift in Glendale, AZ, schedule a consultation today with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Angelchik. Our office is also here to help if you have any questions or concerns during the facelift recovery process.