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Recovery from Facelift Surgery

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Rest & Recovery

Facelift surgery, no matter how short, generally involves the removal of fat, the repositioning of facial tissue and reduction of excess skin. Quite often skin is torn from tissue and nerves are separated. This all takes its toll on the body. Your face will swell and bruise. Expect this and allow yourself to rest after the surgery, otherwise your recovery time can take longer. Returning to most normal activities usually takes between two to three weeks, but this does depend on which facelift you have done. See what your surgeon recommends. 

The Following Weeks after a Facelift

During the two to three weeks recovery period your surgeon will provide you with pain medication; however, pain is not usually intense and initial recovery is quick. Five days to a week after your facelift surgery, your stitches will be removed. Although if your surgeon used metal clips, these will be taken out two weeks after the surgery. The scalp also takes longer to heal and hairline sutures may be left in for longer.

What To Avoid

To make sure your recovery is as quick as possible it is important for you avoid:

  • Lying Flat

In the initial days after your facelift you must keep your head elevated. This will reduce swelling.

  • Exercise

Vigorous activity can cause tearing. Your sutures are delicate and time is needed for your body to heal enough for jolts and stretches to not cause problems.  

  • Saunas & Massages

Saunas, like exercise, cause veins and arteries to dilate which increases blood flow. This is not good when you are recovering from surgery, because this can cause bleeding and may result in haematomas. Massage also stimulates blood flow. Not only this, but if you are being massaged near to the facial incisions then tissue could be pulled and this could cause tearing.

  • Alcohol

Alcohol causes loss of awareness; you do not want to trip or fall whilst your face is in the delicate state of initial recovery. Mixing this with medication is also unadvisable.

Skin Care & Washing after a Facelift

It is important to keep stitches very clean to avoid infection. For at least a few days after your facelift surgery you are strongly advised against washing your hair and your face with gels, lotions and other products. Some surgeons permit the use of a mild shampoo for instance baby’s shampoo, but you must be sure no irritation is caused. For this reason, facials are to be avoided for about six weeks after your facelift.

If you are having a complete facial make-over, then do consider how long your skin will be delicate for. Certainly if you are thinking of dying your hair, then it is best for you to do this before your surgery. The chemicals in hair dye can highly irritate surgical scars and it will take a number of weeks before you can dye your hair without causing irritation. Make-up, on the other hand, is not as toxic. This can be worn after about four days. It is a great way for hiding bruising for when you’re ready to face the outside world.

It is really important that post-surgery you protect your face from the effects of sunshine. Try to keep your face out of sunlight and, when able, use a high factor sun lotion.

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