You’ve had the face lift of your dreams and now you’re looking forward to a long, healthy life. But how do you ensure that your surgery will result in a lifetime of well-being?
The first thing you should know is that recovery from a face lift isn’t just about healing your skin — it’s also about healing your body and mind. Your face lift recovery plan should be an all-encompassing approach that includes physical, mental and emotional steps for healing.
Face lift surgery is a surgical procedure that improves the contour of your face, neck and chest by removing excess skin and fat. It also tightens underlying facial muscles. A face lift can improve sagging skin that makes you look older.
It’s important to stay as active as possible during recovery to help your body heal faster and reduce the risk of infection. However, you should avoid strenuous activity or contact sports until your plastic surgeon gives you the green light.
Here are some tips that can help keep you healthy during this important time:
1. Eat a well-balanced diet.
It is important to eat nutritious food because your body needs all the nutrients it can get during recovery from surgery. Make sure you maintain a healthy diet before and after your surgery to keep yourself strong and energetic during recovery.
2. Stay hydrated.
The first few days after your face lift surgery, you’ll be on a liquid diet. Make sure you drink plenty of water and other fluids so that you avoid dehydration. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol because they can irritate your stomach or upset your digestive tract.
3. Get plenty of rest.
Rest is important for your body to heal after a face lift. If possible, it’s best to limit physical activity until your doctor gives you permission to resume normal activities. This may include walking, swimming and driving. You’ll also want to avoid lifting heavy objects or straining your back muscles if at all possible.
4. Use cold compresses on the face after the first 48 hours following the surgery.
Cold compresses help reduce swelling, bruising and pain. For example, if your face feels tight or swollen, place ice packs wrapped in a towel over your cheeks, chin and forehead for 10 minutes at a time every couple of hours. Do this for the first 48 hours following the procedure.
5. Focus on slow, calm movements for the first week.
You should avoid strenuous activity for at least a week after your procedure. If you have any movement restrictions related to physical therapy, follow those instructions closely even if they’re stricter than what your surgeon recommends.
6. Have your procedure performed by a professional.
It’s important to choose a surgeon who has experience performing face lifts, as well as other procedures such as breast augmentation or tummy tucks. This will ensure that your procedure is performed properly and that you get the results you want from your surgery.
7. Take it easy.
The first few weeks after your surgery will be a time when you may feel some discomfort in the area around your eyes and lips as they heal and adjust to their new position on your face. Make sure you take it easy during this time so that you don’t pull on the stitches or cause any damage to the incision area.
8. Keep your head elevated.
The most important thing you can do at home after surgery is to keep your head elevated while lying down as much as possible. This will help prevent blood from pooling in your lower extremities and reduce swelling after surgery.
9. Dress comfortably and dress in layers.
You’ll have to wear loose-fitting clothing after your surgery, so wear clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Choose fabrics that don’t irritate your skin, such as cotton or silk. Wear something over your incision site to protect it from getting dirty or rubbing against anything else.
10. Do not engage in rigorous exercise or activity.
Even though your body will be in recovery mode, it is still important to take it easy on yourself. It is recommended that you avoid strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks after the procedure. This includes heavy lifting, jogging and even yoga.
11. Brush your teeth gently.
You may not be able to brush your teeth for a few days after the surgery. If you can, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse very gently with a cloth or mouthwash containing fluoride. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush because it’s gentler on your gums than an electric one is. If you have stitches in your mouth, don’t brush them or try to remove them yourself until they come out on their own — which could be several weeks after the procedure.
12. Pay attention to the signs that something is wrong.
You should be aware of any changes or problems as soon as they occur, so that they don’t get worse over time. If something feels uncomfortable or painful during recovery, call your doctor right away.
13. Try the remote working method.
You may be able to go back to work after a week or two, but most doctors recommend staying at home for at least three weeks after surgery. This will give your body time to heal properly and reduce the risk of infection. If you have a desk job, you may be able to return sooner than someone who works in construction or another physically demanding job.
14. Stay out of the sun
The skin on your face is more sensitive than other parts of your body and may be prone to sun damage. Make sure that you wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you’re outside, even if it’s cloudy or cool outside. You should also avoid tanning beds at all costs — not only are they bad for your skin, but they can cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer as well.
15. Do not lift anything heavy
Your body has just gone through a major operation, so you need to give it time to heal properly. Do not try to rush the healing process by lifting heavy objects or performing strenuous physical activity. This can lead to complications such as infections, scarring, and blood clots in your legs.
16. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol can cause you to lose fluids and electrolytes, which increases your risk of infection and complications during recovery. Avoid drinking alcohol for at least two weeks before the surgery and for two weeks after the surgery.
17. Avoid smoking
Smoking can cause many health problems, including heart disease and lung cancer. If you are a smoker, try to quit before your surgery and during the recovery period to avoid complications.
18. Avoid bending
If possible, avoid bending over, stooping or crouching for up to four weeks after your face lift. This will decrease the risk of infection and swelling in your face.
19. Take medications as prescribed
All medication instructions should be followed carefully by you and your health care provider. Do not stop taking any medication without first discussing it with your surgeon or another qualified health professional. Your face lift recovery will require that certain medications be taken daily for a period of time after surgery, so it is important that these medications are taken exactly as prescribed by your surgeon or other qualified health professional.
20. Expect some swelling and bruising of the skin.
Swelling usually peaks three days after surgery and subsides gradually over the next few weeks. Bruising can last up to two weeks, but usually fades much sooner. To minimize both swelling and bruising, ice your face for 10 minutes every hour or two for the first 24 hours after surgery.
21. Make sure you have someone to drive you home after the surgery.
You’ll probably feel tired after the anesthesia wears off and it’s important that you don’t get behind the wheel until you feel well enough to drive safely. If there’s no one available to drive you home, then plan on staying at least one night in the hospital or surgical center after your procedure so they can monitor your progress closely until they’re satisfied that everything went well with the surgery.
22. Be prepared for some pain, but know that it will subside over time.
It’s normal to experience some swelling after surgery, even if your surgeon has done everything possible to minimize bruising and swelling by using laser technology and special stitches. Swelling in the face typically subsides within weeks of surgery, but this varies from person to person depending on their age, overall health status and other factors such as smoking history which could affect the healing process.
23. Remember to breathe deeply throughout the day.
You should always practice good breathing habits when you are feeling stressed out or anxious about something. This is especially important if you have just undergone a face lift procedure; breathing deeply can help alleviate pain in your body and mind. Breathing deeply has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, so try it out if you find yourself feeling tense or irritable after having a face lift procedure done at our practice!
24. Use a humidifier
Dry winter air can make your skin feel tight, which can make you feel uncomfortable and even increase the risk of infection. If you have central heating or an electric fireplace, use these to keep the air in your home moist. You can also use a humidifier in your bedroom at night, which will help keep your skin from drying out while you sleep.