What Can I Do During My Facelift Recovery at Home?
The recovery phrase can be frustrating for some patients. It can take a while before you get to see your full results after a facelift, and in the meantime, you might see bruising and swelling when you look in the mirror. Given that patients also have to take time off work and avoid strenuous activity, it’s natural that most people want to recover as quickly as possible. Here are some of our top tips for recovery:
Sort Out The Logistics
When you walk out of the doctor’s office after a facelift, the first thing you’ll need is someone to give you a ride home. During the first week after surgery, many patients highly appreciate having a friend or family member around the house, keeping them company and helping out with cooking and cleaning. It can be daunting to face such ordinary tasks all alone when you’re recovering from surgery! Another useful approach is to tick off as much of your to-do list as possible before going into surgery.
Staying hydrated (both before and after surgery) is one of the simplest yet most effective steps you can take to help your recovery. Maintaining normal, balanced fluid levels will help your skin heal as quickly as possible. Try to eat plenty of water-rich foods, since these help you retain the water you consume.
Reduce Sun Exposure
Particularly after a facelift, you should try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The sun’s rays can cause scars to permanently darken, making your results less subtle than they would otherwise be.
Avoid “Blood Thinning” Medications
Anticoagulants, or “blood thinners” such as aspirin and Vitamin E, can increase the likelihood of bleeding after your surgery. You should avoid them when possible. (If your doctor has prescribed a drug, however, you should never stop taking it without checking first.)
Although you should avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for about two weeks after your facelift, mild exercise is perfectly fine, and actually helps with the recovery process by alleviating stress. Eat whole foods, minimize your alcohol and caffeine intake, and try to get plenty of sleep. After your sutures have been removed, your doctor may allow you to massage your scars with Vitamin E to relieve pain or itching.
Use Cold Compresses
Cold compresses, which can be made at home, are often a great way to reduce eventual swelling during the first few hours after your facelift. You can continue to use them after the immediate postoperative period – but after some time has passed, they’re only really useful for making you more comfortable.
Don’t Let The Mirror Bring You Down
Nobody enjoys looking in the mirror a day (or sometimes even a week) after their facelift. You’ll inevitably experience some bruising or swelling, but you shouldn’t judge your results until your doctor has told you that your recovery is complete.
Dr. Siegel is a specialist facial plastic surgeon. If you’d like to find out more about facelifts, feel free to make an appointmentwith him today!