COSMETIC TOWN JOURNAL



Facial Plastic Surgery Preparation and Recovery

Posted February 04, 2021
Learn about Facial Plastic Surgery Preparation and Recovery

Facial plastic surgery, which is also known as a rhytidectomy or a facelift, is an invasive surgical procedure that works to rejuvenate and improve the appearance of signs of aging in the face such as wrinkles and sagging skin. Patients that are interested in undergoing a facelift can learn everything they need to know about the “before and after” process of the procedure in this informative article.

Facial Plastic Surgery Preparation

Facial plastic surgery preparationPatients that plan on having facial plastic surgery need to wear clothing that is comfortable and loose fitting to the medical facility. Even though patients will wear a medical gown during the surgery, they will need to wear their own clothes when they go home. The ideal outfit includes a button-up shirt or a loose zip-up shirt because the area where the surgery was performed will be sensitive. Patients will want to avoid pulling anything over their face or head.

Patients will also need to stop eating or drinking anything before the surgery (for a time period determined by the surgeon).

The surgeon will also need to know all of the medications currently taken by the patient (including any supplements and vitamins). The doctor will let the person know which medications they need to stop taking before the surgery in order to lessen the chances of side effects after having anesthesia or developing complications during the procedure.

Five Lifestyle Changes before Facial Plastic Surgery

Patients will have to make some changes in their lifestyle before having a facelift. These changes are important in helping patients enjoy a recovery process that is free of complications. Five of the most common lifestyle changes include:

  1. Stop Smoking – Patients will need to stop smoking at least one month (or more) before having the surgery. Since smoking can increase the risk of surgical complications during, and after, the procedure, patients need to follow this step as closely as possible.
  2. Follow a Healthy Diet – Patients that follow a healthy diet give their body much needed vitamins and nutrients which can optimize the surgical results.
  3. Stop Drinking Alcohol – The consumption of alcohol can thin the blood of a person and even increase the chance of bleeding during the surgery. Most surgeons will recommend that patients stop drinking alcohol at least three days before the surgery.
  4. Get Plenty of Rest before the Procedure – No matter how healthy a person is before undergoing surgery, an invasive surgical procedure like a facelift can tax the system. Patients are advised to get plenty of rest before surgery so their body is not overtaxed or overly strained.
  5. Stop Taking Aspirin – The use of aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding for a patient.

Facial Plastic Surgery Recovery Timeline

Facial plastic surgery recoveryThe day after the surgery, the surgeon will remove any drainage tubes and place fresh bandages on the face. About a week after the surgery, the doctor will remove any stitches and check out the progress of the healing of any wounds.

Patients can expect to feel some pain for the first day or two after the facelift. They will likely need to take pain medication to help control their discomfort.

Swelling will occur in the first week so it is best to sleep upright to decrease the amount of swelling. Avoid lifting heavy objects or bending during the first week after the procedure as this can increase the swelling.

Some swelling can still be visible during the second week along with bruising. Patients might experience some numbness and tightness in the face.

Most patients can return to work in the second week after the surgery as well as resume some light, low impact activities such as walking. The third week is when many patients can begin additional exercises.

Proper Caring for the Wounds and Incisions

Be sure and keep the areas with any wounds dry and clean and take care of them according to the instructions provided by the surgeon. It is important to follow the post-op instructions from the doctor in order to heal properly and minimize any risks of complications

Once the initial bandages and dressings have been changed by the doctor, patients will need to wash any incisions from the surgery multiple times each day (for a period of time instructed by the doctor). The incisions should be washed in a gentle manner using a soap that is free of any fragrances and mild.

The doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic ointment that will be used to completely cover the incisions. If a patient does not have an antibiotic ointment to use on the incisions, the person can place a thin layer of Vaseline over them. 

Patients that have any questions regarding preparing for a facelift, or the steps they need to take after the procedure, are advised to contact their surgeon at any point in the process. An educated patient is a patient that is prepared with the necessary medical information to make an informed decision about undergoing a facelift (as well as any other plastic surgery procedure).

- MA

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