When it comes to plastic surgery, the procedure itself is only part of the process. Your doctor can be experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable, but if you do not care for yourself properly during the healing process, then you could end up with less than optimal results. Recovery from face lift surgery can be especially grueling, since the procedure is very invasive and is intended to produce dramatic anti-aging results. Because of this, you should plan accordingly and make sure you are prepared to deal with all aspects of face lift recovery before the day of your surgery. Here are some tips to make those few weeks a little bit easier on you and your family.
Get Familiar with Your Responsibilities
As a patient, you have some responsibilities. Your doctor cannot be there for every step of your recovery, reminding you to take your medication and to care for yourself properly, so you will need to take the reins after the surgery and take responsibility for your aftercare, with your surgeon as resource and as-needed support. Carefully go over all provided material before your surgery and be sure to ask questions to clarify points you need help with.
Face lift surgery is highly invasive, and your initial recovery will be much easier and more comfortable if you have help during the first few days after surgery. Try to have a family member or friend stay with you for at least a day or two to ease the worst of the discomfort. You will have extensive activity restrictions during this time, so having help will be a huge asset to you.
Be Comfortable and Prepared
You are going to have a lot of downtime in the weeks following surgery, so you will want to have a comfortable area prepared for yourself to relax in before the day of the surgery. Outfit your recliner and bed with lots of pillows to help keep your head elevated, and be sure to have entertainment options close at hand. Preparing your home in advance will give you peace of mind and prevent you from having to do any lifting or bending.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
While it may be tempting to touch your face often, especially if you experience numbness (a common side effect of face lift), doing so can be detrimental to your results. Unless you are directly cleansing the area or otherwise caring for the incisions according to your physician’s instructions, keep your hands to yourself!
Control the Temperature
Depending on your region and the time of year, the weather could make recovery somewhat uncomfortable. Make sure you have the ability to control the temperature well enough to keep yourself reasonably comfortable, since there will be other factors making you uncomfortable during the process. There is nothing worse than trying to recover during the heat and humidity of summer without air conditioning.
Showers should be lukewarm, not hot, to avoid irritating the incisions, and possibly re-opening them or causing other complications. Your doctor will give you instructions on this, especially as to when it is safe to wash your hair. Hairline incisions can make doing so dangerous initially.
Take Your Medicine
You will be prescribed some type of painkillers to help keep you comfortable during recovery, and it is a good idea to keep on a regular schedule of these until you start feeling better on a regular basis. Recovery is not comfortable, and you should use all means at your disposal to feel better.
You are not going to be able to do much of anything for the first few days after surgery, and you are definitely not going to want to do any cooking. It is a good idea to prepare and freeze healthy meals in advance so you will not need to give into temptation and order takeout. Healthy food will help you heal faster, so set yourself up for success by stocking the fridge in advance.
While it might be tempting to reach for a drink during recovery, you should not drink alcohol until the initial healing process is complete. Alcohol can have all kinds of nasty repercussions for post-operative patients and can cause poor wound healing and other complications.
Take It Easy!
While most patients are anxious to get back to work after surgery, you should not try to rush the healing process. Do not try to do work from home or go back to the office too soon. Taking it easy and resting up is the right thing to do for your health and wellness. Allow yourself a generous recovery period so you do not feel the need to go back too soon. Be realistic about your progress and do not take risks with your recovery.
You should not bend or lift heavy objects until your doctor gives you the green light to do so. That said, you should start moving a bit in the days following surgery. Walking can help you improve your circulation, and help you reduce the chances of dangerous complications, like blood clots.
Call with Questions and Concerns
Safety is extremely important, and if you think you might be experiencing complications or an infection, it is vital that you contact your facial plastic surgeon right away. Often, quick intervention can minimize the damage. Your doctor will be invested in your results, and any reputable provider would rather patients played it safe and called with questions and concerns instead of waiting for improvement.
If you are getting ready to plan your surgery and would like to meet with a renowned face lift specialist, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery and meet with Dr. Stuart Bentkover, a board certified facial plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Bentkover is a face lift expert, offering a range of full and mini face lifts to suit each person’s needs. Call Dr. Bentkover’s offices in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033) to schedule your consultation today.