You’re ready for a Beverly Hills facelift and have done your research to find the right surgeon to rejuvenate your appearance. You’re on board with the pre-op instructions, including giving up smoking and stopping any blood-thinning medications or supplements.
But what happens while you recover?
Here at Lahar Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California, Nicholas Lahar, MD, provides outstanding cosmetic surgery procedures along with personalized instructions on what to expect and how to take care of yourself while you recover.
Here’s what you can expect while waiting to show your fresh, revitalized face to the world.
You have general anesthesia during your facelift, so you’ll be groggy after your surgery. We usually wrap your face in a compression bandage to minimize swelling. We might place surgical drains to allow excess fluid to escape your skin.
In some cases, we recommend an overnight stay at a recovery center so a medical professional can change your bandages and monitor your first several hours of post-op recovery.
Whether you go home the day of your facelift or the day after, you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. You may even want to have them stay to take care of you.
In the first week after your facelift, your only goal should be to rest so your body can begin healing. You should get up and walk around your home for 5-10 minutes every hour to keep your circulation healthy. We can recommend over-the-counter pain medicine to reduce any discomfort and swelling.
Arrange for help
You will need someone to prepare and clean your meals, take care of your home, and be 100% responsible for any children, pets, or other regular daily responsibilities during this first week of recovery.
Keep your head elevated
You will also need to keep your head upright to limit swelling and bruising. This means sleeping with your head elevated and not bending over at all — not even to tie your shoes.
Keep your bandages dry
We recommend not showering for at least the first few days to keep your bandages dry. You can gently rinse your face when you change your dressings, but follow our instructions about caring for your incisions.
We remove any drains, non-dissolvable stitches, and bandages by the end of the first week.
Don’t touch your incisions
Under no circumstances, no matter how much they itch, you should not touch or scratch your incisions.
Keep an eye out for signs of infection
It’s normal to look and feel puffy and bruised during the first week — you did have major surgery, after all. You might also have tingling, itching, or even slight burning sensations.
However, if you have any bleeding, intense pain, or unusual discoloration, call us immediately.
You will start to feel more like yourself and get your energy back by the end of the second week. Nonetheless, it’s not time to return to your normal activities quite yet.
You might be able to take care of a few light chores, but should avoid strenuous activities. You’re still recovering and need to avoid bending over.
Many of our patients stay home during the second week and sometimes the third week. You’ll still have some swelling and your incisions may be too visible for your comfort.
Many patients feel ready to return to work by the third week of recovery. Your swelling should subside enough that you feel confident going out in public.
Your incisions may still be a visible bright pink or red. You can wear your hair down to cover them or ask us for camouflage tips.
At this point, the skin on your face and neck may feel tight. We can recommend some gentle stretching exercises to ease this sensation.
While you can return to work, you should continue to avoid strenuous activity at the gym, such as weightlifting and high-impact aerobics. Talk to us about gradually adding them in after the third week.
Week 5 and beyond
You should be back to your regular routine after you’ve healed for about a month. Your face continues to heal for up to 12 months.
Over the coming months, you should notice that your face and neck feel less tight and your skin regains a healthy glow. You can increase this “wow” effect with fat grafts, laser therapy, or any other procedure that stimulates collagen production in your skin.
Your scars should also fade from bright pink or red to a pale pink or white. After the one-year mark, if you’re bothered by your scars we offer various treatments to diminish their appearance.
To schedule a facelift consultation and learn more about how we can enhance your appearance, call or book online today.