Imagine you’re looking in the mirror and seeing a more youthful, refreshed version of yourself looking back. Ok, so you may still be in bandages, but you’ve finally had the facelift you were waiting for, planning for and now you’re well underway in your transformation journey. You can let out a sigh of relief – the toughest part, the actual surgery, is behind you. But, let’s not forget, the best surgical results also require patience, attentiveness and dedication in post-operative care; everything from sleeping in the right position to managing bruising and swelling. In this guide, we will explore Dr. Konstantin’s seven essential tips that will help pave the way for your successful facelift recovery.
1. Proper Sleep Position
Now that you’re home or in a comfortable setting following your facelift procedure, you will need a lot of rest to help your body recuperate and heal. It is very important to keep your head elevated when you sleep, especially in the initial stages of recovery. Propping yourself up with extra pillows allows excess fluid to drain away from the face and prevents it from pooling, which can lead to increased swelling.
Additionally, keeping your head elevated helps improve blood circulation to the surgical areas for faster healing. You will also need to sleep on your back in the first few weeks after surgery (sorry side sleepers!). This may take some adjustment at first, but prioritizing proper sleep positioning will support your body’s natural recovery process and truly pay off in the long-run.
2. Wear A Supportive Garment
Wearing a supportive garment or elastic bandages after a facelift could be necessary for an optimal recovery. First, it helps minimize swelling, which is a common side effect after this type of surgery. The fluid tends to go down and accumulate under the chin and in the lower part of the face. By gently compressing the treated areas, the garment reduces the space available for excess fluid to accumulate, which promotes better circulation for a faster recovery. Additionally, the supportive garment helps preserve the newly shaped contours that were achieved during surgery and acts as a protective barrier from any external factors that can interfere with healing.
3. Be Mindful Of Incision Care
When it comes to your incisions after a facelift surgery, it can’t be stressed enough, taking proper care is extremely important to prevent infection and facilitate healing. Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your incisions. In the initial stages, this includes gently cleansing the incisions using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser, then applying a recommended ointment like Aquaphor to keep them moisturized. The last step is to correctly apply the bandages or dressing. You can find Dr. Konstantin’s instructions here. It is crucial to follow these guidelines diligently. Be careful not to overdo any of the steps, such as applying ointment too frequently thinking it will accelerate healing, as this can cause more harm than good. Also, avoid exposing your incisions to excessive sunlight, makeup or harsh ingredients until your surgeon advises otherwise to avoid any complications.
4. Reducing Bruising And Swelling
It is inevitable to have some bruising and swelling after a surgical procedure such as a facelift, but there are things you can do to minimize these effects. We already covered a few helpful tips such as sleeping upright and wearing a supportive garment, however, another useful aid is Arnica Montana. This popular homeopathic remedy is often recommended for facelift recovery due to its potential benefits in reducing bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Many of our patients find it helpful in their healing process.
5. Active Recovery
The first few days after your surgery you will want to take it easy and stay in bed and relax. But, life doesn’t stop just because you had a facelift. After this initial period, don’t hesitate to start resuming some of your normal daily activities and doing things around the house, as long as you’re feeling comfortable of course. This light activity will help your body to adjust to post-surgical changes and improve blood flow, which further helps promote healing. Follow your surgeon’s guidance on when it is appropriate to begin gentle exercises and avoid activities that involve bending, lifting heavy objects, or straining your facial muscles until you are further along in your post-operative recovery.
6. Maintain A Healthy Diet
It’s no surprise, a healthy, balanced diet is another essential factor in your facelift recovery. Ensure that your meals contain a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to supply the body with the nutrients and antioxidants it needs.
Adequate nutrition will help promote healing, boost your immune system, and minimize the risk of complications. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods. If you’ve always wanted to eat healthier, doing so for the sake of post-operative healing could serve as a great motivator.
7. Patience And A Positive Mindset
Recovery from a facelift takes time, and it’s important to be patient with the healing process. Allow your body ample time to recuperate and avoid comparing your progress to others’. Remember everyone heals differently. Maintaining a positive mindset, focusing on the improvements will not only boost your overall mood, but will be a beneficial influence on your recovery progress. If possible, it also helps to surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who can provide encouragement and reassurance throughout the journey.
If you’re interested in a facelift, the facelift recovery process or any other facial rejuvenation procedures, we would be happy to see you for a consultation. Please contact our Manhattan-based practice to schedule your appointment with New York’s top facial plastic surgeon and facelift expert, Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD.