Facelift Recovery: Common Instructions for Post-Op Care

Published on February 10, 2015

After you have received a facelift, you will be monitored and discharged. It will take time to completely heal, but it is essential to follow proper post-op care to ensure the best results and avoid unnecessary complications. while keeping you as comfortable as possible.

While every patient is different to some degree and will need individualized post-operative care and instructions, Dr. Hecht provides most of his patients with the home care instructions you’ll find below.  Use this as a guide to prepare yourself for the healing time after surgery, but discuss all pre- and post-op care with Dr. Hecht and our staff.

Pain Management During Facelift RecoveryScottsdale Facelift before and after photos

In most cases, you will be prescribed a medication to help you manage your pain during the first few days following surgery. It is vital to comprehend the side effects and possible adverse reactions. You are advised to refrain from taking aspirin and over-the-counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin).

Avoid Strenuous Activity and Rest Up

You should avoid strenuous exercise and even keep normal everyday activities to a minimum while recovering from a facelift procedure. For two weeks following surgery, you should not lift or push anything over 10 pounds. Lifting heavy objects can lead to a hematoma. Although rigorous exercise is not recommended, you should begin walking a bit each day; but don’t overdo it!  You just had major surgery, so let someone else take care of the children, cook meals and clean house while you focus your energy on healing.

Keep Your Head Elevated

Certain patients are advised to keep their heads elevated for a few days after surgery. This keeps swelling to a minimum. It is normal to feel a bit numb, but full feeling should return after a few months.  If you have any concerns about any odd sensations after your surgery, you should contact our office.

Dressing Care

It is essential to keep your dressing dry. One day following surgery, Dr. Hecht will change your dressing to a lighter one. After two days, this can be removed completely, and you can shower. However, you must be gentle while washing around the incisions.

After removing the dressing, use the elastic neck band as much as possible. For the first two weeks, it should be worn day and night. For the next two weeks, it should be worn at night. Then, it can be used for support as desired.

Preventing Infection

Three times a day, you should apply antibiotic Bacitiracin ointment to your incisions around your ears, in your hair, and under your chin to help prevent infection. This product is available in drugstores and does not require a prescription, but you should stock up before your surgery so that you have that ready during your recovery.

Possible Complications

It is vital to understand the possible complications that may arise after a facelift. For example, you may notice a sudden appearance of swelling or severe pain. You may also experience abnormal discharge from the incision site. A fever over 100 degrees may signal an infection. If you notice any of these problems, it is essential to seek emergency medical attention.  By following our post-operative instructions, you can limit the possibility of these complications, so be sure to follow all instructions given by Dr. Hecht and our staff.  This is for your safety and also to help ensure the best cosmetic results.

Office Follow-Up

Our staff will schedule follow-up appointments during recovery. Some will be the times when drains, sutures, and stitches are removed. Others will help Dr. Hecht assess your progress and make sure you are healing properly.   It’s important to keep these appointments to make sure everything is going as planned and to have any questions answered to ensure the best possible outcome in your facelift recovery.

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