A facelift is an invasive surgical procedure that removes sagging tissues from the lower edges of your face and pulls your remaining tissues taut so that they appear more youthful and natural. However, because there is soft tissue damage during this surgery as well as incisions around the ears and hairline, you will need to take special steps and precautions during recovery to ensure that you heal as well as possible.
First, be sure to care for any swelling that you have. Swelling is a natural reaction to soft tissue damage. The tissues enlarge with fluids that are sent to the area to aid in healing. Your best course of action following your facelift is to keep your head elevated at all times. Even when you are sleeping, be sure that the head of your bed is elevated. You may also be able to decrease swelling by remaining well-hydrated and by applying cold-packs to the area.
Second, be sure that you understand what activities you should avoid and when you can begin to exercise again. Vigorous activities too soon after surgery can further injure areas that are trying to heal and may even open incisions. At first, you should rest most of the time and walk slowly. Increased exercise is often approved a couple weeks after surgery. You must still wait longer to return to very vigorous activities, such as aerobics.
Third, you will need to consider what products you are putting on your face. Your skin is very sensitive and what you put on your face may get into your incisions, creating reactions and even infections. You want to be sure that your skin is not irritated during this important healing process. Ask your surgeon about how you can care for your face during healing. He may give you a special cleaning solution for the incisions. After a couple of days, you may be able to use a mild soap on your face. Be sure to wait two or three weeks before applying makeup.
Finally, you will need to ask your surgeon about protecting your skin from the sun, taking medications and pain relievers, making facial movements and eating. You should also plan to return for your follow-up appointment where you will be able to get answers to any questions that have arisen and ensure that your incisions are healing as they should.