After the facelift surgery you’ve been dreaming about for so long, you understandably will want to enjoy your new, refreshed appearance as soon as possible. However, swelling and bruising may initially make it difficult to see the beautiful new contours of your face. That’s one of the reasons Dr. Schmidt sends each of his patients home with detailed postoperative directions on what to expect at each phase of the recovery process and how to manage swelling after a facelift. Here are our top tips:
1. Apply Ice
Cold reduces swelling by constricting the blood vessels. If you don’t have ice packs at home, crush up some ice cubes in a sandwich bag. Wrap the ice pack in a clean towel and place it on the swollen spots at 20-minute intervals. Never apply ice directly to your skin, as this could damage it.
2. Avoid Bending or Lifting
For at least one week after your facelift surgery, you will need to steer clear of lifting heavy things, including children, and bending over at the waist. Having a rush of blood to your face can accentuate the swelling.
3. Limit Physical Exertion
Plan to spend the first week after your surgery resting comfortably at home. Do not exercise or move around too much, even doing something like housework, until Dr. Schmidt clears you to do so. You should ask your partner or another responsible adult to help you around your house with tasks such as laundry, cooking, and tidying up.
4. Sleep With Your Head Elevated
Head elevation is one of the most essential elements of your recovery, and can significantly reduce swelling after a facelift. Failure to elevate your head can also cause your face to heal asymmetrically. Sleep on your back with your head at an angle for the first one to two weeks after your surgery. You may wish to sleep alone during this time as well.
If you tend to be a natural side or stomach sleeper, you may want to surround yourself with pillows to avoid rolling onto your face and putting unnecessary pressure on your incisions. Some people find it more comfortable to sleep with a body pillow or sitting in a recliner tilted at a 45-degree angle.
What to Expect After a Facelift Surgery
During the first two to four weeks following surgery, emotional ups and downs can be common. When you experience bruising, discomfort, and swelling after a facelift, you might not look and feel your best. However, don’t get discouraged. As you begin to feel better physically, your mood and energy will also improve.
Recovering from facelift surgery requires you to follow all Dr. Schmidt’s postoperative directions to the letter. We provide detailed instructions to manage your expectations and ensure you are not alarmed if the initial bruising and swelling after a facelift somewhat obscure the refreshed, youthful appearance you were hoping to see when you look in a mirror. Dr. Schmidt’s many years of experience specializing in facial plastic surgery can help you rest assured that you will have a smooth healing process and will enjoy your facelift results for many years to come.
Schedule Your Facelift Consultation Today
If deep facial wrinkles and sagging skin are making you look older than you feel on the inside, Dr. Schmidt can take years off your appearance with natural-looking facelift surgery. Contact us today to set up a private consultation with Denver’s leading facelift surgeon.