INCISION: The best thing to minimize future scars is to keep your incisions clean and scab free. Apply vaseline or aquafore to all areas with stitches or areas of scab formation. Use Hydrogen Peroxide and cotton swabs to clear off any bloody crust.You have stitches that need to come out 4-5 days after surgery.You should have this appointment scheduled before your surgery. During your follow up visit, we will give you some cover up that you can start using 24 hours after the stitches are removed.You may also consider performing additional skin care procedures such as laser treatments during this time.
DRAIN: You will have a drain after surgery, this can be removed at home the day after surgery or in the office, whatever you are more comfortable with. If you want a family member or friend to remove the drain we will talk them through how to do it.
SHOWER: As long as you are up to it,you can shower the day after surgery.Be careful!You may feel faint so please have someone close. Remove your bandages and drain (if you are uncomfortable having someone at home remove the drain, we will do it in the office). Gently wash and style your hair as usual, then apply ointment.
BRUISING: Bruising is normal after surgery.You will notice bruising spreading down your neck,this is normal.A scarf or high neck shirt will help you feel more comfortable in public while the bruising fades.
PRESSURE BANDAGE: After your surgical dressing comes off, you should wear your chin strap in order to limit swelling along and under your jawline.This is necessary for at least the first 3 days after surgery.Adjust the strap carefully to avoid too much pressure on the skin which is numb early on.
LAY LOW:An adult must stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.The effects of anesthesia can persist for that long and you are at an increased risk of falling or making bad decisions. Stay safe. Heal well!
ACTIVITY: Walk around, move frequently, but nothing strenuous for the first 3 days. Help your body focus on healing.
BLOOD CLOTS: The best way to prevent a blood clot is to move frequently, even while laying down. Signs of a blood clot include pain, heat, asymmetric swelling, and redness, usually in one of your legs/calves. Notify us ASAP if you experience these symptoms, or go to the emergency room for life threatening symptoms.
ICE: If it helps with comfort please make sure you have a barrier between the ice and your skin.The skin is healing and susceptible to damage from the cold. Please be extra cautious.
SLEEP: Sleep however you are comfortable.There is no need to sleep sitting up or with your head elevated, unless it feels the most comfortable to you. It is important not to allow your head to fall far forward or to bend your chin towards your chest for the first several weeks after surgery to prevent undue strain on the stitches behind your ears. Generally your body is excellent at knowing what is best during recovery from the injury of your surgery. Listen to it.
MEDICATIONS: Take it easy on the narcotic pain medications for the first 12 hours after surgery.Try rotating Ibuprofen or Tylenol with the pain medication. Use ice for pain as well. Facelift patients frequently report having minimal pain, take the narcotics only if you need them.
DIET: You may not be hungry, this is normal. Eat small portions when you feel like eating. Remember in the first three days after surgery (at least) your body will retain fluid. Limit high salt foods and keep your rings off. DRINK plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated helps with healing and it will help your bowels. If you are concerned about constipation try a little milk of magnesia, fiber powder, fresh grapes or maybe a suppository.
NAUSEA: Nausea is often a sign of low blood pressure, which is a normal response to both pain medication and the initial recovery phase after surgery. Laying down, elevating your legs on a couple of pillows and a cold compress can help ease the nausea.This sensation may come on suddenly, which is why we recommend LAYING LOW for the first few days.
DO NOT DRIVE: No driving for the first week after surgery is safest. No driving for as long as you are taking pain medication.
NO SMOKING:This should go without saying.Any nicotine you were exposed to for a month before your surgery will hurt how well you heal. Smoking directly interferes with you result.
INFECTION:This is rare!! BUT, any high and sustained fever with rapidly increasing redness and discharge from your wound requires attention. Contact our office 801-278-9062.