Patients of any surgical procedure, including facelifts, will find themselves battling some common side effects. Swelling is one of the body’s natural reactions to surgery, so it’s pretty much a given that it will stick with you for days or weeks after your procedure. While it is a normal indication that the healing process has begun, swelling isn’t something you have to suffer silently. In fact, today’s plastic surgeons are able to provide several strategies to help you minimize the swelling you experience after your facelift surgery.
Begin With Your After-Care Instructions
When it comes to strategies for making a smooth transition after surgery, your surgeon’s advice ranks high up on the list. Following each guideline closely is the key to a smooth recovery process, including a quick reduction in your swelling. You will likely receive a checklist to follow at some point before your facelift surgery, but ask for one if you don’t. Having the list in advance allows you to prepare for everything you will need. Some of the steps you can take to manage swelling may include:
- Wearing your bandages until you are instructed to remove them. You may be asked to change them regularly during your early recovery. Doing so can keep the area clean while it heals.
- Avoiding foods that are tough to chew.
- Skipping out on strenuous or vigorous activities for up to three weeks after surgery.
- Taking any and all medications your doctor has prescribed for you.
These care instructions are a good start to allowing your body to heal safely and minimize your risk for increased swelling and other complications. To really manage your swelling, there are other measures you can take.
Keep Your Cool
Heat can make your body swell even without surgery, so it’s important to stay cool after a facelift. If your surgery is scheduled for the summer months, it’s a good idea to find a nice, air conditioned area to spend your recovery time. The cool air and controlled climate will reduce extra swelling and let your body heal itself correctly. Steer clear of heating vents if your facelift is a winter surgery, since the direct hot air could have a similar effect.
Keep It Up
When you lie flat, blood circulates through the head and can increase the pressure and swelling around your incisions. Just sleeping on your pillow the regular way could prolong swelling and healing, leaving you to feel uncomfortable. By propping your head up with pillows when you recline or lie down, you’ll cut down our swelling right away. Keep your head up to minimize the swelling you’ll experience following facelift surgery.
Keep the Pressure On
Pressure against your surgical area might sound unpleasant but cold compresses only need to rest on the area to provide benefits. Applying these helpful packs or bags, your nerves and tissues are soothed with the cold and your pain, discomfort, and swelling will subside as a result. If it’s too cold, wrap the compress in a thin towel and the reapply. Any plastic surgeon will tell you how much cold compresses can do to alleviate your swelling troubles after facelift surgery.
Keep It Low Key
After surgery, your plastic surgeon will likely recommend a set amount of downtime to start your recovery off right. This is good advice and you should do well to follow it if you want to have an uneventful, smooth facelift recovery. Staying off your feel, keeping your body well-nourished and hydrated, and following your basic healing instructions are essential parts of your success. While your swelling may last up to three months, there’s no reason you have to leave the swelling to subside all on its own. Just by following these simple steps and listening to your surgeon’s advice, you can work to better manage the side effects of your own facelift surgery.
Keep In Touch With Your Plastic Surgeon
For the best results following your facelift, it’s important to work with a surgeon who cares about your recovery and can provide you with the tools to get through the healing phase. Consult with Dr. Ronald Lohner, an experienced and board certified plastic surgeon based in Philadelphia. He completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College and medical school at UMDNJ-Rutgers. Currently, Dr. Lohner is Chief of Plastic Surgery at Bryn Mawr Hospital and holds a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. His peers have selected him as a Philadelphia-area Top Doctor for the last eight years. His office is located at 919 Conestoga Road, Building I, Suite 200 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line. Please call his office at 610-519-0600 to schedule a consultation.