A facelift, also referred to as a rhytidectomy, this surgical procedure can dramatically improve visible signs of aging brought on by the effects of gravity, tension and sun exposure. The process consists of removing excess and sagging skin, tightening underlying muscles or soft issue then re-draping the skin of the face and neck. It’s best to discuss your options and expectations with your plastic surgeon, but keep in mind that plastic surgeons are doctors, not magicians. So it will help to have a more realistic expectation.
Expect to look worse before you appear much better. Don’t panic; this is regular. There will be swelling and bruising but this is only transient. As swelling and bruising fades, you’ll begin to determine the outcomes. It may help to use of apply cold compress for 72 hours as frequent as you can to minimize swelling.
Keep your head elevated at all time with 2 pillow at bed time for two to three days to minimize the pressure at your head area. This will also help minimize swelling and speed up recovery. Do not underestimate the significance of head elevation. It’ll reduce your facelift recovery time significantly. Failure to do so might prolong recovery and might create anxiety for patients.
Following surgery your whole head will probably be bandaged. The bandage may really feel tight at first because it is meant to apply an even pressure for your face, neck and head to reduce bruising and swelling. The bandages are generally removed after a day or two following surgery.
You might shower and shampoo after the dressings are removed on the 3rd or 4th day after surgery.
You might feel some tightness and numbness in your face and neck. This tightness generally resolves after two months. The feeling of tightness is generally because of swelling. Because the swelling goes down, your skin will loosen after which stabilize. Don’t be alarmed that the facelift didn’t work. It is regular for the face to appear less wrinkled initially following surgery because of swelling. Numbness may persist for a number of patients for months and but this will gradually improve and normalize.
Its good to discuss any concerns after surgery with your surgeon so that you may know if what you have is expected or normal or if there is something that needs to be done or address. Having an open line of communication with your surgeon may alleviate you of anxiety.