10 Facelift Recovery Tips from a Plastic Surgeon

The mother of all anti-aging facial enhancements is a facelift that delivers transformative benefits. Although opting for this cosmetic surgery is nothing to take lightly, proper recovery and healing are just as critical. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shlomo Widder and his team offer up these ten recovery tips for a speedy and smooth transition from surgery to facial renewal.

1. Activity

Engage in light activity soon after surgery. You probably won’t feel like doing much for a couple of days, but you can go on short walks and light movements around the house. Mild activity boosts circulation, which helps with healing. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 weeks to avoid bleeding.

2. Rest

It’s crucial to balance light activity with loads of rest to ensure your body can concentrate its resources on healing. Take naps and recline by the television. Read that book you’ve been putting off or stream Netflix. When you lie down, keep your head elevated to minimize swelling.

3. Medications

Dr. Widder will talk about medication during your consultation and prescribe what’s right for you. While a facelift may lead to minimal pain after surgery, we find most patients do best with prescription medication for the first few days. These medications minimize stiffness and soreness. Of course, every patient is different.

4. Incision Care

We’ll explain how to care for your incisions and skin after surgery. Following our instructions will help minimize visible scarring.

5. Avoid Alcohol Intake

Avoid your alcohol intake before and after surgery. Alcohol can increase the risk of inflammation and swelling. It is a blood thinner and can cause bleeding.

6. Sun Exposure

Stay out of the sun after surgery and throughout your recovery to avoid skin discoloration and scarring. After your healing is complete, apply an SPF 30+ sunscreen liberally when outdoors.

7. Quit Smoking

If you smoke, quit before surgery. If you can’t resist smoking after surgery, refrain for at least three weeks. Smoking limits blood circulation and slows down the healing process.

8. Use Common Sense

Refrain from contact sports or other risky endeavors that could cause facial trauma. Don’t put yourself in places of excess heat like showers, saunas, and steam rooms until Dr. Widder gives you permission. Also, stay away from your hairdresser until you are completely healed.

9. The Mirror

It’s natural to get excited about seeing your facial improvement but be patient. Swelling takes time to go down. Your face may look unbalanced initially, and bruising patterns may be present, which is normal. But if you are alarmed at any time during your recovery, we are only a phone call away.

10. The Long Term

Like most surgery, a facelift may require several months to heal fully. Of course, you can go out in public after about 2 weeks with little to no evidence of surgery. But you may notice minor areas of swelling for the following weeks or months. This is not uncommon! Be patient and enjoy as your surgical benefits continue to improve.

For more information about facelift and facelift recovery, call Widder Plastic Surgery at (703) 506-0300 or schedule your consultation today.