Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Blog

Postoperative Guidelines – Facelift

Posted on April 16, 2019 by

Call Dr. Toledo’s office at (214) 363-4444 if you have:

  • Severe pain which doesn’t respond to medication.
  • Significant swelling, and/or unrelenting pain that occurs more on one side than the other.
  • Shortness of breath or labored breathing can be a sign of a blood clot in your lungs.
  • Any problems or questions which haven’t been covered on this instruction sheet.

Physical Activity
For approximately five days you will be at home taking it easy. It is important to get out of bed and walk the first 2 – 3 days to increase the circulation in your legs and avoid blood clots.

You may feel more comfortable sleeping with your body a little flexed- like having a pillow under your knees if you are on your back or you can sleep on your side with your hips flexed. By keeping your head elevated above your heart, swelling can be minimized. Because of your medications, you may feel lightheaded and need assistance getting to and from the bathroom for several days.

Pain
The period of greatest discomfort usually lasts 24 to 48 hours. Thereafter, you should have less discomfort and less need for medication. Occasionally it lasts a bit longer, as different people have different pain tolerances.

Alcohol
Do not drink alcohol for five days after surgery, or if you are taking pain medication.

Driving
You may drive as soon as you feel comfortable, usually in about 5 to 7 days. Never drive under the influence of pain medication or sedatives.

Diet
Start with liquids the first day, then progress to your regular diet as you desire.

Hair
You may wash your hair forty-eight hours after your drains are removed. We suggest you wash your hair in a shower with ordinary shampoo. You may dry it with a towel, or blow-dry with a cool dryer. Do not use a hot hair dryer, electric rollers, or curling iron for three weeks following surgery. Do not color or bleach your hair for three weeks after surgery.

Makeup
You may apply makeup when the incisions are healed, usually 7 days after surgery.

Sun
Do not sit in the sun at all for three weeks after surgery. If the incisions are ex- posed, apply sunscreen for six months.

Sports
Strenuous sports, such as tennis, swimming, jogging, aerobics, or bicycling, may be resumed after three weeks. Refrain from any activity that significantly raises your body temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate for three weeks after face lift surgery.

Work
Depending on the kind of work you do, you may be able to return to your job as soon as you are comfortable. If your work is fairly sedentary, you may go back to work in five to seven days.

Guideline for preoperative surgery.

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