Post Op Instructions for Facelifts
Plastic Surgery Instructions (Facelift/Necklift)
-Following your surgery you will be sent home with a dressing to be worn overnight as well as drains that need to be emptied every few hours. Care for these drains will be reviewed prior to you leaving the hospital/surgery center.
-It is important for you to keep your head elevated the evening after surgery as well as for the first two weeks following surgery. This can be done by either sleeping in a recliner tilted at 45 degrees or sleeping with two pillows underneath the head.
-You will follow up in the office with Dr. DePerro in 1-2 days and he will remove your dressings and drains.
-After the dressing is removed, for 5 days go over the suture lines two times daily with hydrogen peroxide on a Q-tip. Afterwards apply a small amount of Bacitracin (or Neosporin) ointment.
-You may shower the second day following surgery.
-You may use cold compresses for comfort and to help decrease the swelling. Never apply them directly to the skin and only use them for 15 mins at a time.
Be sure to report immediately any signs of bleeding that persist after ten minutes of direct pressure, infection, redness, fever, unusual drainage, or pain.
-Stitches will be removed at the one week postop visit.
-No Aspirin or Ibuprofen for at least 7 days. It can cause bleeding/bruising.
-Do not use a hair dryer for 1-2 weeks after surgery. You will have decreased sensation and a hair dryer can cause a burn.
-Take your pain medication with food. This can be with as little as a few crackers. This will help prevent nausea.
-Be sure to drink plenty of fluids after surgery. It is important that you stay well hydrated.
-Pain medications can cause constipation. You can take a gentle over the counter laxative (Milk of Magnesia, Colace, or Dulcolax) if you feel constipated.
-Smoking causes multiple wound healing complications. It is very important that you do not smoke and you are not around people that smoke for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Second hand smoke is just as harmful as if you were to smoke.
-Be sure to walk at least 300 yards daily. This can be broken up in multiple short trips. It is OK and recommended that you walk more than the minimum of 300 yards. This will help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT’s/Blood Clots) and Pulmonary Embolisms (PE’s). But remember, no strenuous activity.
- No strenuous exercise for four weeks
- You should absolutely not perform exercises that require severe turning of the head such as golf, tennis, aerobics, yoga, etc. for at least 4 weeks after your surgery
- No heavy lifting for three weeks.
- Hair coloring should be delayed for four weeks after surgery.
- No driving for at least 5-7 days and you must be off pain meds.
- Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible for 6 weeks, then use sunblock with at least SPF 30 whenever outside.
- Do not use a hot tub or sauna for at least 6 weeks
What to expect
Swelling will vary both patient-to-patient as well as side-to-side. Swelling may actually increase the first three to four days before subsiding. Most of your swelling should resolve over the first two to three weeks. Do expect, however, to have minor fluctuations in the remaining swelling over the course of the next two to three months. Things to do to minimize this swelling include keeping your head elevated as much as possible over the first two to three weeks; avoid bending over or heavy lifting for the first three weeks, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure for the first two to three months.
Bruising will vary like swelling from person to person as well as side-to-side. Most bruising and discoloration should resolve over the first two weeks. Make up, with Dr. DePerro’s permission, can be applied ten days to two weeks after surgery.
When should I call my doctor?
-A high fever (over 101F), severe nausea and vomiting, continued dizziness or incoherent behavior, such as hallucinations.
-Any pain that cannot be controlled by your pain medication.
-Bright red skin that is hot to the touch.
-Excessive bleeding or fluid seeping through the incisions.
-If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
-If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.