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Minimally invasive techniques can be used to lift your skin slightly and reduce wrinkles, but the most long-lasting and effective way of correcting sagging facial skin is with a facelift. Surgery is also the ideal way to tighten jowls and sagging skin around the neckline while also repairing weakened neck muscles at the same time. Wondering how to take care of your face after having this surgery? When you’re planning to have this procedure, it’s important that you’re fully aware of what facelift recovery involves. Our St. Louis-based physicians at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University will give you specific instructions on how to care for incisions and avoid complications while you’re healing.
In general, here are four tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep Your Head Elevated
During the first few days of recovery, patients can expect the most dramatic side effects. It’s normal to experience a number of sensations, including mild to moderate pain, drainage from incisions, swelling, bruising, and numbness. At day three or four of recovery, the bruising and swelling reach the peak of their intensity. It’s critical to keep your head elevated during the first two to three days. This allows blood and fluids to flow downward with gravity and you to recover at a faster rate and avoid complications
2. Don’t Strain Yourself
For several weeks after this surgery, patients should reduce physical exertion and avoid exercise because the body needs time to heal. Light walking and similar gentle activities that get your blood flowing are ideal, but ease into your normal routine gradually instead of rushing into exercise.
3. Be Gentle on Your Skin
In addition to following wound care instructions, avoid picking at scabs or applying too much pressure on or around incisions.
4. Avoid Sun Exposure
For at least six months after having a facelift, don’t let your incisions be exposed to direct sunlight, as the ultraviolet radiation could cause them to get darker. Apply SPF 30 sunscreen to these areas of skin, and wear a hat and sunglasses for added protection.
To get more advice for facelift recovery, contact us at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. If you’d like to meet face to face with a plastic surgeon to find out which procedure or procedures are appropriate for you, call us directly at (314) 996-8800 or submit a contact form to schedule an appointment.