Keeping your head elevated as much as possible will help to reduce the postoperative swelling. If you can, sleep on two or three pillows to keep your head above the level of your heart. Minimize talking or facial expressions. Do not turn your head. Turn your whole body if you need to turn.
DO NOT BEND FORWARD
The bulky dressing placed at the time of surgery puts some pressure on the areas operated on and helps soak up any external drainage of normally occurring serum and blood. If the dressing is too tight or causes pain, please call us. You may be instructed to cut part way or completely through the portion of dressing under the chin. This will usually relieve the discomfort. Removing the entire dressing will not cause any problems, in the unlikely event that this seems to be necessary. We remove the bulky dressing 48 hours after the surgery. After that, there are no more dressings. You may shower and shampoo your hair the day after the drains are removed.
A tube of Bactroban antibiotic ointment will be supplied. The ointment is applied to wounds using a thin smear of the ointment. Continue use until tube is finished.
On each side of your face, a small drain will be placed under the skin and brought out through a small incision made behind your ear. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.
Small amounts of oozing and bleeding after surgery are normal. The bulky dressing may be stained and the size of the stain may enlarge after you go home – this is normal. If serious bleeding occurs, apply pressure and call us. Bleeding under the skin flaps that causes serious swelling and discomfort is very uncommon, but if it does occur, it requires attention and evaluation.
The sutures in front of your ears will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. If you have had an incision made under your chin, those sutures also will be removed 4 – 6 days after surgery. The staples within the hair and the sutures behind the ear are removed 9 – 12 days after surgery.
Swelling & Bruising are difficult to anticipate as this differs from person to person, but we find that with upper eyelids most settles after 2 weeks, whereas healing of the lower lids tend to take longer & bruising may last up to 6 weeks. Omnilux Light Therapy, arnica tablets and cold compresses can reduce swelling & assist in improved healing.
SUNSCREEN AND MAKEUP
It is imperative that your scars be protected from the sun for a good 6 months after surgery. Use a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times. It should be applied before your makeup. You may begin applying makeup 2 days after your sutures are removed. An appointment will be made several weeks prior to surgery (preferably at least 6 weeks) for a skin consultation and advice on pre operative skin treatments. We provide this service to help you maximize the benefits of your “new look.”
You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.
Take your pain relief and anti-biotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.
After a face lift, most patients experience a temporary change in the texture and manageability of their hair. Your hair is reacting to the “shock” of surgery and will recover naturally within 6 weeks. If you colour or perm your hair, plan to have it done at least a week before surgery or wait until 6 weeks afterwards for the best results. Your hair will be a little “lifeless” during that period of time. Males can shave carefully with an electric shaver after one week
48 hours after surgery or 24 hours after the drains have been removed, you may wash your hair. You may prefer to have your hairdresser wash it for you. In either case, a hair dryer, if used at all, should be kept on the lowest heat setting, as your scalp may be partially numb.
NORMAL THINGS TO EXPECT
Numbness & tightness in your face & neck, this resolves as healing progresses over the next 3-6 months. Bruising and swelling is variable. Both subside over 2-3 weeks.
- No exercise or other exertion activity for three weeks / until cleared by us.
- No driving for about a week.
- No flying for about ten days.
- No ear rings for two weeks.
- No direct sun exposure for four weeks – use protective hat SPF 50.
- No facial manipulation for four weeks (facials, peels, etc).
- No dental work for four weeks (unless there is an emergency).
- No hair coloring or perms for four weeks.
CALL THE OFFICE AT (021) 424 5218 IF YOU HAVE:
- A temperature greater than 37’C
- Excessive bleeding from the incision.
- A sudden increase in pain, or swelling around the incision site or the surrounding area.
- Any questions you may have regarding your care.