Postoperative Instructions: Facelift

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FACELIFT

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS

Precautions to take following your surgery:

· You will need someone with you for the first 1-2 days following surgery.

· Keep your head elevated above heart level, either in a recliner or with two pillows under head while lying in bed or on the sofa. You can also use a neck pillow for support.

· Place ice packs on the surgical area 20-30 minutes out of every hour while you are awake for the first 48 hours after surgery.

· Begin eating and drinking after surgery to prevent dehydration and promote healing. Start with clear liquids, if no nausea, progress to your regular diet as tolerated.

· Take pain medication as needed every 4-6 hours. Do not take pain medications on an empty stomach. Constipation is common with pain medication. You may need a stool softener or laxative. Milk of magnesia or Colace work well.

· Motrin/Ibuprofen can be taken in place of narcotic pain medication.

· Take antibiotic as prescribed. Do not take it on an empty stomach.

· Resume home medications after surgery unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

· Do not drive or operate machinery, drink alcohol or make legal decisions in the first 24 hours following surgery or while taking narcotic pain medication.

· No driving until permitted to do so by your physician.

· Activity restrictions for the first 3 weeks after surgery.

o No lifting greater than 10 lbs or working out for 2 weeks after surgery

o Starting 2 weeks after surgery, you can begin walking on a flat plane treadmill, using an elliptical conservatively and light hand weights (10lbs or less), unless instructed otherwise by your physician.

o No yoga or exercises that cause your head to be inverted below heart level for at least three weeks after surgery.

· You will be given a CARE BAG with all non-prescriptive items you will need to take care of your incisions following surgery.

· Call your physician for obvious bleeding, redness, swelling, pus at the incision site, fever over 101.5, persistent vomiting, or any other concerns or questions.

Care of the surgical area:

Day of Surgery

· Keep head elevated. Apply ice packs to surgical area while awake (lower neck, sides of head/neck, over eyes/face, or behind the neck is appropriate).

· Leave head wrap in place at all times, it will be removed in the office at your first post operative appointment the day after surgery. A light support wrap will be placed at this appointment to be worn at all times day and night for the next 7 days.

· Ambulate around the inside of your home at least once today.

· What to expect:

o Discomfort/soreness in the surgical area, jaw soreness/tightness.

o Swelling and/or bruising in the surgical area.

o You may have some numbness in and around the surgical area.

o Some dizziness or nausea the day of surgery is normal. Be sure to have someone assist you when getting up and moving around until this resolves.

DAY 1-2 after surgery

· Keep head elevated; continue ice packs while awake. Wear the light support wrap all day/night through day 7 after surgery. Remove the wrap 4 times daily for 20 minutes each time to allow your skin to breath. Plan to wash your face/care for your incisions during the times the wrap is off.

· Gently wash your face with Cetaphil using fingertips only twice daily. Rinse and gently pat dry. Take care when washing and drying the incision areas.

· If there is any scabbing or crusting on the incisions, you will clean the incisions twice daily with a mixture of equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water (1 cap of each mixed in a cup). Use a Q-tip to lightly “paint” over the incision, being careful not to get any in your eyes. Do not try to force any scabbing or crusting off of the incision, it will soften over time and fall off. You do not have to use the mixture to the incisions in your hair, as it can discolor your hair.

· It is ok to gently wash your hair 24-48 hours after surgery with a mild shampoo and conditioner. Be gentle and use fingertips lightly over your incisions. Rinse and gently pat hair dry or allow to air dry. Do not use the shower head/jets for the first week after surgery when washing your hair. Use a bowl/pitcher of water and pour front to back for washing and rinsing your hair. Do not blow dry your hair for the first week after surgery.

· Apply antibiotic ointment to your incisions 3 times per day.

· You should be ambulating at least three times throughout the day starting the day after surgery. More walking and deep breathing exercises will hasten recovery.

· What to expect:

o Discomfort/soreness in the surgical area, jaw soreness/tightness.

o Swelling and/or bruising in the surgical area, will gradually worsen through day 3.

o You may have some numbness in and around the surgical area that is starting to resolve, but this can take weeks to months to fully resolve.

DAY 3-7 after surgery

· Keep head elevated; ice pack no longer needed. Wear the light support wrap all day/night through day 7 after surgery. Remove the wrap 4 times daily for 20 minutes each time to allow your skin to breath. Plan to wash your face/care for your incisions during the times the wrap is off.

· Gently wash your face with Cetaphil using fingertips only twice daily. Rinse and gently pat dry. Take care when washing and drying the incision areas.

· Gently wash your hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner. Be gentle and use fingertips lightly over your incisions. Rinse and gently pat hair dry or allow to air dry. Do not use the shower head/jets for the first week after surgery when washing your hair. Use a bowl/pitcher of water and pour front to back for washing and rinsing your hair. Do not blow dry your hair for the first week after surgery.

· Discontinue antibiotic ointment. You can use Aquaphor as needed to the incisions for dryness.

· You should be ambulating at least three times throughout the day. More walking and deep breathing exercises will hasten recovery.

· What to expect:

o Discomfort/soreness in the surgical area improving.

o Swelling and/or bruising in the surgical area will be the worst on day 3, and begin to slowly resolve.

o You may have some numbness in and around the surgical area that is starting to resolve, but this can take weeks to months to fully resolve.

DAY 7 after surgery and beyond

· At your 7 day post op visit your physician will:

o Trim any sutures still in place and remove metal clips in the hairline

o Discuss activity restrictions going forward.

o Have you meet with one of our medical aestheticians to discuss skin care and for make-up consult to disguise bruising, if present.

· You can resume sleeping per your usual routine. However, if you have residual swelling, keeping your head elevated will help to resolve this.

· Continue ambulating and begin getting back into your normal daily routines.

· Your physician will schedule follow up appointments as he feels necessary from this point on.

· What to expect:

o Discomfort/soreness in the surgical area should be resolved.

o Swelling and/or bruising in the surgical area resolving, able to cover with make-up if needed.

o You may have some numbness in and around the surgical area that is starting to resolve, but this can take weeks to months to fully resolve.

o Final results can take up to 6 months to a year after surgery.