How to Prepare for Surgery
We thank you for choosing our office for your facelift procedure. We want to help you succeed in every way possible. We will have you consult with our team of estheticians to help prepare your skin for surgery 4 weeks before your procedure. You will continue to follow up with them after surgery to ensure optimal results. You will have a pre-surgical appointment 1-2 weeks before your procedure with the surgical assistant that will be involved in your surgery. If you have someone that will be taking care of you, it is recommended that they come to this pre-surgical appointment to hear and understand post-op instructions. All prescriptions that are called in are to be taken after surgery. We will provide one dose of arnica to help prevent bruising, which you can start taking 8 days prior to your procedure. If you would like to take another dose post-surgery, arnica supplements can be purchased at our office or in common drugstores. We recommend obtaining all necessary items before surgery, that way after surgery you can go straight home and rest.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
- Facial swelling and bruising are normal to experience after a facelift and should start to minimize within 10-14 days. We recommend sleeping in a reclined position for 10 days to help reduce swelling.
- Your face and neck will be slightly numb for several weeks to months. Sensation will start to return as healing progresses. When the sensation starts to return, you may experience a “pins and needles” or an “itching” sensation. This is a normal sign that your nerves are recovering. Until you regain full sensation, avoid prolonged exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures to avoid burning the skin.
- You will leave the office on the day of your procedure with a head wrap and drain, which we will remove at your 1 day post-op appointment.
- Do not wash the hair for 7 days following the procedure. You can have someone help you gently brush your hair with a detangling spray, but please be careful to avoid the incisions.
- Your neck will be stiff and tight for up to 3-4 weeks following the procedure. We recommend starting lymphatic massages after the 2-week appointment to help reduce swelling.
Prescriptions After Surgery
- You will be prescribed medications based on your health history.
- You will receive pain medication to use for the first 3-5 days after surgery.
- An antibiotic will be prescribed for you to start taking the day after surgery.
- An oral steroid will be prescribed to help reduce swelling.
- Anti-nausea medication will help limit any nausea you may experience after surgery.
Wound Care for the Surgical Site
- The wound dressing will be removed in our office at your 1 day follow-up appointment. On the 7th day after surgery, you may get the incision sites wet, but take caution to pat the area dry. Do not rub the incision sites.
- Always keep a thin coat of Aquaphor on the incision sites. You will need to apply this 3-5 times per day for the first week.
- Starting on the 7th day, clean the incisions only with a cotton swab and a solution of 1⁄2 white vinegar and 1⁄2 water. A small amount of watery drainage, bruising, and redness may be present.
Skin Care After Surgery
- We will provide scar cream (Silagen- scar refinement system) at your one-week follow-up for you to begin using. You will apply this cream twice daily to achieve minimal scarring.
- Protect your facial skin from any sun exposure for months after surgery. Please use sunscreen anytime that you are outside. Exposing the healing scars to the sun can cause more prominent scarring.
What Happens at the Follow-Up Visits?
- You will have a follow-up 1 week after the procedure to assess your incisions and healing progress. Some sutures may be removed at this appointment.
- We have a Candela Vbeam Prima Perfecta Laser Machine, a pulsed-dye laser (PDL), that will help reduce the appearance of dark red or purple bruising more quickly.
- We take photos at each follow-up appointment to monitor your healing progress.
- You will have a follow-up 2 weeks after procedure to have any remaining sutures or staples removed.
- You may call or email at any time during your recovery if you have questions or concerns between follow-up visits.
Activity Level After Surgery
- Avoid any strenuous physical activity for 1-2 weeks.
- You may return to school or light duty work (non-physical labor) within a week of the surgery, or as tolerated.
- Although you just had surgery, we recommend you do not stay in bed while awake. The more movement and blood flow, the easier recovery can be.
- Try to transfer to a chair and walk around the house. You want to be as active as possible, but avoid doing anything too strenuous.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- If you have difficulty breathing
- If you have difficulty closing your eyes after surgery
- If you are unable to urinate
- If you have severe pain that is not improved with medications
- If you experience a rash, nausea, vomiting, severe headache, severe constipation, or other unexpected reactions
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.5 degrees.
- If you have a question or concern that must be addressed prior to the follow-up visit.
- If you have an area in the neck that seems to be abnormally swollen or firm. This could be a sign of a hematoma and should be reported to Dr. Sanovich right away.
Who Should I Call if I Have Questions?
Please call our office at (972) 914-3660. You may also email photos or questions to email@example.com and someone will get in touch with you within 24-48 hours.