A facelift is a surgical procedure done to reduce such signs of aging like loose skin under the chin and jaw. Creases below the lower eyelids or extending from the corners of the mouth to the nose, or sagging are also signs of aging of the skin that a facelift can reduce. A facelift, however, does not stop the aging process. There are steps a patient can take to maintain their facelift and enjoy the results for many years.
During the Recovery Period
The surgeon will loosely bandage the head and face immediately after surgery to help reduce bruising and swelling. He might then insert a drainage tube behind the patient’s ear to keep fluids from collecting under the skin. Pain medication might also be prescribed to you by the doctor.
The patient should keep all the dressings and incisions dry until the surgeon gives permission to bathe or shower. They should also keep their head immobile and elevated to minimize swelling. The surgeon will remove most of the stitches five days after the facelift.
Depending on the type of facelift, the recovery period will last from one to several weeks. The patient should get plenty of rest, for that will help healing. Most patients can return to work 10 to 14 days after the facelifts and should not engage in vigorous exercise, sex or heavy housework for at least two weeks. They should avoid saunas, alcohol and steam rooms for several months.
Long Term Maintenance
Staying out of the sun is probably one of the most important steps a patient can take to maintain their facelift. Sun damages the skin and speeds up the aging process. The patient should wear sun block with an SPF of 30 or higher and a hat when outdoors.
The patient should also develop and practice healthy habits and abandon bad ones. Smoking, for example, damages the skin and accelerates the aging process. Extreme fluctuations in weight can also undo the beneficial effects of a facelift. Gaining or losing lots of weight reduces the skin’s elasticity. By contrast, eating properly, staying hydrated and exercising regularly will prolong the results of the facelift. Drinking lots of water is especially beneficial. Water is good for the body overall and will keep your skin from becoming dry.
When using make-up, the patient should choose cosmetics that are mineral-based, for they will be gentler on the skin. The patient should always wash off make-up before going to bed. Keeping the skin clean is important.
There are also non-surgical procedures a patient can use to maintain their facelift. These include dermal fillers that fill in wrinkles and chemical peels. The doctor may also suggest any of a variety of topical medicines used for skin care.
Dr. Steven Warnock will be able to answer any questions and concerns you might have. AT the Premier Plastic Surgery Group of Utah, our team of highly trained specialists will be able to help you set you on the path to keeping up your facelift. Contact us today if you would like to set up a consultation.