You may dream of improving your appearance with a facelift yet hesitate to take the leap. Although there are several reasons you may be reluctant to commit to this life-enhancing procedure, chances are you’re worried about having surgery or you wonder if you can manage the recovery period.
The best way to settle your worries and get answers to your questions is to schedule a consultation with Rafael C. Cabrera, MD, FACS, at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton. After examining your skin and learning about the changes you want to make, he can recommend the best procedure and give you the details about what to expect during, and after, surgery.
Here, he outlines the basics of your recovery after a facelift. But remember that everyone heals at a different pace, so your journey may be a little different.
Recovery: Week One
After your surgery, you can spend your first night in one of our comfortable, hotel-like recovery suites. Or you can go home accompanied by a skilled nurse to care for you throughout the night.
As you would expect, the first week is the most difficult after a facelift. You should expect to feel tired and need to rest or sleep a lot. Resting is essential as your body heals.
You should also plan to have someone available to help you with grocery shopping, meal preparation, running errands, and taking care of children and pets.
It’s natural to have bruising and swelling after a facelift. These side effects peak around day three and gradually diminish over the first week. You may want pain medication for a few days, but most people don’t need it after about five days.
By the end of the first week, you aren’t ready to face the public, but you have more energy and start feeling like yourself again.
Recovery: Week Two
You still have some minor swelling and bruising, but it keeps improving. Many people experience tingling or numbness. These sensations are expected and gradually disappear.
By the end of the second week, you should be able to engage in light exercise like walking. Most people return to work at the end of two weeks.
Recovery: Weeks three and four
During weeks three and four, you really start to see the transformation. You may have slight swelling, but other people won’t notice any signs that you had surgery.
The incision lines may still have a pinkish color, but they fade over time. Plus, we carefully place the incision in places where they’re not noticeable.
By the end of four weeks, you should feel great, look good, and be ready to return to all of your usual activities.
How to support a fast recovery
In addition to getting plenty of rest and drinking fluids, you can speed up healing by following three key guidelines:
Boost your nutritional intake
Your body needs certain nutrients to heal properly, including protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins, vitamins C and D, and zinc, iron, and copper.
Additionally, your body uses more nutrients than usual. If you don’t get a balanced diet or take supplements, you can quickly develop a nutrient deficiency that slows down healing.
We ask you to stop smoking before your surgery, and it’s equally important to stay away from smoking while you recover. Nicotine reduces blood flow, which slows down healing and may cause tissue death.
It’s essential to protect your face from sunlight while you heal from a facelift. Your skin is more sensitive and sunlight can prolong or worsen swelling and cause scarring.
If you have any questions about recovering after a facelift, call Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton or request an appointment online today.