At our Des Moines practice, facelifts are without question the most effective and long-lasting remedy for sagging skin and other signs of facial aging. However, like anything long-lasting, the process from start to finish is more involved than just your surgery day.
Here are a few tips to streamline your facelift recovery process.
Know the Facts
- There are two types of incisions at our practice: the traditional facelift incision and the S-Lift incision. The S-Lift is reserved for patients who only need little to moderate correction. You may see this described elsewhere as a “mini facelift.”
- During the procedure, the facial skin around the ear and neck is lifted, and the muscle is tightened. Your surgeon will then remove the excess skin and place the remaining skin anew.
- The procedure is often combined with liposuction of excess fat in the jowls and under the chin.
Start Prepping Before Your Surgery Date
- Arrange for someone to help you during the days after the surgery. Facelift surgery requires a support system to help you during recovery. Doing it alone is not an option.
- Maintain a healthy diet. You want to be at peak health leading up to the surgery. A healthier body handles surgical intervention well and recovers faster, too.
- Don’t smoke. We recommend that patients stop smoking a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks before surgery. Smoking inhibits blood flow to the skin, which is absolutely essential during recovery to prevent complications. Smoking will slow down recovery and compromise results.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can prohibit clotting, which can lead to more bleeding. This may slow down the recovery process.
Listen to Post-Op Instructions
- Read your postoperative instructions before the day of your surgery. Make sure you understand everything in the instructions, so you can clarify any confusion before your procedure.
- Sleep with your head more elevated than normal. This will help with swelling. Additionally, sleeping on your side can potentially irritate your incisions.
- Get plenty of rest. Plastic surgery is still surgery, so treat it that way and give yourself time (and permission) to recover. If you overexert yourself, it can have adverse effects on recovery.
- Though I advise patients to take it easy after surgery, I also recommend that they get up and start walking soon after surgery (think around the house, maybe down to the mailbox). This will encourage good blood circulation.
If you are considering undergoing facelift surgery, check out our before-and-after photo gallery to get an idea of your possible results. Once you have decided, request a consultation or call our office at (515) 277-5555 to schedule an appointment.