You should arrange for someone to drive you home from hospital and to stay with you for the first night following your discharge from hospital.
You will experience mild to moderate discomfort after your surgery and it is recommended that you take Paracetamol on a regular basis for the first week. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ANY PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPIRIN as this may cause bleeding in the early post operative period.
There may be considerable bruising following surgery, but this should settle in the first two or three weeks. You will notice the skin near the surgical lines may be a bit numb. This area of impaired sensation will gradually improve over the coming months.
Elevate your head and shoulders on two or more pillows and avoid bending forward at the neck for the first week. It is important that you do not just lie in bed for protracted periods.
You may have drains in place under the skin after surgery. These will be secured and you can sleep in them, but avoid pulling on them. The bulbs connected to the end of the drain should be kept compressed at all times.
After the drains have been removed you may start cleaning along the stitch lines, in front of and behind the ears and under the chin, with ½ strength hydrogen peroxide (use tap water to dilute).
You can expect some swelling of the face and eyes after surgery. If the swelling on one side is definitely more pronounced than on the other side or if you are having pain which is not relived by the pain medication please contact us immediately via telephone or email.
Avoid turning your head to either side as this will pull on the stitch lines. To turn, move your head and shoulders as one unit.
Facial movements (smiling, talking, chewing, yawning etc) should be kept to a minimum for the first week.
After your dressings and drains have been removed you may wash your hair with baby shampoo. Lather your hair gently using the palms of your hands and rinse thoroughly until the soap is out. It may take several washings before all the crust and ointment is out of your hair (use a conditioner to help remove the ointment/oil). Do not use hairspray, conditioner, gels etc. while the stitches and clips are in place. You may start washing your face gently with a bland soap and use a moisturiser on your face, being careful to keep it away from the stitch lines.
Your hair may be dried with a blow dryer on a cool, NOT hot, setting.
Hair coloring should be delayed until 3 weeks after surgery when healing is completed and no crusts remain.
Normal activity can be gradually resumed after 3 weeks but strenuous activity (heart rate above 100 beats per minute) should be avoided for another week.
The skin of your face is sensitive to sunlight after surgery. Protect your facial skin from excessive exposure to the sun for 8 weeks. Wear a wide brim hat and sunscreen (SPF 20 or greater with UVA and UVB protection) if you are in the sun for prolonged periods.
Your neck/face will feel tight but not necessarily look tight (it will look natural) and there will be a feeling of numbness in these areas for several weeks to months after surgery. It will disappear and your feeling will be perfectly normal.
The scars and any areas of bruising can be massaged with vitamin E or aloe vera cream (apply twice daily for 6 months) beginning 3 weeks after surgery. This will promote softening and maturation and improve scar healing in these areas.
If you have nausea, vomiting, rash, shortness of breath, or diarrhoea after taking your medication, please contact us immediately via telephone or email.
Do not wear pullover clothing or hairpieces for 2-3 weeks after your facelift as your could disrupt your earlobe or hairline incisions.
You may commence driving three weeks after your operation but should not drive if you are unable to perform emergency manoeuvres confidently and comfortably.
You should refrain from smoking for as long possible as it reduces blood flow to healing tissues causing wound breakdown.
The scar will take time to mature.
Please contact us immediately if there are any problems such as:
- Temperature greater than 38.5°
- Severe pain not alleviated by simple painkillers
- Fresh bleeding from the wound, other than a minor ooze
- Any wound discharge after 48 hours
If you have any queries, questions or concerns regarding your procedure or recovery please feel free to contact us.
Summary of treatment
- Procedure time
- Hospital stay
- Sensitivity period
- Back to work
- Full recovery
- Duration of results