Post to Forum

Top 10 Facelift Tips For Before and After Surgery

  • 5 months ago

Facelift Before and After
Photo courtesy of Dr. Richard Baxter


1. Make sure you stay off of all aspirin and aspirin-containing compounds, herbs, and remedies that thin the blood, as well as vitamins. Your physicians office should supply a list of all medications they would like discontinued and the dates to do so. ~ Michael Elam, M.D.

2. Have your bed prepared with multiple levels of pillows so you will be able to sleep elevated. ~ Michael Elam, M.D.

3. Find someone to help take care of you for the first 48 hours or so post-op. It is very helpful to have support and someone to time your medications so you take them at correct intervals.

Ask your doctor about  Arnica and Bromelain. Many people find these supplements help reduce swelling. Also ask about icing and if your doctor recommends it.

5. Wear comfortable clothes to the hospital/surgical center. A shirt that opens in front will be easier to get out of than one that goes over your head.

If you smoke, quit at least 4 weeks before your facelift, and preferably don't start up again. Carbon Monoxide and nicotine from cigarettes can have disastrous results on facelift healing.

7. Pick up any prescriptions you can ahead of time and stock up on soft foods and beverages.

8. Purchase 4 or more clamp hairpins to keep your hair off your face when you need to apply ointments and cleaning solutions.

9. Get your hair cut and colored before surgery. It will be at least six weeks before you can have this done post-op.

10. If you'll be venturing out of the house after the worst part of recovery but before the bruising has subsided,  consider investing in a heavy-duty concealer.


1. Rest, rest, rest. Don't compromise your results by doing or lifting too much too soon. You've put this much time and effort into your facelift, so give your body the time it needs to heal. That said, do get up and walk a bit to promote circulation and prevent blood clots. 

2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clear liquids.

3. Use cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling.

Sleep with your head elevated at 25 to 45 degrees to promote healing. (Remember those pillows we mentioned above?)

Wait at least 48 hours to wash your hair. Ask your surgeon when you can suds up post-op and avoid super hot water in the beginning as this can worsen swelling.

Photo courtesy of Shazza1956's Facelift review

6. Eat low-sodium foods as these can cause unnecessary swelling.

7. Stay in contact with your surgeon and follow his or her instructions as you recover.

8. Wear your compression garment for as long as your doctor tells you to wear it to promote good healing.

Wait 2 to 3 weeks before wearing earrings after your facelift (or longer, check with your surgeon). Weight on the earlobes can cause tears or lead to your earlobes healing at a lower position than you may want. ~ Anil Shah, M.D.

10. Avoid the sun for several weeks to months after a facelift. After that time, be sure to use sunscreen and, when possible, wear a hat.

Please add your own tips in comments!

View more
RealSelf SMAS Facelift videos

Comments (3)

Eating and activity first days after mid-face/neck lift?... I'll be getting a lower face lift and neck lift and am wondering how you handled that night and the first few days. -What did you eat that night and the next day or two, for instance? (Does it hurt to have more than soup and smoothies, basically. If so, how long?) -What was the night like right after you had your lift? The next day or two? (My husband will be with me driving me and being there that night, but if he's going to do much actual caregiving I should explain to him in advance what that entails. Also, we're staying at a hotel with a private entrance for the night and follow-up appointment the next morning. So it would help to know how much I should bring in terms of things like towels and pillow protectors and anything else.) - What do you wish that you would have thought to have on hand that you didn't, etc.? (I'm thinking things like gauze rolls, crackers, whatever ... but also curious about what you wish you'd shopped for ahead of time considering that you might not be out of your home for a couple weeks.) Thanks.
Buy a blender if you haven't got one and get in a good supply of eggs for protein. Chewing will not be easy! Meat, bread crusts, even solid fruit will be impossible for quite a few days, and opening your mouth more than a cm in the first few days will not happen after a lower facelift..
This is great. Thanks.