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Facelift recovery and swelling?

Is it necessary to wear a compression mask to control swelling after a facelift? What exactly does the compression do? How long must this be worn?

Doctor Answers (14)

Compression garments

+2

My patients wear a compression chin strap at night for a week. I am in the camp that believes it hastens recovery by reducing haematoma and seroma formation, provides compressive support and serves as a reminder that surgery has been perfomed! It is removable and noone has complained of discomfort. It took me a while to find the right brand of garment but now I have my patients don't mind it at all.


London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

No compression mask or cooling machine after facelift

+2

Compression masks and cooling machines after a facelift are cumbersome, unnecessary, expensive, and annoying after a facelift.  I send patients home with the instructions to use frozen peas and corn about the eyes and cheeks.  A small dressing is placed about the neck for 24 hours.   They sleep with head elevated and continue to do so for 14 days to a degree that is comfortable.  They all keep their sodium intake to less that 1500mg a day.  Patients do very well with this regimen even if extensive lifts are done.  There is a lot to be said for KEEPING IT SAFE AND SIMPLE.   My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Care after a facelift

+2

I have my patients wear an elastic wrap around the chin and ears for a few days after the procedure. The dressing can be taken on and off as needed but it does help to have something to protect and provide gentle compression while healing. The recovery time is approximately 7-10 days to look 'restaurant ready', (Complete healing takes longer). The dressing also serves as a reminder to be careful with the areas worked on during the initial healing phase. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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Facelift recovery

+2

I would say that it is not necessary to wear a compression device after a facelift, but in some instances, it might be helpful.  The compression device can help to decrease the swelling a bit faster, but normally this would go down over time anyway.  Different surgeons may or may not use a compression mask and the length of time to use one would vary as well.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Compression Not Usually Necessary

+1
Good question. Different surgeons vary in their approach to having patients wear garments. However, beyond about 1 week there is no evidence that compression will affect the long-term result. Many surgeons including myself have the patient wear no compression garment postoperatively. In my hands, compression has no effect on the outcome, and it is uncomfortable and confining for the patient. If I am doing submental liposuction only (it is always part of a facelift) I do find compression useful for 48 hours, and night wear for 5 nights, because the tissues have not been tightened. Thanks for asking.

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Compressive Garment after Facelift

+1
While the use of a compressive garment is not essential, I prefer my patients to wear it for the a portion of the day for the first few weeks after surgery. This helps limit swelling, speed up social recovery, and prevent complications. I generally ask patients to wear the garment at least 4 hours a day while they are up and moving about at home, but not to sleep in it so it does not fold on itself and create creases in the skin. Good luck.

Scott J. Engel, MD, FACS
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Facelift - vertical laser assisted facelift

+1
Hello,

While many doctors suggest this, i do nt have my patients wear any type of compression garment.  The reason… by using a laser to dissect the tissue, there is less bleeding, residual trauma then when I did not use a laser to dissect during the surgical procedure.  

In terms of your current situation, please consult with your doctor to determine the best post operative course for you.   

Michael Kulick, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
2.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Yes, wear the garment

+1
Even a light compression garment can be helpful in limited persistent or recurrent swelling (edema).  In particular, you want to wear it in the night time when you are laying down as facial swelling may increase then.

John Frodel, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon

Garment following fecelift

+1
I used to not have patients wear a compression garment following facelift.  Now I do, but I make sure it is not too tight.  They can help limits some of the swelling.  Also they can hide bruising, if it is present.  Two weeks.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Compression mask post facelift

+1

I do recommend that you use the compressive band, for support of your neck post procedure for about a week. It is removable and most patients tell me that it feels better with the support. Whether it helps with support of the neck with swelling, I believe it does, but patient comfort is important. 

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.