I want to know how to minimize recovery time - particularly redness of scarring after a facelift?
Doctor Answers 17
Scarring after Facelift
Be certain that your plastic surgeon and his support staff carefully explain to you all pre and post surgery protocol. At your pre-operative appointment, you should have scheduled visits for a year after surgery. Of course, if you have questions or concerns, contact your plastic surgeon whether or not you have an appointment.
Pay close attention to the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon.
Minimizing Recovery Time following face, neck, forehead lift and lip injectables
Thanks for this post! Healing is misunderstood by both patients and physicians. You have many opportunities to optimize your healing but there are many factors that one cannot control. Bruising and swelling are a given following any injectable or surgical procedure.
In your case, the magnitude of the surgery will add to the expected bruising and swelling. Do not expect a "quick and invisible improvement in 2 weeks. My patients are counseled that swelling will reduce 70 to 80% in 3 weeks and bruising may take 3 weeks or more to resolve.
From a homeopathic approach we highly recommend that our patients eat fresh pineapple several days before their procedures, the day of and following. The Bromelain in fresh pineapple has been shown to have great anti-inflammatory properties that helps to reduce the bruising of the face and neck. In addition we recommend arnica montana in pill form and gel form the day of the procedure and the following days.
The coordinated dynamic process of healing takes a full year or more to complete and is dependent on genes, environment, health, diet, stress / rest and other factors. Obviously, patients do not / cannot wait this long to return to increasing exertion, stress and activities but must be aware there are things which slow or optimize healing but very few which shorten the healing cycles. I feel strongly that without a good diet high in protein, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, the recovery periods will be prolonged and healing delayed. Gaining weight following a procedure creates a pro-inflammatory effect which prolongs swelling and lumpiness.
Prior to surgery, the following can be helpful:
- stress reduction,
- moderate exercise,
- lack of sun, weather and UV injury,
- pre-operative retinoids and pigmentation control
- excellent nutrition (as above),
- cool compresses,
- gentle massage,
- continued nutrition,
- slow but steady increase in activities,
- preventive measures to reduce further swelling or injury,
- camouflage make-up
2 to 3 weeks following surgery:
- return to retinoids and pigmentation control,
- lymphatic massage,
- alternating warm and cool compresses,
- various options in lasers and IPL
Please review these and other recommendations from your own surgeon.
I hope this is helpful. Take care of your investment and give it the time to heal properly. All the best!
Facelift Recovery Protocol
Here is a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” in my opinion I would advise my patients to help recovery:
- Do use a cool pack on the incisions as this will help reduce any residual fullness.
- Do continue with painkillers if required, as around 5% of patients will have some ear pain which will settle within a week or two.
- Do shower and hair wash daily.
- Do resume normal activities however avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for 2 weeks post procedure.
- Don’t apply any make up, moisturiser or oils to the incision line until advised by us.
- Don’t allow pets of any variety to share a bed with you and avoid allowing pets near your face for the first four weeks after your procedure. Allowing pets near your face has the potential to result in an infection. However being vigilant will help reduce this risk.
- Do be vigilant with hand hygiene.
- Do notify us immediately if you have any concerns or notice any increased redness, heat around the incision or if you have any discharge from around the ear.
All the Best with your recovery!
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For optimal scarring, follow your surgeon's instructions on postoperative care. If you have redness to your skin tone, lasers can help treat scar discoloration. Every surgeon will have his/her preference for scar management.
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Thank you for your question. There are several things you can do to optimize your recovery...most important is to carefully follow your pre and postoperative instructions. Avoid any medications or herbals that have blood thinning effects as directed by your surgeon. Bromelein and Arnica Montana may minimize bruising. Silicone or scar recovery gels may help the redness of postoperative scarring. I would recommend consultation with a facial plastic surgeon to discuss what option is best for you.
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