I am going to have a neck lift and lower facelift. How long should I wear the compression bandage? (photos)

I have seen two school's of thought about the length of time to wear the compression bandage after a neck lift. My skin is 66 1/2 years old. Obviously, I want the best outcome I can get, so why do some surgeons require the compression bandage to be worn longer than other surgeons?

Doctor Answers 9

Compression Garment After Face/Neck Lift?

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The compression bandage will be the least important part of getting a good outcome with a facelift. Many surgeons do not use any compression garment at all and it is questionable as to whether they provide any real benefit. The use of compression garments after facelift surgery has been passed down as a tradition but that does not mean it was ever truly useful.

Older patients tend to have less elastic skin which can stretch more easily over time. The implications of this are that patients with less elastic skin are at risk for early relapse of their skin laxity. Sometimes this will require an early (1-2 yrs) secondary retightening to maintain an optimal correction. If this is needed will depend on each patients circumstances, but wearing a compression bandage will have zero impact on whether an early secondary tightening is necessary.

Facelift Compression Garment

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Thank you for your question. Facelift surgery does not necessarily require use of bandages. Many surgeons do, however, used bandage aiming to reduce bruising. I personally do not use bandages for my facelift patients. Instead, I take a little extra time during the operation to ensure small areas of bleeding have been carefully cauterised. Bandages do not always necessarily prevent possible swelling. I do not use bandage or drains and have pioneered The Concept Facelift, having a 0% incident rate of hematoma.  It is important to focus more on the results of your surgeon as illustrated in their pre & post operative facelift patients. Do you like their results, will the surgeon meet your expectations, is the facility where you are going to have your surgery performed accredited? These might be much more important. I do not think the use of drains /bandages or not drains/bandages would reflect the surgeons ability.   
All The Best

How long to wear the compression garment is based on individual healing rates

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You may be getting varied answers from different surgeons because each patient is different and it is hard to pin-point the exact time frame you will need to keep the compression bandage on. Generally, most patients in my practice keep the bandage on for 1 week after a lower facelift or necklift, but again it all depends on how you recover post-surgery. I believe a pressure dressing will limit bruising, swelling, and speed a patient’s recovery. II suggest to first find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon that can provide you with a comprehensive consultation. After examining you, he or she may be able to give you a more accurate answer. I hope this helps.

Compression Garment

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Every surgeon has their own opinion regarding the compression garment.  Occasionally I will use one depending on the needs of the patient.  The most important thing is to follow your surgeon's post operative instructions for a good outcome.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Compression Bandages PostopT

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Thank you for your question and photos. This one is sort of easy in that surgeons tend to be creatures of habit and each has there own regimen for postoperative care. Once you choose a surgeon you would be best to follow their advice.They assume you are strictly following there orders and will make changes to your care based on this premise. Some surgeons use compression while others don't. A third group has no hard fast rule and uses them when they feel they are indicated; prolonged swelling. We see a similar argument regarding the use of routine drains in facelifting. I would review your proposed postoperative plan with your surgeon and have this question addressed. It is important to follow their orders for you to get the safest and best outcome
Best of Luck

Lee A. Gibstein, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

I am going to have a neck lift and lower facelift. How long should I wear the compression bandage?

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Individual surgeons have different preferences about procedures.You should check with your plastic surgeon with regard to particular post-operative recommendations and follow all of her or his instructions. The plastic surgeon should  be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).  

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

I am going to have a neck lift and lower facelift. How long should I wear the compression bandage?

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Once you choose a surgeon it is important you follow that surgeon's advice. However there have been some excellent studies that show the compression bandage has little beneficial effect and actually keeps the swelling in the face. Head elevation allows the swelling to leave the face. In our practice we place a very loose bandage to keep the pillows from getting bloodstains for 48 hours. The patients then remove the bandages and get in the shower and wash their hair. Most patients are able to be seen in public by one week with a little makeup on. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

No compression bandages for a face neck lift

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 In our practice, we do not use any compression bandages at all, since they're uncomfortable, painful and don't really do anything for the patient. During the lower face and neck lift, we insert 2 small drains that are left in place for the first 24 hours. The the drains themselves accomplish removal of blood and serous fluid from underneath the skin, so compression bandages are totally unnecessary. In addition, the drains remove blood from underneath the skin decreasing the amount of bruising so patients are able to get back to their social environment sooner. For many examples  and more information, please see the video and the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Postop care: Compression Bandages

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I always tell my patients  it's the patients who follow my instructions exactly that heal the quickest. I am sure the same applies to your surgeon. Every surgeon has their own way of making sure that recovery goes well. This comes with experience. If you trust your surgeon enough to let them operate on your face, you should trust them enough to follow their postop instructions and not deviate from what they tell you. 

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 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.