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?
Facelift recovery and swelling?
Doctor Answers 18
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.
No compression mask or cooling machine after facelift
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
Care after a facelift
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.
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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.
Compression Garment After a Facelift
While a lot of surgeons use compression garments for an extended period after surgery, there is no evidence in the medical literature that I am aware of that shows there is a benefit. There is however some evidence that suggests that there may be problems caused by compression garments such as ear cartilage and ear lobes dying from too much pressure form the garments.
I use a simple dressing for a day and then my patients are bandage free. In fact, I have them in the shower the next day and washing their hair. This helps them feel much better and it does not appear to affect the results at all.
I hope that helps.
Facelift Recovery and Swelling?
Here is a list of “Do’s and Don’ts”:
- 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!
How can I control swelling after facelift surgery?
Swelling after facelift
It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time.