Facelift- After Care Instructions
After surgery elevate your head and shoulders. An easy chair would be best. Light activity is permitted. I encourage you to not stay in bed or on the couch. Walking around the house helps prevent post-operative problems.
Apply ice bags to the exposed areas of your face for the first 72 hours to reduce swelling post-operatively. Only apply for 20 minutes at a time per hour. Do not fall asleep with ice in place.
If you have pain or discomfort, take the pain medication every 3 hours. It is best to take the pain medication with crackers, Jell-O, etc. If you do not have pain please do not take the pain medication. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking pain medication.
A light diet is best following surgery that day. Begin by taking liquid slowly and progress to soups or Jell-O. You may start with a soft, regular diet the next day.
You may have drains in place under the skin after surgery. These will be secured, and you will sleep in them. The drains reduce swelling and are only left in place overnight. They are removed the next day.
Avoid turning your head to either side as this will pull on the stitch lines. To turn, move your head and shoulders as a unit.
After the drains have been removed, you may gently wash your face with mild soap. A light coat of Vaseline applied to the incisions twice daily will soothe the healing tissue and will prevent the accumulation of crusts.
Do not use hairspray, conditioner, gels, etc. while the stitches and clips are in place. Do not color your hair or get a permanent until 6 weeks after surgery. You may start washing your face gently with a mild soap (Neutrogena, Ivory, etc.) and use a moisturizer on your face, being careful to keep it away from the stitch lines. The stitches in front of your ears are removed in one week. The staples behind the ears are removed in two weeks. After these are removed we will initiate scar therapy using Biocorneum. This is to be applied to the incisions twice daily for three months. This product rapidly fades the scar, resulting in a superb result.
Your face/neck will feel tight but not necessarily look tight (it will look natural) and there will be a feeling of numbness in these areas for several weeks to months after surgery. This is normal and will disappear over time and the feeling will return.
The incision and any areas of bruising can be massaged with moisturizing cream, such as Vaseline Intensive Care. This will promote softening and maturation of these areas.
All incisions will be extremely sensitive to sunlight during the healing phase. Direct sun contact is to be avoided and always use a sunscreen with SPF 20 or greater (with UVA and UVB protection) even on cloudy days for at least 6 months.
If you develop a fever (oral temperature greater than 101°), redness or increased pain at the site of your surgical incisions, please notify Dr Camp immediately.
It is important to be seen by Dr Camp after your initial post-op checks. He will see you in follow-up appointments at 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year post-op. We will make these appointments for you.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL DR CAMP
If you have questions or need immediate care, please call Dr Camp anytime on his cell. There is no such thing as a minor question. I would rather you call me than wonder and not do the right thing, so please call my office, or email me anytime.