Post-Face Lift Surgery: Understanding Limitations and Recovery Guidelines
Importance of Following Post-Operative Limitations
After undergoing a face lift surgery, it is essential to be aware of the limitations and guidelines for a smooth recovery process. Adhering to these restrictions plays a vital role in ensuring optimal healing and the best possible outcome. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind.
Restricted Activities for the First 48 Hours
For the initial 48 hours following your face lift surgery, it is crucial to avoid activities that require coordination, such as driving a car. Additionally, refrain from engaging in any tasks that might be affected by pain, nausea, or insomnia medications prescribed by your surgeon. Prioritize rest and allow your body to recover during this crucial period.
Encouraged Movement and Walking
While certain activities are restricted, it is highly encouraged to engage in light movement and walking. Walking has multiple benefits, including reducing the risk of clot formation in the leg veins. It is advisable to have a companion with you during the first 24 hours to monitor your progress and provide assistance as needed.
Reducing Swelling and Discomfort
To alleviate swelling and discomfort, applying refrigerated conforming gel masks over the face for the first two days after surgery can be beneficial. Avoid direct application of ice and change the gel masks every 15-20 minutes to maintain a cold temperature. If gel pads are not available, frozen vegetable packs, such as peas, can be used as an alternative. Alternatively, you may opt for a cold compress dampened with a thoroughly wrung out towel if it feels more comfortable.
Mouth Movements and Eating
During the initial recovery period, it is advisable to limit activities that involve wide opening of the mouth, such as extensive conversation or laughing. Take small, gentle bites of easily digestible, soft, non-spicy food and chew gently for the first several days after the face lift. This precaution helps minimize strain on the healing incisions and promotes a smooth recovery.
Proper Positioning and Sleep
Maintaining the correct positioning while resting and sleeping is crucial. It is recommended to lie on your back with several pillows under your head and back, or elevate the head of your mattress using a pillow or rolled blanket. Avoid sleeping in a supine position for at least two weeks after the surgery. When getting up from bed, support your head with one hand and use the other to hold onto a stationary object or push off the bed for assistance.
Return to Work and Physical Activities
Plan to take at least one week off from work, assuming an uncomplicated recovery. During the first week, avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, such as heavy manual labor, repeated heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or bending over. Refrain from engaging in sexual activity for at least one month after the face lift surgery. After one week, you may gradually reintroduce light exercise, such as walking. Social activities can be resumed within one week, but may require the use of camouflage makeup if necessary.
Restrictions on Heavy Lifting and Smoking
Refrain from heavy lifting (10 lbs or more) for at least two weeks after the surgery. It is crucial to avoid smoking and the use of nicotine substitutes, such as patches or chewing tobacco, for a minimum of six weeks. Smoking can impede blood and oxygen flow to the healing tissues, leading to complications such as tissue loss, delayed healing, and poor scar formation.
Remember, following these limitations and recovery guidelines diligently will contribute to a successful outcome and minimize the risk of complications. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to consult your surgeon for personalized advice and guidance.
Check out our gallery of before and after images for face lift here.