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What To Do After Cosmetic Surgery.....Post-Op Instruction...Facelift

Updated on April 22, 2011


With all the recent publicity surrounding the Hollywood celebrities and their foray into the world of the "New Me," I guess it's inevitable that articles pertaining to it will abound, so I guess I'll jump into the fray. I wrote an article related to the subject entitled Play With The Cards You Are Dealt, admittedly I encouraged all to accept their lot in life. However in this day and time that appears to be unrealistic for some. So, with that in mind I'm writing this series of hubs.

I actually have someone close to me that works in the industry, so my article will be from their insight and standpoint.

In this series I'll only be covering Cosmetic Surgery for aesthetic purposes only. Specifically post op instructions.

This article will give you post operative instructions for your facelift.

What Is Cosmetic Surgery

There is Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery. As previously stated we're only dealing with Cosmetic Surgery. While Plastic Surgery might be medically necessary, Cosmetic Surgery procedures on the other hand are usually medically unnecessary procedures dealing with preserving or acquiring beauty, or youthful appearance.

These procedures can range anywhere from simple botox or collagen injections all the way to full body transformations such as total facial transformation, as we saw recently with the young lady, (who shall remain nameless), breast enhancements, tummy tucks buttock fillers, and more, much more.

Without further ado let's begin with what was originally associated with cosmetic surgery. The Face lift, and most specifically the post op instructions for the face lift.

What To Do Immediately After A Facelift

  • Minimal activity for the first 24-48 hours.
  • You may use cold compresses or ice packs for the first 24-72 hours post surgery for comfort and to help decrease swelling.
  • Use caution when eating so as not to cause an excessive stretching to the facial area. A soft diet would be advisable for the first couple of days.
  • Keep your head elevated to approximately 45 degrees or on 2-3 pillows for the first 7-10 days.
  • Keep incisions clean with diluted Peroxide/water and apply antibiotic ointment to the area 2-3 times a day.
  • You may wash your hair with a mild shampoo and gentle strokes after 24 hours, if there are no drains present. However, if drains are present, you must hold off washing your hair until they have been removed.
  • Limit lifting, pulling, pushing, straining (including in the bathroom) for at least 10 days.
  • Avoid bending at the waist to retrieve, (bend at the knees) light weight items from the floor for at least 7-10 days.
  • You may use mineral based makeup after the sutures are removed, but take care to avoid the incision areas.
  • Do not use hair color or permanent solutions until approved by your Doctor.
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for at least 1 month.
  • No alcohol for the first week after surgery and while you are taking the narcotic pain medication.

You Can Expect

  • A thick dressing to the head for the first 24 hours that will be replaced with a chin/brow strap on your 1st postoperative visit.
  • Sutures (black nylon) and/or staples to be removed with 7-10 day post surgery.
  • 1-2 drains may be required.  If asked, drainage amounts should be logged and taken to each postoperative visit to the Doctor's office.  Drains are usually removed after the first 24 hours.
  • To be able to wash your hair approximately 24 hours after the drains have been removed.
  • Moderate discomfort, which should be relieved with the pain medication(s).
  • Moderate swelling, bruising, numbness in certain areas, tenderness and tight of the skin for 7-10 days.

Call Your Doctor If You Experience Any Of These

  • Severe pain or not responding to pain medication(s).
  • A significant/obvious increase in swelling on one side more than the other.
  • A bright red spot (blood) on the bandages that continues to enlarge despite applying light pressure.
  • Greater than 50cc of bloody fluid in the drainage reservoir within 8 hour period.
  • A fever!



As was stated this is from the prospective of someone that actually works for a doctor that practices Cosmetic Surgery. Of course your doctor will give you specific post op instructions for your facelift, and these are to be followed to the letter. This can simply serve as a backup plan.


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    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you again Hello, hello, and Nellieanna, for stopping and taking time out of your busy day to read these most boring hubs. Thanks for being such loyal followers. See you both soon.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      I've no doubt it's valuable and you'll have done a great job with the material. I'm just not even a bit interested in cosmetic surgery. I'm one of those folks who would resist surgery that was presented as life-saving. Forgive me if I don't follow this series. I love you anyway!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well done. A great hub with good advice.