Lower Face Lift Recovery: What to Know

You’re considering getting a lower face lift surgery. While being in the hands of a professional is always priority number one, it’s also crucial to understand the recovery process. Like any type of surgery, these considerations will spell the difference between a successful and unsuccessful lower face and neck lift surgery.

Among the considerations is muscle stress. While the incisions on your face are healing after your lower face lift surgery, they are susceptible to reopening under stress. You’ll also have to factor in bruising left after your surgery, which could keep you out of social situations for some time.

It’s also important to consider the first 24 hours immediately after a lower facelift and neck lift surgery. Many doctors suggest having a caretaker, whether hired help, a family member, or friend, to assist in this crucial time. Any and all stress on your muscles—especially because we use many muscles even for the most simple of tasks—should be avoided.

In all, the recovery period to ensure the incisions heal is approximately one month, which is time you should plan to stay at home and rest. Beyond this point, your need for pain medications will most likely subside, and you can use cosmetics to cover up any residual bruising.

While it’s not out of the question for full and complete recovery to take up to a year, after two weeks you will be ready to leave home and get moving. At this stage, the major cosmetic improvements you were searching for will largely be evident.

The First Week

For the first week, especially early on, expect to feel nauseous from the pain medications prescribed by your doctor. This is no cause for alarm as this is a routine side effect of many medications used to manage pain post-operation. During this time it is essential to have some kind of help around the house.

During the early stages of recovery, and throughout the recovery process, you must follow the incision care routine outlined by your doctor. As with any type of external surgery, the areas affected are more susceptible to infection, which can lead to complications later on.

Avoid any strenuous activity for the first few days after surgery. Any tearing in the incisions could lead to complications later on, most likely requiring another visit to your doctor.

At this point, light activity is important. After the first four days, you should feel well enough to move around the house. Make sure to take time to complete light physical tasks to foster circulation, a crucial element to recovering from surgery.

As the end of the first week comes to an end, your reliance on pain medications will start to subside. Yet, as this is only a general guideline, it is extremely important to monitor how you feel, and reach out to your doctor for any questions or concerns.

Watch Out for These Signs

There are several instances where a call to your surgeon is imperative. Make sure to reach out if you experience any of these signs:

  • Fever
  • Bulging on one side of your face
  • Any unbearable pain not controlled by your medication

The Second Week

At this point, you should feel well enough to take on some slightly more strenuous activity. Many professionals suggest walking, such as on a treadmill, to build up energy and continue to foster circulation.

You’ll see that, barring any extenuating circumstances, a good portion of the bruising and swelling will have subsided. Toward the end of the second week, many people feel confident to be out in the world—many find that a makeup routine catered to covering any residual bruising or scarring is enough to feel confident while out shopping or engaging other light-stress activities.

It’s important to understand at this point in your lower facelift recovery process that you must be proactive in your recovery. Engaging in light activities, ensuring the wounds are cleaned properly, and eating healthy are all crucial in aiding your body in the recovery process.

Best Practices

Always monitor your own health and wellbeing, and contact your facelift surgeon immediately if any concerns come up. Most all issues caught early on in the process can be rectified.

As it is a large portion of the mobile part of your head affected by surgery, how you rest your head, while either sitting or laying down, is an important consideration:

  • While laying to sleep, you want to lay flat on your back, with your head raised slightly. In some cases, patients felt better sitting up while they sleep
  • In most resting positions throughout the day, make sure you avoid sudden movements, and positions that will put stress on the neck

Perhaps most important of all is this: do not hesitate to reach out for help. Any complications in your surgery can be exacerbated into major problems later down the road, including but not limited to corrective surgery, a greater need for pain management, and other issues. Before coming to your surgery, it is extremely valuable to establish a care plan with not only your surgeon, but people to look after you ahead of time.

For any questions, feel free to contact Paula Moynahan’s office for more information.