Facelift

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY-HEAD & NECK SURGERY

POST-OPERATIVE CARE FOLLOWING

FACELIFT

 Call our office promptly if:
 You have a fever or chills
 There is an unusual amount of bleeding
 You have progressive bruising and increasing pain.
You have increase in pain which is progressive and not easily relieved with medications
 You have an increase in pain, which is not easily controlled with oral pain medication.
If any of the above should occur after regular office hours, the on-call otolaryngologist can be reached via the University’s paging operator at 434-924-0000.
What Can I Expect?
A large compressive dressing will cover the face and scalp for 24 hours after surgery.
 Pain is usually mild to moderate in intensity
Bruising and swelling will be present and should gradually subside over the next 10 to 14 days.
It is not unusual to have drainage for the first 24 hours after surgery in the surgical drains
Dressings are usually removed on the first post-operative visit
Sutures are gradually removed over several post-operative visits.
Numbness around the ear lobes will be present for at least 1 to 4 weeks.
Some numbness in the neck skin is normal for several weeks (in the neck and face especially).
Tightness when opening the mouth.
How Do I Care For Myself After Surgery?
Do not smoke for 3 to 4 weeks before and after surgery (preferably never). Smoking after surgery is similar to smoking before surgery; it slows the healing process and increases the risk of skin loss or damage.
Avoid strenuous activity and/or exercise for two weeks or until approved by your physician.
Wear elastic face support as prescribed by your physician for 2 to 4 days following surgery.
You can shampoo your hair about a week after surgery, using tepid water only.
Turn from the shoulders
Use care when brushing or combing your hair near the suture line for 3 weeks.
You will need to be seen in the office the day following surgery and the dressing will be removed.
Often, 1 or 2 surgical drains will be removed during this visit as well.
If drains have been used, follow the instructions received at the surgery center
Clean the incision lines twice daily with half-strength Peroxide and apply Aquaphor.
Medications After Surgery.
A prescription for pain medication will be given to you. Most often a drug like Tylenol with Codeine is used, which is adequate for pain control in most cases. Obviously, driving a car or any potentially dangerous activity is to be avoided because the pain medications can alter your performance.
Avoid taking pain medications and antibiotics at the same time as the combination may cause stomach upset. Try to cat when taking these medications to further reduce stomach irritation.