A facelift, often referred to as rhytidectomy, is a procedure designed to reverse the signs of aging in the face. At The Mack Cosmetic Center in Tampa, FL, we offer this procedure to help our clients look years younger and feel more confident than they have in a long time. As with any procedure, there is a post-op recovery period. To help you decide if now is the right time to consider a facelift in Tampa FL, today, we’re taking a closer look at what to expect during the recovery process.
How Long Is Recovery After a Facelift?
You can generally expect to need four to six weeks to recover from a Facelift in Tampa FL. That said, you probably won’t need to take a month or longer off from work to dedicate to your recovery. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to need to schedule one or two weeks off from work. The scope of your procedure, your overall health, and the nature of your job are significant factors affecting when you will be able to return to work.
What Restrictions Should I Anticipate?
There are several recovery restrictions you should be aware of. One of the most important things to avoid during the first three weeks of your recovery is direct sun exposure. If you go outside, make sure that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an adequate sun protection factor for your skin tone. It is also very important that you avoid wearing clothes that you have to pull over your head during the 21 days following surgery.
Furthermore, you should not pick at scabbing skin. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of wound care instructions, including when and how to clean yourself, during your initial consultation. You should also refrain from wearing makeup during the first three weeks post-op, and you should not perm, bleach, or dye your hair during the first six weeks post-op.
What Can I Do To Shorten My Recovery Period?
To ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible, you need to rest as much as you can. Just make sure that you only sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated for the first two to four weeks post-op. Sleeping on your stomach or side may irritate your incisions, slowing down your recovery process. It is also very important that you do not engage in vigorous physical activity while you are recovering. Gentle exercise is encouraged, though.
You don’t need to worry about walking during the first 24 hours post-op. A day after surgery, though, you should try to get out of bed and walk a little. It’s okay if you only feel up to walking for a few minutes at first. Each day, you should try to walk farther than you did the day before. Walking is an important part of the recovery process because it supports your cardiovascular system which transports everything your skin needs to heal itself.
What Should I Eat After Surgery?
In addition to resting and getting gentle exercise during your recovery, it is vital that you eat nutritiously. There are lots of things your skin needs to heal after surgery, including vitamins, minerals, protein, and water. Do your best to eat protein with every meal, drink close to a gallon of hydrating fluids per day, and get your RDA of micronutrients.
What Can I Do To Make My Recovery Easier?
Arrange for Transportation
Arranging for transportation is one of the simplest, most effective steps you can take to ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible. You won’t be able to drive for at least 24 hours after surgery due to the effects of the anesthesia. Before your procedure, ask a friend or loved one if they can drive you to your Facelift Tampa FL, and ask them if they can drive you home afterward.
Set Up a Recovery Room
Your recovery will also go more smoothly if you set up a recovery room on the ground floor of your home. You should ensure that it has everything you need to remain comfortable and entertained. You’ll want a phone charger long enough to easily reach from the outlet to your resting area. You may want to download a new book or pick out some of your favorite movies.
You shouldn’t be surprised if you feel drowsy and doze off after your procedure. Don’t hesitate to let yourself drift off to sleep instead of watching a movie or finishing a chapter. Remember, rest is one of the most important components of your recovery process. It is also advisable to have your post-op medications, some healthy snacks, and several water bottles in this room. You’ll need to take your drugs exactly as prescribed.
How Should I Prepare for Surgery?
To prepare for surgery, you need to stop taking any blood-thinning drugs or supplements. Note that this includes certain antidepressants and other drugs that affect your blood’s ability to clot. You also need to stop smoking to mitigate the risk that a hematoma or slow wound healing occurs. Additionally, you will need to use a germicidal soap the morning of your procedure to wash your hair and face.
Will I Need To Fast Prior to Surgery?
We will advise you on whether fasting will be necessary during your initial consultation. Whether you need to fast or not depends on the type of anesthesia administered prior to your procedure. You won’t need to fast if you get local anesthesia and a sedative. However, an eight-hour fast prior to surgery will be necessary if you get general anesthesia.
If general anesthesia is a better fit for you, it is imperative that you do not eat anything in the eight hours preceding surgery because your stomach must be empty. Additionally, a two-hour dry fast will be required prior to general anesthesia. During the first six hours of your fast, it is okay to drink clear liquids, like water, pulp-free coconut water, white cranberry juice, and apple juice. You may not drink anything in the two hours preceding surgery.
What Should I Expect During My Procedure?
Regardless of the medication you receive prior to surgery, you will not be conscious during the procedure. If you are only improving the appearance of your lower face, you may receive a local anesthetic and sedative. If you are combining any other procedures, like a neck lift, with your Facelift in Tampa FL, you will probably be given general anesthesia. General anesthesia is used to both numb your entire body and put you to sleep.
Besides receiving medication to ensure you remain comfortable during surgery, your skin will be inspected to verify that it is free from any irritation. Additionally, it will be sterilized to prevent an infection. While you sleep soundly, an incision will be made. Then, your tissues will be manipulated to improve the appearance of your lower face.
Where Will My Incision Be Made?
The location of your incision will be determined during your initial consultation. If you are getting a traditional rhytidectomy, your incision will be made from your temples to your ears. These incisions are hidden in the hairline. Finally, it will end behind your ears in your lower scalp. If you want to reverse the signs of aging affecting both your face and neck, we may make an additional incision hidden beneath your chin.
How Long Will My Procedure Take?
Rhytidectomy usually takes between three and six hours to complete depending on the scope of the procedure. During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your concerns and discuss your goals. With that information, we can give you a better idea of how long you can expect your procedure to take.
Note that while your procedure will take longer if you add other procedures, like a brow lift or neck lift, combining procedures may be in your best interest. You’ll only need to prepare once, and you won’t need to go through multiple recovery periods.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
It may take between four and six weeks to recover from a Facelift in Tampa FL fully, but you will probably only need to schedule a week or two off from work. To heal as quickly as possible, make sure you stay hydrated and well-nourished. Additionally, rest as much as you can, and don’t do any vigorous physical activity. Contact us now at The Mack Cosmetic Center in Tampa, FL, today to learn more about this popular anti-aging procedure.