Dealing With Pain After Your Facelift
When Beverly Hills facelift patients arrive for their consultation, many are concerned about how much pain will follow surgery and whether they will be able to manage it. While it may seem like facelift surgery should be an incredibly painful procedure, the truth is that most patients are surprised at how little discomfort they actually experience.
The facelift does concentrate on a sensitive area of the body. However, refined surgical strategies and pain management techniques can help curb the amount of pain you expect. Read on to learn more about the pain most patients experience and how you can be prepared to handle it.
How Much Does Surgery Really Hurt?
Your facelift Beverly Hills procedure will be performed while you are snoozing under the influence of anesthetics, so you won’t have to worry about feeling anything throughout the procedure. Facelift surgeries take between three and six hours, depending on the amount of work needed, so you’ll be given enough medication to sleep straight through it all. Even better, you’ll have some time to adjust to new sensations as the anesthesia wears off and you wake up.
During the surgical procedure, your surgeon carefully makes incisions along your hairline, extending around the ears and down to the lower scalp. From here, he or she will be able to manipulate the tissues, skin, fat, and muscles of the lower face and neck to achieve a natural and more youthful appearance.
Excess skin and fat will be removed, and the underlying supportive tissues will be strengthened. The specifics of your facelift Los Angeles will be determined at a one-on-one consultation with your facial plastic surgeon since each surgery is specially tailored to meet the patient’s needs.
How Much Will It Hurt Immediately After Surgery?
As you wake up, your anesthesia might make you feel disoriented, nauseous, and groggy. It is common to experience some blurred vision and numbness or tingling throughout the body as your body gradually processes the anesthetic. Other symptoms may include headaches, chills, fatigue, and dizziness, but most patients don’t experience them all at once. Eventually, you will begin to feel a slight soreness in the surgical treatment area, at which time you can begin taking medication to manage your discomfort.
Some patients may experience ear pain and jaw pain due to the invasive nature of the procedure. This is especially true for those who have had their incisions made near or around their ears. The incision sites can be tender and uncomfortable, but this should subside with time as your body heals.
If you’re planning to sneak a look at your new face, hold off for a while. Patients who sprint toward the first mirror they see are often upset to find that their face is swollen, bruised, bandaged, and not what they had in mind. Your results will emerge gradually, but only after they have a chance to heal. Be patient and give your body some time to recover before you take a peek at what’s under the bandages.
What is the Recovery Process After a Facelift?
Your first two days after surgery will likely bring you some discomfort. You may be tired and experiencing mild pain, so get as much sleep as possible. Doing so is good for your body and helps you to get through the toughest part of recovery. Take your medication as directed, and don’t skip doses to try to be “tough.” Pain can be stressful to the system and may contribute to a longer healing process if not managed.
Throughout these early days, make sure that you are carefully following your surgeon’s instructions to care for your incisions and replace your bandages. Avoiding infection and other post-surgical risks is essential to minimizing your pain.
As your face heals, you will gradually lose the bandages and drainage tubes that might have been put into place. Your face will feel better each day as the swelling subsides and the bruises heal. Work with your plastic surgeon to ensure that your aftercare is thorough and successful.
How Can I Better Manage My Pain?
Any cosmetic surgery can stress the body as it forces change, but this isn’t necessarily bad. Help your body to adjust to the new changes and manage your pain all at once by following these facelift recovery tips:
Plan for someone to help you
An extra pair of hands is good to have when you’re stuck in one spot resting all day. You may also need assistance making your way to the bathroom or preparing food. Having someone to help you out during your first 48 hours post-op can make things easier for you and allow you to rest properly.
Prop your head up at all times
Even if you’re sleeping, keeping your head elevated at an angle is essential to reduce swelling. Less swelling means less blood pressure and less discomfort.
Have your pain medication ready
You won’t want to stop at the pharmacy to fill your prescription pain medication on your way home from a facelift or a mini facelift Los Angeles, so fill it ahead of time. Tuck it into your purse or a safe place at home where you can get to it easily.
Use cold compresses to reduce swelling
Talk to your facial plastic surgeon about cold compresses, when they can be used, and how. They can be a great relief on days when you feel swollen and uncomfortable.
It is important to remember that residual swelling and bruising may take weeks after surgery to resolve. During this time, the facial tissues are healing and adjusting to the new contours of your face. It is normal for some discomfort to persist during this period.
Keep a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce pain and swelling after facial surgery. Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will give your body the nutrients it needs to heal. Additionally, drinking plenty of water and herbal teas can help to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation. Herbal teas such as chamomile or ginger tea can also relieve pain. Consult your doctor for a personalized diet.
Return to your activities little by little
To help manage this pain, it is important to take it easy and avoid any strenuous physical activity or sun exposure. Gradually return to your normal activities as you heal, but be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
If you ever experience a sudden increase in your pain or you find that you’re not improving steadily, contact your surgeon to address your concerns. He can help you identify whether your problem needs additional medical care in order to prevent or treat a post-surgical complication.
Plan your surgery with Dr. Frankel!
Before you plan your pain management strategies, you should book a facelift consultation with Dr. Andrew Frankel, board certified in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT). His focus is on facial rejuvenation, especially through cosmetic procedures such as the facelift, brow lift or eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty. To consult with Dr. Frankel, the facelift cosmetic surgeon in Beverly Hills, schedule an appointment and get started on your journey to a more youthful appearance!