Over the years, the facelift procedure has evolved. A 2019 review, published in the Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, outlined how the procedure has transformed from a skin-only operation into an outpatient surgery requiring intensive preoperative analysis, a thorough understanding of the anatomical changes to the face that occur with aging and meticulous attention to detail. The review goes on to detail that the modern plastic surgeon must be both artist and doctor, delivering optimal results with minimal recovery time.

The surgeons of The Plastic Surgery Center recognize that a key factor for achieving optimal results is reducing swelling during the healing process. Post-procedure care is as vital to desired outcomes as the procedure itself. A successful recovery is very much the responsibility of the patient. Our team is available to guide you through the process and answer any questions, but you should follow your post-procedure instructions very carefully and use these tips to minimize swelling after your facelift.

Communicate with your care team. After your facelift you may experience discomfort. If your discomfort elevates to pain, your surgeon can prescribe medication to make you more comfortable as you heal. You will need to adhere to all your scheduled follow-up visits to evaluate your incisions and swelling as well as change your bandages.

Keep your head elevated. Your head should remain elevated for several days after your facelift. It is advisable to prop two to three pillows under the head of your mattress as well as one or two on top of it when resting.

Avoid strenuous activity. Strenuous activity, such as heavy exercise, housework and sexual activity can increase recovery times, contribute to swelling and negatively impact healing. It is recommended that these types of activities be avoided for at least four weeks after your procedure.

Abstain from alcohol. Alcohol contributes to inflammation which can lead to increased swelling and slow the healing process.

Drink plenty of water. Water helps detoxify your system and helps to reduce inflammation. Staying well-hydrated is essential to a successful recovery.

Avoid steam bath and saunas. The heat and humidity in a steamy shower, bath or sauna can increase risk of infection and adversely impact the healing of incisions.

Minimize sun exposure. Heat from the sun can increase inflammation, cause adverse bleeding and contribute to swelling and scarring. If you must be in the sun, use an SPF of 30 or higher and cover your face and head with a hat or scarf.

Get plenty of rest. Much like water, rest is a necessary part of the healing process. Commit to relaxing and allowing your body the time to heal. You will need to take time off work and spend time with your head elevated and body relaxed.

The skilled surgeons of The Plastic Surgery Center have decades of experience helping men and women reduce the signs of aging while also maintaining a youthful, natural appearance. Request a consultation in our Sacramento or Granite Bay office with one of our experienced surgeons to discover the best treatment options for restoring natural youthfulness and reducing fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.