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Cosmetic Surgery

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Face lift surgery
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What to Expect After a Face Lift

A face lift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that helps to improve the physical appearance of a patient and makes the face look younger by tightening loose sagging skin and muscles as well as tightening the skin on the neck. Excess skin and fat are trimmed off the face and neck during the procedure and the sagging skin that is left is elevated and then pulled in an upward direction before being sutured.

Once the surgery has been completed, both the face as well as the entire head will be bandaged as loosely as possible in order to reduce bruising and swelling. Some patients will have a drainage tube inserted behind their ear by the plastic surgeon in order to prevent both fluid and blood from accumulating under the surface of the skin. Some surgeons will apply a big fluffy dressing to their patient’s head immediately after surgery and then once the first day after surgery has passed the dressing will come off and a thin elastic wrap will be used to replace it. Most patients are prescribed medication for pain in order to make the patient as comfortable as possible although the pain associated with a face lift is usually mild to moderate. Many patients do complain of pain in their ears and surrounding them during the first and second weeks following the surgery.

Patients of face lift surgery are recommended to rest as much as possible the first week and to elevate their head while resting for the first two days following the surgery. Be aware that not everyone heals at the same rate and therefore it is important to be patient and to give yourself plenty of time to heal after surgery. Keep in mind that some numbness, swelling, and even some discoloration of the skin is likely to last for up to two weeks after the surgery.

By the time the second or third day rolls around, the face lift patient should be able to shower and shampoo their hair but be careful to keep the incisions as dry as possible. Avoid any forms of vigorous or strenuous physical activity or exercise until the bruising and swelling have all but disappeared which should take between four to six weeks time.

Most of the stitches from the surgery will be taken out in approximately five days time and it should be only a few days later that the results of the face lift are easy to see. Generally after about two weeks most face lift patients begin to look and feel better. Facial skin and skin on the neck could be both dry and rough to the touch for the first few months after the surgery and sometimes the hair found near the temples is thinner than it was before the surgery. Men may find that after surgery they need to start shaving in places they never did before such as behind their ears or behind their necks.

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