What Needs to be Kept Clean after a Facelift, and How to do that

Looking good and feeling good are two elements which are strongly intertwined. Unfortunately, as the days go by, looking good becomes harder because aging is a strong force to be reckoned with. Hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, sagging skin, and crows feet are all major concerns that put a damper to feeling beautiful. Thankfully, thanks to modern technology, there are now many procedures you can get to bring back the young and beautiful you.

A facelift is a common procedure that many receive to revive their once youthful glow. According to the facelift expert, Dr. Andrew Jacono, there are many different kinds of facelift procedures that you can get depending on your problem areas and the result that you want to achieve.

Dr. Jacono said the discomfort and pain will decrease 48 hours after surgery, so any significant pain felt during this period should prompt a patient to call their surgeon. The most important thing that you have to do after your facelift is to keep your face and its surrounding areas clean. Read on below to find out what needs to be kept after your facelift and how to go on about it.

Caring for the Wound or Surgery Site

As with any kind of surgery, you can expect bruising and swelling after your facelift near the wound site. These symptoms will usually reach their peak within the two days post-surgery. They will slowly and gradually subside over the next 10 to 14 days.

To minimize the harsh-looking bruising and swelling around your face, you must sleep with your head elevated on pillows for at least three weeks after the surgery. Another way to mitigate swelling is to use a cool, clean ice compress, wrapped in a dry cloth. Apply this gently in your face with the most swelling and its surrounding areas around four to six times a day for the first 24 to 36 hours after the surgery.

Remember to keep your wound site clean. If you have external sutures, keep them as clean and dry as possible. Use the antiseptic cleaner and the antibiotic ointment that you have been given for those areas.

It is vital to note that dissolvable sutures will eventually disappear on their own accord in a matter of 5 to 7 days. As for sutures that do not resolve, they are usually taken out a week after the surgery.

If you have surgical staples around your hairline, you must also keep those clean and dry. Your doctor will tell you when it is time to get them wet. But for the time being, immediately post-op, follow all instructions so to keep them dry. Just clean with antiseptic cleaner and pat down with the antibiotic ointment. These staples will be gradually removed over several clinic visits.

It is important to remember that you should avoid hard workouts, physical exertion, and lifting weights for three weeks after your surgery. Avoid vigorous chewing and excessive talking, as well. You don’t want any surgical sites to re-open. On top of that, this activity could disrupt your healing.

Keep Your Drains Clean

You will leave your surgery with bulky cotton compression dressing and drains that cover your scalp and face. The drain serves to help prevent blood pooling and collections under the skin, which can lead to clots and infection. The existence of the drain mitigates that.

The drain is a thin rubber tubing attached to the area where fluids are likely to collect. The tubing is where the fluid will seep outside of your body. This fluid is then carried onto a collection bulb, which you must regularly empty.

The tubing will be attached to your skin with a few stitches. Then you can connect the collection bulb to your clothes with clips or safety pins. You have to make sure these don’t flip around cause it will pull on the stitches.

It is not unusual to have some slight drainage seeping from your surgery during the first 3 days. Doctor Jacono said that these compression dressings and drains may be kept for 1 to 7 days depending on your progress. Thus, it is vital to keep those contraptions sterile.

Wash your hands every time you have to empty the drain. Be sure to clean the plug with alcohol every time you remove it. Then wipe down the drain lines as well. This prevents the potential spread of infection into your body.

Every now and then, you have to squeeze the tubing to help prevent clog build-up. Observe for any clots. If you see that there is indeed a clot in the tubing that prevents the fluid from flowing, just pinch the tube with your thumb and forefinger with a downward motion. This should move the clot down the tube and into the bulb.

Take Care of Your Bandages

You have to care for your bandages. Doctor Jacono said that the clinic will give you specific instructions on what to do based on your procedures. But in general, you will have to take off the bandage attached to the skin surrounding the drain to clean it with an antiseptic. Use a cotton gauze or swab.

Again, you have to make sure that you wash your hands before touching your bandages. This ensures that there is no contamination on the surgery site. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may have to replace the material with sterile bandages to make sure everything is clean.

Maintaining your Compression Face Garment

Upon your first post-operative check-up with the doctor, your bulky dressing and drains will be removed. The doctor will then give you a supportive elastic contraption for the face. This is called a compression garment and it acts as a supportive device to keep your tissues in place.

This must be worn continuously, unless you are in the shower, for the first 7 to 10 days. After this period, you can wear it at night only for the next 3 to 4 weeks. Since it is natural for the face to be oily and to shed skin daily, this compression garment can become dirty over time. You may need to hand wash it to maintain cleanliness. However, so as not to lose its elastic component, refrain from putting it in the drier. Instead, you can blast it with the cold setting of your hair blower if you are in a rush to get it dry.

Showering Post-Op

Last but not least, you may shower or bathe on the third day after surgery. Bathing is ideal instead of getting your whole face underwater. Remember to use only tepid water. Be extra careful around the incision sites. Brushing your hair if you can’t see the wounds is a problem, so it may be best to have someone help.

Do not wash your face until after you are examined and told it is all right to do so. In the same token, do not wear makeup until the doctor gives you the go signal. Refrain from wearing contact lenses for the first 5 to 7 days after surgery, as placing them into your eye will strain your healing face.

Remember, your skin may feel stiff while it is healing, but that is totally normal. Things will resolve themselves over time. Just be prudent in following your doctor’s advice. Most importantly, be patient because it takes 6 months for your facelift to completely heal inside and out.

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