How long before you can “be seen” again?
For most people, one of the biggest hurdles to having a facial cosmetic procedure is fitting it into their life. We understand. It’s hard to carve out time in your busy schedule to do something just for you, especially when you may not want people to know that you’re having something done (whether a surgical procedure or non-surgical treatment).
Although everyone heals at a different pace, based on their age, general health, skin and hair coloring, and on the procedure(s) performed, here are some general guidelines for recovery times from Dr. Robert J. Smyth, MD, Cosmetic Surgeon and specialist in just the face and neck for 30+ years, located in Cincinnati OH.
Minimally-Invasive Facelift (Timeless Lift™)
First 48 hours post-procedure: Patients wear a wrap from under their chin to over the top of their head, and apply ice over the wrap to affected areas. Patients should relax, avoid activities that cause them to work up a sweat, and not lift anything heavy for the first two weeks following surgery.
Days 3-7 post-procedure: Healing continues. Apply warm compresses to areas where any bruising may have occurred. Patients can shower and gently wash their hair. No hair coloring or hairspray near the incision line.
Day 8: Sutures are removed.
Days 10-14: Most patients return to work and social activities. Typically, women can hide the incision (skinny line tucked into the natural crease in front of and behind the ear) with a few strands of hair.
Day 21: If desired, women and men can apply a bit of skin-colored makeup to hide the incision line which by now is typically a very light pink color. Or, they can hide it with their hair. Most patients can return to non-contact sports and other more rigorous activities at this time. Always apply sunscreen to the incision line.
GOOD TO HAVE ON HAND: Electric toothbrush so that you don’t have to open your mouth as wide (stretch your facial skin) to brush your teeth for the first week or so after your procedure.
Patients may have some minor bruising or swelling and can apply ice to the affected area under the chin. Otherwise, they can return to normal activities but nothing rigorous for the first 72 hours post-procedure. Sutures dissolve on their own.
Upper and/or Lower Eyelids (Blepharoplasty)
First 48 hours post-procedure: Patients apply gel ice packs to the eye area. Patients should relax, avoid activities that cause them to work up a sweat, and not lift anything heavy for first two weeks following surgery. Patients should not drive a car or operate any dangerous machinery.
Days 3-7 post-procedure: Apply warm compresses to the eye area if any bruising or swelling have occurred. Many patients put on sunglasses and return to normal activities at this point, avoiding anything strenuous including rigorous sports. Sutures dissolve on their own.
By Day 8-10: Most people return to work and social activities.
Day 21: Patients can gently apply eye makeup, being careful not to tug or pull on the upper or lower lid area.
GOOD TO HAVE ON HAND: If needed, prescription glasses and sunglasses. Contact lens wearers should wait to use their contacts until three weeks after surgery.
First 48 hours post-procedure: Patients apply gel ice packs to the affected area. Patients should relax, avoid activities that cause them to work up a sweat, and not lift anything heavy for first two weeks following surgery. Patients should not drive a car or operate any dangerous machinery.
Days 3-7 post-procedure: Apply warm compresses to the affected area if any bruising or swelling have occurred.
Day 8: Sutures are removed. Many patients return to normal activities at this point, still avoiding anything strenuous including heavy lifting or rigorous sports.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
First 48 hours post-procedure: Patients apply gel ice packs to the treated area. They also need to cleanse (dab) the area two to three times daily (do not rub), and apply a layer of Aquaphor ointment. The treated areas will be pinkish red during the healing process.
Days 3-7 post-procedure: Continue to clean the area and apply the ointment as directed above.
Days 8-14: Apply warm compresses as needed for any swelling. Patients may use their own skin moisturizer at this point and also gently apply a light makeup foundation to the treated area.
Chin or Pre-Jowl Implant
Patients may have some minor bruising or swelling and can apply ice to the affected area as needed. Otherwise, they can return to normal activities, but nothing rigorous for the first 72 hours post-procedure. Sutures dissolve on their own.
Dermal Fillers and Botox®
There may be some minimal redness for a few hours following injections of Botox®, Juvederm, Restylane, or Voluma, but most patients return to work and normal (not strenuous) activities same day or the next day.
IMPORTANT NOTE––All facial cosmetic surgical procedures performed by Dr. Smyth are done with the patient having strictly local anesthesia along with a small amount of relaxation medication. Patients are kept entirely comfortable throughout their procedure and are spared the risks and longer healing time associated with general anesthesia. Because of taking the relaxation medication, patients must have someone drive them to and from their procedure. Patients should not drive a car or operate any type of dangerous machinery for the first 24 hours after a surgical procedure.
Let’s talk. Dr. Robert J. Smyth, MD, in Cincinnati OH has performed more than 3,000 minimally-invasive facelifts and thousands of other surgical and non-surgical, anti-aging, facial cosmetic procedures, including upper eyelifts, lower eyelid lifts, brow lifts, submental liposuction, laser skin resurfacing, chin implants, injectables (dermal fillers) and Botox. For more information or to schedule a one-on-one, complimentary, no-pressure consultation with Dr. Smyth to discuss today’s finest solutions for attaining the natural, refreshed and “younger-you” look you deserve, call 513.201.8490.