We view this phase as one of the most important aspects of the Advanced Mini Facelift procedure. Over the years, experience has taught us that a well-managed recovery phase is critical to a successful outcome. The key to a successful outcome is an enhanced recovery programme combined with a stepwise return to normal activity over the 10 days following your surgery. While you may hardly be bruised or swollen at all and feeling great and raring to go a few days after surgery, we feel that it is really important to take things steady for the first 10 days or so.
Enhanced recovery programme
We have for many years incorporated all the elements of an enhanced recovery programme into our care pathways. We feel this is a very significant factor in allowing people to return to their normal routine as soon as possible after an Advanced Mini Facelift.
- Fully mentally prepare patients for surgery by encouraging use of our patient Forum and by providing a detailed description of the sequence of events on this website
- Encourage patients to eat and drink up to two hours before their operation
- Ask patients to walk to the operating theatre
- Actively warm all patients during their surgical procedure
- Avoid the use of general anaesthesia, instead using sedation and local anaesthesia which has a much better recovery and safety profile
- Use tranexamic acid to reduce the risk of post-operative bleeding and bruising
- Avoid the use of powerful painkillers (which can make people feel sick) after surgery – these are unnecessary for the vast majority of patients
- Encourage eating and drinking immediately post-operatively
- Encourage full mobilisation as soon as possible (after a brief period of bed rest which is vital for wound stabilisation)
Ideally you should arrange to be driven home directly from the hospital and have someone who can help you at home for the next few days. Failing that, try to arrange things beforehand so that your life is as easy as possible for the first few post-operative days.
What should I do when I get home?
Before you leave the Spire Hospital, you will be given a pack containing instructions, a light head bandage, painkillers and some antiseptic ointment for the wounds. The post-operative instructions are straightforward and should be followed to the letter. A copy of the instructions may be downloaded from here. The people who run into trouble in the post operative phase are those who ignore our instructions.
How long will I take to recover?
We recommend you allow yourself two full weeks to recuperate after an Advanced Mini Facelift. By that time, all stitches will have been removed, any bruising and swelling should have almost completely resolved. In essence, you should be back to normal and hopefully raring to go!
When can I go back to work?
This depends on the nature of your work. Many people can manage light, sedentary office work a week or so after their operation. Most people need two weeks before they can get back to their busy lives. In the event of complications e.g. wound infection this can occasionally take longer.
Will it be painful?
There is a spectrum of discomfort following an Advanced Mini Facelift. Some people experience no pain whatsoever, others may be very uncomfortable. It is normal to expect some slight discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be well-managed using simple painkillers such as paracetamol. You must not take non-steroidal anti inflammatory (aspirin type) painkillers for two weeks after an Advanced Mini Facelift.
Do I have to sleep sitting up when I get home?
Again, we do advise this for the first few days if at all possible to help reduce any swelling. Special V-shaped pillows are very helpful when sleeping in a head up position. Alternatively, you can always prop the head of the whole bed up three inches if that is more comfortable.
When can I exercise?
We advise that you avoid all forms of strenuous exercise (that does include sex!) for two weeks after your Advanced Mini Facelift. We do however encourage you to take moderate exercise as soon as you feel able too – walking is ideal.
To read the relevant chapter from The Facelift Bible please click here.