There are many ways to retain a youthful-looking face, and getting a rhytidectomy is top on that list, especially if you want longer-lasting results. A rhytidectomy is done by altering the tissue under sagging skin, stretching it to a new position, holding it in place with sutures, and trimming off the excess skin. This process results in firmer skin due to the tension created, making you look younger. It is pretty popular for people looking to get rid of wrinkles.
A rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure requiring proper aftercare to ensure that you heal correctly and do not contract an infection. When it is time to go home, the plastic surgeon will give you instructions on taking care of the stitches until you fully recover. So these are some of the post-operative care procedures you need to do after a rhytidectomy;
In most cases, a rhytidectomy will take two to three hours to perform, but it depends on the number of procedures done. This procedure is done under general anesthesia, which means you will still be loopy after waking up. Your face will be covered with surgical bandages at the incision sites. Therefore, you must have someone to take care of you for at least the first week.
Having someone to drive you home and ensure you do not strain yourself is essential for healing. Be sure to have a friend or family member spend at least the first night with you so that they can give you your medication and monitor for any warning signs.
2. Post-Surgery Clinics
You must ensure that you go to the post-surgical clinic because the dressings need to be changed. The doctor will also check how the stitches heal before re-dressing the face. The first follow-up visit will be scheduled on the second day after surgery. These visits will be routinely planned, and you must go for each until the doctor gives you the clearance. If you have drains, the doctor will show you how to care for them, but the most important rule is not to pull on them.
The most common cause of concern for patients who have had a rhytidectomy is how they should clean their face. All you need is some soap and water to keep the incision sites clean. It is recommended to use antibacterial soap to prevent infections. You should be gentle when cleaning your face, pat dry, and apply any ointments given by your doctor. Moisturizing would be best because dry skin will likely have more scarring. As the incisions are healing, there will be scabbing; do not pick at it as you clean your face; this is part of the natural healing process. Your doctor will guide you on the soaps and shampoos you can use.
There is significant bruising and swelling after you get a facelift; this is normal and should not cause concern. Swelling is your body’s natural reaction to the incisions and is part of the healing process. The swelling is usually more prominent in the first few days and will reduce as the days go by and usually wholly go away by the thirty-day mark.
To avoid and reduce excessive swelling, you should elevate your head by using pillows. You should wear the compression garment as instructed by a doctor as it reduces the swelling significantly. Another great way to keep swelling down is to wrap cold compression packs in a thin cloth and place them on your face. The inflammation may become painful, and if it doesn’t subside after you take the prescribed pain medication, you should see a doctor immediately. The aftercare for swelling also helps reduce bleeding.
You must refrain from strenuous physical activity, especially working out, for at least fifteen days post-surgery or until you’re told to do so by the doctor. Your body is in recovery, and exercises that are too demanding may cause tears on the incisions. You are more susceptible to dizziness post-surgery, so be careful when lifting your head and standing up.
Additional activities to avoid include bending over and picking up any heavy objects. Straining increases bleeding and may increase healing time.
It would be best if you always ate a balanced diet and more so fruits and vegetables post-surgery to aid in healing. However, eating garlic, ginseng, and too much vitamin E will worsen bleeding. Smoking and drinking alcohol are prohibited until the doctor gives you the go-ahead. Try not to chew too fast or vigorously, as this will disrupt the sutures and strain your face. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce bruising and swelling. The fruits and vegetables to eat include whole grains, blueberries, apples, almonds, and pineapples. Staying hydrated is crucial during this healing process because it keeps your skin elastic and supple and helps flush out the medications. The recommended water intake is eight glasses in addition to other approved fluids like natural fruit juices, soups, and tea. Water and fiber keep you regular and avoid constipation which may happen because you are not moving about like you used to.
7. Other Forms of Aftercare
Some things will delay your healing and should be avoided. The first one is sunlight which will make your incisions dryer and darker. Most doctors recommend that you stay away from the sun entirely for the first four weeks post-surgery. Even after the thirty days, you must avoid overexposure to the sun by wearing a hat and protecting your skin by applying sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30.
These are some recommended aftercare for a rhytidectomy, but most importantly, you should follow the doctor’s instructions. Be sure to check out for signs such as severe bleeding, too much pain, discoloration, high fever, labored breathing, and symptoms of infection, and seek medical attention immediately. As with any surgery, rhytidectomy carries some risks, and the doctor will discuss them with you during your first consultation.