What can I do to help recovery and reduce swelling or bruising after Facelift surgery?

Any plastic surgery procedure (surgical or nonsurgical) may result in bruising and swelling, which may peak in the first day before improving. In addition, the bruising generally fades away faster than swelling. Lastly, surgical procedures tend to swell or bruise more, as compared to nonsurgical treatments performed in the office.

To ensure the best outcomes after facelift, make sure to read and follow our plastic surgery care instructions and the following guidelines below:

Avoid Blood Thinners
Some normal medications or herbs may worsen bruising. Stop all ibuprofen, aspirin and aspirin-like products for at least 2 weeks prior to your procedure. Avoid any herbal teas, supplements, or medications that thin the blood, such as St. John’s wort, ginkgo, ginger, garlic, ginseng, kava, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Elevate Your Head
Let gravity play a role in the recovery process. Positioning your head on top of a few pillows, or elevated mattress top, will help reduce bruising and swelling in the treated area. Avoid bending over as much as possible, too.

Apply Ice
In addition to reducing swelling, a cool compress helps constrict blood vessels, which may decrease the extent of bruising. Ice, however, should not be placed directly on the skin. A soft cloth helps spread the cooling effects. Ice is the most important during the first 2 days after cosmetic treatments.

Avoid Heavy Activity
Heavy or strenuous activity that increases the heart rate or blood pressure can increase bruising and delay recovery. Heavy activities to avoid include, but are not limited to, all types of exercise and sex. Even lighter activity, such as yoga, should be avoided. This restriction on activity is for the first 2 weeks after plastic surgery.

Try Arnica Montana and Bromelain
Herbal supplements that help some patients reduce bruising and swelling include Arnica montana and bromelain. Both of these are available over-the-counter without prescription. You should look for these supplements in a tablet form. Bromelain is also found in pineapples.

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