Facelift Aftercare

Facelift Aftercare

We have provided some useful postoperative instructions and advice following your facelift / neck lift with us. The information is also beneficial if you are considering facelift surgery as it will give you an idea of what to expect afterwards in terms of facelift aftercare.

Before Discharge

Medications – You will be provided with painkillers and antibiotic ointment to apply to your suture line once you have removed your bandage.

Change of dressings – Your dressings will be changed before you leave the hospital and a light bandage will be put on (You should remove this after 48 hours, and you may apply a thin layer of the antibiotic ointment provided to your suture lines).

Follow up appointments for dressing clinics – You will be handed a card with details of your first follow up appointment and contact details for the ward should you have any concerns once you get home.


Have someone drive you home after surgery. It is recommended that you have some help at home for the first day or two.

Get plenty of rest.

Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.

Follow a balanced diet. Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may wish to add more raw fruit and fibre to your diet. Make sure you increase fluid intake.

Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.

Avoid smoking for at least two weeks, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.

Avoid alcohol when taking pain medications. Even if you are not taking pain medications, it is advisable to avoid alcohol for 3 weeks as it can cause fluid retention which may worsen swelling.

When can I go back to work?

Your recovery and your job will dictate when you can return to work. We would advise patients to leave 2 weeks before returning to work although this does vary depending on each individual.


Showering/ bathing – You may bathe once you have removed the light bandage 48 hours after discharge. You may wash your hair using baby shampoo and gentle brush your hair away from the suture lines. Apply the antibiotic ointment lightly after showering.

Sleeping position – Sleep comfortably on two or three pillows. You do not need to sleep propped upright.

Clothing – Wear clothing that is easy to remove and avoid tight tops that require removal over your head as they might catch on your suture lines/ ears.

Driving – We recommend not driving for two weeks after your surgery.

Exercise – Avoid strenuous activities or any activity that increases your blood pressure for 3-4 weeks. Contact sports should be avoided for at least two months.

Glasses – It may be difficult to wear glasses whilst your bandage is on. Thereafter glasses may be worn with care.

Wound Care

Antibiotic ointment – You will have been provided with an antibiotic ointment (Polyfax) to apply over the external sutures. Apply a small amount twice a day until your stitches have been removed.

Be gentle when washing your face – use a mild detergent or soap.

Do not use make up or other cosmetics on your external incisions until your wound is fully healed (usually by 3 weeks).

What to Expect

You will be up and about the day after your surgery, but it will be a few weeks before you are entirely up to speed.

Your mood may fluctuate after surgery – this is normal.

Discomfort/ Pain

Pain after surgery is not usually an issue for most patients.

You are likely to feel a sensation of tightness, especially when turning your head.

Bruising/ swelling

After surgery, particularly during the first few days, your face will feel puffy.

Most swelling and bruising should disappear within 2 weeks. Some subtle swelling will remain for a couple of months.


Your scars may feel tight and itchy as the healing process progresses. It may take several months for the scars behind the ears and the hairline to settle down. The scars in front of the ears usually settle quicker.

Follow Up

first 10 days after your operation – You will attend a specialist nurse clinic to have your check up and removal of sutures.

6 months – You will be asked to arrange a follow up appointment with your surgeon at 6 months to discuss the outcome of your surgery and any concerns you may have.

Please note – Some of our patients will get in touch prior to their 6 month follow up appointment and we are often able to address any concerns you may have over the phone or via email. You are welcome to make an appointment (at no cost to you) prior to your 6 month follow up if you wish to be seen in person to discuss any issues.

Scar Management

Healing is a gradual process and your scars may remain slightly pink for up to 6 months. See comments above in the appearance section.

Avoid exposing scars to direct sun for 3-4 months.

Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).

When to Call

If you have increased swelling or bruising which is not settling.

If you have increased redness along the incision (this may be a sign of infection).

If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.

If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.

If you have a temperature over 38 degrees Celsius.

If you have any yellowish or greenish discharge from the incisions or notice a foul smell.

If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.

If concerned, please call Beechwood House on 0131 316259 between the hours of 8am-8pm or after that on 0131 334 0363.