After Surgery Instructions: Brow Lift
NORMAL THINGS: You will have a loose netting around your face which is used to hold gauze in place. The gauze is to collect any oozing from the incisions. You may change the gauze as needed. If the netting feels too tight, you can cut it with scissors to loosen the fit. Once the incisions have sealed, usually the next day, you may remove the netting. Staying hydrated is important so take plenty of fluids.
A small amount of oozing is normal from the incisions the first couple of days. The forehead and eyelids will swell from the surgery and is usually the most severe the first morning after the procedure. Do not be alarmed if one side of your face is slightly more swollen or numb than the other. This is common and usually disappears within a few weeks after a brow lift.
MEDICATIONS: Take the Vicodin for pain every 4 hours if you need it for discomfort. Take it less often if your discomfort is controlled. If you get nausea from the Vicodin, try taking a half a pill at a time. Take the antibiotics (Cipro) and Arnica as directed. The Medrol is to help with swelling. Take it as directed on the package.
ACTIVITY: Keeping your head and shoulders elevated helps with reducing the swelling. Sit with your back and feet elevated on the couch. Sleeping in a recliner chair for the first 2 nights will help decrease swelling. Walking is important to keep from getting blood clots in the legs, so try to get up and walk every couple of hours while awake. Light activity can be performed as tolerated, but strenuous activity must be avoided for 3 weeks or bleeding may occur.
ICE and HEAT: Ice may be applied to the forehead and eyes the first night and off and on the next day. After that, ice will not make much difference. Never put heat on your face after a facelift. Heat will make you swell and you may burn your skin where it is numb.
SHOWERING and WASHING YOUR FACE AND HAIR: You may wash your face the night of surgery if you desire. Bland soap and water is acceptable. Remember that your forehead will be numb in places, so be careful with the water temperature. You can shower the day after your surgery and wash your hair. You may shower with the drains in place – just be careful. You can clip the bulbs to something placed around your neck while you shower.
MAKEUP and SKIN CARE: You can wear makeup 2 days after your surgery but avoid getting the makeup near the incisions.
DRAINS: You may have a drain from the surgery. If you do, empty the drain in the toilet when the bulb becomes half full. Squeeze the bulb to put it back on suction. If a drain comes loose and falls out, don’t worry your body will resorb the fluid.
SUTURES: At Beautologie, we only use dissolving sutures in brow lifts. However, sometimes even the dissolving sutures will create a small area of irritation. We occasionally need to remove a suture in the office.
THE HEALING PROCESS: The first night and the next day are the most difficult. After that, you should start feeling better. The swelling takes a good week or so to decrease. Bruising is usually more noticeable several days after the surgery and then subsides. You may notice it hurts to chew because a brow lift works around the chewing muscles. The full healing process from a brow lift takes many months for all of the swelling to resolve and the numb areas to return to normal. Please be patient.
HAIR COLORING: It is best to wait about 4 weeks after a brow lift to have the hair colored, because there have been some people who have lost hair around the incisions with coloring the hair too soon after surgery.