Facelift procedures are not the most painful procedures in plastic surgery , and knowing what to expect may help reduce your anxiety. Some hints and tweaks will help to reduce your pain, especially in the immediate recovery period.

As a matter of routine, I inject long-term numbing medicine into the areas of facelift surgery at the end of the procedure, while in the operating room. The numbing medicine lasts 6-8 hours. This allows my patients to wake up comfortably right after surgery, and they can take wake up and take pain medicine 6-8 hours afterwards to keep ahead of any pain that may develop. You should ask your plastic surgeon if he or she can give you these injections while you’re still under generate anesthesia.

Ice and cold compresses to the areas of your face will reduce swelling and pain. It’s important not to leave the ice on your face for too long- you don’t want a frost bite injury on top of your facelift!

Elevating your head above heart level will help to reduce pain and swelling right after your facelift procedure. You may need to sleep on 2-3 pillows to achieve this effect.

Applying numbing cream after surgery, on your facelift incisions or near them, may help with pain control. I don’t feel that this is as effective as taking pain pills by mouth, but it may help a little. Most effective numbing creams are prescription only, so you may have to ask for a prescription for your doctor.

Take your pain pills by mouth when you feel a little pain, and don’t try to catch up to your pain levels. It’s probably better to take only 1 pill when you feel some to moderate pain, versus 2 pills to try to catch up to severe pain.

Drink plenty of fluids, since surgery may make you feel dehydrated. Rehydration and maintaining circulation may help reduce your pain levels, and may help your body flush out anti-oxidants.

Walking around, or what we doctors like to call ambulating, may also help with pain. Sitting still and not moving doesn’t help with your circulation, and walking may help with reduce overall body stiffness and increase blood flow to your body, helping to flush out anti-oxidants and reducing pain.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation regarding facial rejuvenation, please contact Caroline, our Patient Care Coordinator. She can be reached at info@drkim.com or 415 362 1846.


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