Pre-Op and Post-Op Instructions & Recovery
At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, we prioritize your comfort, safety, and cosmetic goals through each step of your facial rejuvenation. From the initial consultation to your post-operative care, our plastic surgeon and staff are here to answer your questions and help minimize any downtime associated with your procedure. Dr. Neil J. Zemmel provides detailed pre- and post-operative instructions to all of their facial plastic surgery patients. We want you to feel at ease going into your procedure and more comfortable during your recovery so that you can quickly move on to enjoying your more youthful and beautiful appearance.
Dr. Zemmel will perform an initial health assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for your chosen facial procedure. Since medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension can affect the results of your procedure, our plastic surgeon may recommend that you visit your primary care physician for an additional pre-operative assessment. It is also important to tell our plastic surgeon about all medications and supplements that you take, as certain medications and supplements can compromise the final outcome of your procedure.
Smoking has also been known to increase the risk of complications during the healing process. All facial plastic surgery patients who smoke are asked to quit at least 6 weeks prior and 6 weeks after surgery to achieve the best results.
During an office visit a week or two prior to the date of your surgery, Dr. Zemmel will review and confirm your cosmetic goals as well as the custom-tailored surgical approach he will employ. This final pre-operative visit is the ideal time to ask your surgeon any final questions you may have. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will also provide you with detailed instructions to follow the day before your surgery, recommend you fill any medication prescribed by our doctor prior to the date of your surgery, and answer any questions about your post-operative care instructions.
Though you may experience some mild discomfort during the initial days following your facial surgery, oral pain medication typically eliminates this sensation. Some patients may also experience numbness near the incision sites after surgery, though this sensation resolves for most patients within 3 months of their procedure. Should surgical drains be necessary for your specific facial procedure, these drains are usually removed within 24-48 hours along with any dressings.
Moderate facial swelling is common after procedures such as a facelift or rhinoplasty, and many patients experience mild bruising. However, any swelling or bruising should reduce considerably over the course of the next two weeks. Keeping your head elevated as much as possible during the first week after surgery can help to significantly reduce swelling. Although, in some cases, redness may develop along the incisions, the incisions should become nearly invisible when the healing process is complete.
D. Zemmel recommends patients allow one to two weeks after a facelift for rest and recovery. This downtime can help minimize the risk of post-surgical complications. After this time, patients should return to their normal activity levels as they feel comfortable. Depending upon your specific surgery and individual circumstances, our plastic surgeon will provide customized recommendations concerning post-operative activity restrictions.
In the months following your facial procedure, you will have many follow-up appointments with our plastic surgeon to monitor for any complications and help ensure a fast recovery. The majority of our patients go through recovery free from complications. However, it is important that you schedule these follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon to minimize risks including: delayed wound healing, infection, numbness, wide or depressed scars, or hematoma. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or notice any unusual or unexpected symptoms at any time during the course of your recovery.
Though you should be able to see significant changes shortly after your facial procedure, it may take up to six months to see the final results of your surgery. Dr. Zemmel also recommends that you avoid unnecessary sun exposure during this time and wear sunscreen whenever you are outdoors. After this initial six-month healing period, you can begin to fully enjoy your new, rejuvenated look.
Dr. Zemmel always strives to create beautiful, natural-looking results. You and your loved ones should notice dramatic changes in your appearance, while acquaintances or co-workers may ask if you have lost weight or gone on vacation. In addition to the cosmetic benefits of our facial surgery options, many of our patients also experience a boost in self-confidence in their professional and personal lives.