NIGHT OF SURGERY
- Movement is Important: Make sure you are up and walking around immediately after surgery. When lying down in bed or on the couch, make sure you are moving your legs and ankles. Take deep breaths frequently to keep your lungs clear.
- Sleep: Sleep on your back with your head elevated about 30-40 degrees (2-3 pillows). Do not sleep on your side. Keeping your body more upright will minimize swelling. Continue this for one to two weeks.
- Pain: You will be prescribed a pain medication for post-operative pain control. If your discomfort after surgery is not strong you are welcomed to take Tylenol in place of the prescribed medication. Do not take the Tylenol with the pain medication, often the medication you are prescribed will have Tylenol in it. Do not exceed 4,000 mg of Tylenol in any 24-hour period. Take all medications with food to minimize risk of nausea.
- Antibiotic: Continue to take the antibiotic you have been prescribed until completely finished.
- Nausea: If you are experiencing nausea, which is common after general anesthesia as well as a known side effect of some stronger pain medications, we advise that you take your nausea medication.
- Constipation: You will experience constipation if taking narcotic pain relievers. MiraLAX or other over the counter laxatives are recommended. Do not wait to take until you are constipated. Begin treatment with narcotic use.
- Medications to Avoid: Only take the medications approved or prescribed by your surgeon. Avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, others) for two weeks before and after surgery. These medications may increase bleeding.
- Substances to Avoid: Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, for these will dramatically slow the healing process.
- Diet: A light low-fat diet is best after surgery. You may start a regular diet after your surgery if you are not feeling nauseous or vomiting.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking 8 -10 glasses of water a day. Avoid alcohol while you are still having to take pain medications.
- Physical Activity: Normal daily activity may be resumed a few days after surgery. Avoid bending, lifting for than 5lbs, or straining for one to two weeks. Do not wear any “pullover the head” clothing for at least one week.
- Cosmetic Products: Do not wear makeup or use face creams for the first 4 days after surgery. Do not tweeze the eyebrows for one week.
- Exercise: Light exercise may be resumed 2-3 weeks after surgery. Remember to start easy and build back up to your previous exercise levels. At 4-6 weeks or when further instructed by your surgeon, more intense exercise can be started. Just know that swelling may transiently be worse with exercise.
- Hair Treatments: Coloring of the hair, perms, etc. are not recommended for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery.
- Driving: Do NOT operate a vehicle or make important decisions until you have been off pain medications for 24 hours. Use good judgment.
- Return to work: Most patients require approximately 5-7days off work depending on their job responsibilities and amount of face-to-face interaction.
- Showering: You may gently wash your hair and face 2 days after your brow lift. Use a very gentle shampoo such as Baby Shampoo. You may use any gentle facial cleanser. Do NOT wash your hair the day after your sutures or staples are removed.
- Hair Care: Lightly combing your hair with a large, toothed comb is permitted, however be very careful not to snag any sutures or staples. Hair dryers can be used on a low, cool setting to help dry the hair.
- Hot Tubs/Baths/Swimming Pools: No tub baths or Jacuzzi until your incisions have healed, and approved by your surgeon, which is usually around 2 weeks. It is best to wait one month for hot tubs as they tend to have more bacteria than regular chlorinated swimming pools.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR INCISIONS
- Stitches/Staples: Depending on which brow lift technique was used you may have staples or sutures in place. Do not pick or try to remove the stitches or staples yourself. Your surgeon will remove all necessary stitches or staples at your post-operative appointment.
- Crusting: Occasionally, crusting may occur at the incision line. Do not pick at it. If the incision line is within the hair, showering will help resolve this on its own. If your incision line is along the hairline, you may gently clean with hydrogen peroxide applied to a soft cotton swab and apply ointment afterwards to keep incisions moist.
- Sun Exposure: Avoid and minimize sun exposure. Use SPF 30 or greater when outdoors. Even a mild sunburn can worsen swelling, irritate an incision that is healing, and cause permanent scar discoloration.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Drainage: Drainage can occur from the incision sites for the first week. The drainage will be blood tinged. You may dab the area to clean.
- Bruising: You can expect to have bruising. Most bruises will heal after about 2-3 weeks. The bruise will go from a purplish color to a yellow/green shade as it starts to resolve.
- Swelling: Swelling is to be expected in surrounding tissues for the first few weeks. You may feel “pulled or tight” due to the swelling. It is not unusual to have uneven or lumpy swelling on one side compared to the other, this will resolve as swelling settles.
- Itching: Itching at the incision sites is normal for a few days or weeks as you recover. You may take Benadryl to help with this.
- Pain: It is normal to experience tightness, sharp shooting pain, pressure, soreness, and fatigue for several days to weeks following surgery as you recover. You may place a lightweight, cold compress on your upper eyes and forehead for up to 48 hours to help relieve swelling and discomfort.
- Hair Thinning: You may experience transient thinning of the hair in the areas adjacent to the suture line. This is also normal and will resolve itself in time.
- Sensory Changes in Skin: You may feel numbness in the incision line, forehead, and surrounding areas. This is normal and should subside after a few weeks.
WHEN TO CALL THE OFFICE (703-481-0002) OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL
- Signs of Infection: Spreading redness, worsening swelling, increased drainage or drainage of pus, worsening pain, warmth at incision site and temperature over temperature over 101°F.
- Excessive Bleeding: If the dressings are saturated with bright red blood and you are having to make very frequent dressing changes.
- Other Emergency Situations: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, lightheadedness that does not quickly resolve, severe vomiting, pain, or asymmetric swelling in your legs.