1) What do I look like when I wake up from surgery?
Following the procedure, you will have a soft head wrap around your head and under your chin. This helps minimize swelling. Initially, some patients report a shiny forehead or a “surprised” look because surgical swelling has raised the eyebrows. As this swelling subsides, the surprised look disappears. You may have some bruising, however, this is typically more pronounced 24-48 hours after the procedure if eyelid surgery has also been performed.
2) Can I do anything to prevent bruising?
Most patents will have a little bruising.
3) What does it feel like when I wake up from surgery?
Most patients report only mild to moderate discomfort, which may be associated with some numbness, itching, tightness or a pulling sensation. These postoperative symptoms subside with time. We will make sure you are not nauseated or queasy. Our nurses will be right there with you as you wake up from surgery to give you special attention.
Patients initially experience numbness for the first six to twelve months following surgery. About two months after surgery, it is common to have itching or “pins and needles” as the sensation returns. This itching is significantly less with an endoscopic browlift than a traditional browlift. This is actually an important point because patients who scratch or “itch” their hairline can thin the hair.
4) Tell me more about the incisions.
The head wrap will be removed in the office the morning following surgery. After the head wrap dressing removed, you will notice little clips in your hair. An elastic bandage will be gently applied to minimize swelling. We ask that you keep the elastic wrap in place at all times for a few days following surgery. After that we will ask you to wear it at bedtime only for about a week. You will be asked to return to the office about seven days from the surgery date for removal of clips. Because most patients tell us their forehead is temporarily numb following browlift, it is uncommon for patients to complain of significant pain with clip removal.
5) When can I shower?
As long as you keep your head dry, you may bathe at any time following the procedure. Approximately four days following browlift, one may shower and gently wash the hair. Also we request that you shower and wash your hair twice before your second postoperative visit: both the evening before and the morning of clip removal (approximately postoperative day seven).
6) Will I need any special prescriptions following surgery?
Yes. Postoperative prescriptions are provided well in advance of surgery day so you arrive home completely prepared. Postoperative prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for browlift patients include the following:
A) An antibiotic (most commonly Keflex/cephalexin) to prevent infection.
B) Pain medication to minimize any discomfort.
C) Vitamin C 3000 mg with food daily for one week following surgery to promote healing.
It is important to continue to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, etc. for one week following surgery to prevent bleeding in the postoperative period.
7) When do I start taking these prescriptions?
Patients take their pain medication as needed. The other medications all begin on the day following the procedure.
8) Are there any dietary restrictions following surgery?
No. Patients can eat whatever they want. Advance your diet from liquids to soft food to solids as tolerated. Please drink as much fluid as you can which will help you from becoming dehydrated.
9) When is my first postoperative appointment?
You will be asked to come to the clinic the next morning following browlift for removal of head wrap dressing and drain. You will need someone to drive you to this appointment.
10) Are there any instructions about regular daily activities?
Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows for one week. Facial fullness, headache and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb on to your lap.
11) When will I look “normal?”
You will be presentable at two to three weeks. You will look great at six weeks and even better at six months as things settle and expressions become more natural. You will still notice swelling and your final result will be evaluated at one year.
12) How long does healing take?
As numbness wears off patients experience a “pins-and-needle” sensation. At about two months postoperatively patients experience an itchy scalp. It is important not to scratch as scratching can thin the hair. Numbness and itching resolves first in forehead and then lastly of the top of their head. These sensations can take up to a year to dissipate completely. Medications are available to be used on an as needed basis to ease any significant sensations. Healing and evaluation of the final result takes one full year. However, after three months, most patients have about 90% of their final result.
13) I really want to do this but I’m nervous. What if I get stressed?
It’s ok to be nervous. (Frankly, we would be nervous if you were taking this step lightly!) One of the best ways to deal with nervousness is to see what other patients have gone through. Take a moment to look at Before and After Photos. As you learn in Selecting a Surgeon an educated patient knows when and if the time is right for cosmetic surgery.