While pain, bruising and swelling are natural, expected side effects following a facelift, for some patients the swelling may prove uncomfortable, and even compromise their results.
So, while it may come as a surprise to many facelift patients, we often recommend postoperative local massages to promote a smooth, healthy recovery.
Performed by the patient with proper instruction or by a well-trained professional who understands postoperative healing, the benefits of a massage after a facelift include:
- Eases Pain: Gentle, upward massaging can prevent pain receptors from sending signals to the brain. Additionally, the warmth of the masseuse’s hands can also improve circulation and decrease pain.
- Decreases Swelling: Facial massages can move fluids from facial tissue into lymphatic vessels, reducing swelling and stimulating the immune system.
- Softens Skin: Massage on newly healed scar tissue can reduce tissue buildup and can soften the skin around the scar tissue.
- Reduces Scarring: Once the wound is closed, massaging gently around the wound can help reduce further tissue buildup and scarring.
- Expedites Healing: Facial massages can help prevent the buildup of toxins in the affected area and help bring nutrients to the skin and tissue by improving blood circulation and improving facial flexibility.
There are several types of postoperative massages you can consider to help improve your healing process and results.
A Swedish massage is similar to light moisturizing or gentle washing, and should be the first type of massage you try. It serves to help in sensitizing or de-sensitizing the skin as your sensation returns.
Lymphatic (or Squeegee) Massage
A lymphatic massage after a facelift helps to ease swelling, bruising and discomfort with gentle, upward fingertip massaging that increases blood flow, activates the lymph nodes and triggers lymph drainage.
A Shiatsu massage provides deeper, accentuated pressure with the use of a rolling or rocking tool that can break up the lumpy collagen scar formation.
Do note that it is important to drink plenty of fluids before and after a facelift massage. After the massage, you may feel relaxed, but be sure to stay active – without exerting yourself – to increase blood flow and speed up the healing process. Also, sleep with your head elevated.
We typically recommend these massages three to five times a day for very short intervals of time – keep in mind that more is decidedly not better, however. Moderation in performing these massages is key, and you should always consult your surgeon regarding post-facelift massage options and recommendations.
Should you have any questions at all regarding your postoperative care, do not hesitate to contact the professionals at Youthful Reflections.