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What to expect

Most facial rejuvenation patients will find their surgery recovery to be easier than expected. At PERK Plastic Surgery, we strive for a seamless and stress-free process–from the initial consultation and continued throughout the post-op care period. Our clients are seen routinely after surgery to ensure optimal healing. Each client will receive an individual set of instructions to follow at the preoperative appointment. The instructions below are general guidelines for the procedures.

What will I look like?

Your incisions are meticulously placed in natural skin tension lines with absorbable sutures. No sutures will be removed. Your main “to-do” will be to apply an antibiotic ointment to the incisions daily. The face and neck will appear swollen with the major inflammation subsiding over the first few weeks. As your tissues heal, you may notice asymmetry, lumps and bumps–it is important to remember that this is completely normal and will settle with time. You may have drains for 1-2 days and/or be asked to wear a compression wrap. Refer to your specific instructions provided for details and drain care.

Most clients are “socially presentable” 2-3 weeks after facial surgery.

What will my face and neck feel like?

Inflammation, bruising, numbness and feeling “tight” is expected. Swelling usually peaks at 48 hours and then will gradually decrease. The numbness will improve with time as well.

If your swelling is rapidly increasing with an associated increased pain in the area, please contact the office.

How much pain will I have?

Most patients are pleasantly surprised with the pain associated with facial surgery. The majority of discomfort and pain subsides within the first week. By 2 weeks post-op, many clients are no longer taking pain medication.

When will I see Dr. Lee following surgery?

You will be seen in the office within one week of your surgery. If any concerns arise, we’ll ask that you come in sooner. We will continue to meet regularly throughout the year following your operation.

General care and activity

Should I apply anything to the incisions?

You will be instructed to apply antibiotic ointment to your incisions daily for 1-2 weeks. As they heal, we will guide you on how to optimize and improve the scar’s appearance–including PERKPotions medical grade scar gel, microneedling, PRP, and more.

When can I shower or take a bath?

You can shower 24 hours after surgery or after the drain is removed. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t let the water hit your face or incisions directly
  • Wash your face gently with a damp washcloth
  • You may wash your hair after the drains are removed

What can I do after surgery?

It is important to take it easy after facial surgery, allowing your body time to recuperate and heal. Most patients are cleared of all restrictions at 4 weeks post-surgery.

  • You must avoid strenuous activity (specifically, an elevated heart rate) for at least 4 weeks post-op–this includes heavy lifting, exercise and anything stress-inducing
  • Sleep with your head slightly elevated (two to three pillows)
  • Do not wear clothing that pulls over the head through a small opening such as a turtleneck.
  • Light walks are permitted and encouraged
  • Gradually return to your regular routine, following Dr. Lee’s specific care instructions along the way

When can I drive?

It is required that a responsible adult drives you home and cares for you during the first 24 hours post-surgery. Once you are no longer taking prescription pain meds and you can safely turn your neck and shoulders, you may drive yourself–typically 1 week after surgery. Do not drive when taking pain medication other than Tylenol.

When can I return to work?

Depending on the nature of your job and required physical activity, you should be able to get back to work as soon as you are comfortable. Most patients return to desk jobs 2 weeks after surgery. You can not lift anything over 5 pounds for four weeks. You are socially presentable 2-3 weeks after surgery.

What should I eat?

A light diet is best for after surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to soups or jello from there. You may return to a regular diet the following day. We encourage a high protein, low-salt diet. Please see our presurgical diet guide for more information.

  • Do NOT use straws
  • Avoid spicy and salty foods

When can I drink alcohol?

Do not drink alcohol while taking narcotic pain medication after your surgery. It is best to wait 1-2 weeks post-surgery.

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This refers to blood collecting in the surgical area. This is most likely to occur within a few days of surgery. Warning signs include:

  • Significant increase in swelling
  • Pain that does NOT respond to medication
  • Excessive or noticeably increasing bruising


Infection is rare following facial surgery. It is normal to have minimal drainage from your incisions for 1-2 days.
Signs of infection can include the following:

  • Increased temperature
  • Increasing drainage from the incisions
  • Increasing redness around the incisions

Leg swelling

Swollen legs, with or without associated pain, may indicate a problem with the circulation in your legs. Contact the office immediately if you experience significant swelling (either one or both legs) or pain in the legs.

Mild, painless and even (uniform) swelling is considered normal, such as:

  • Swelling due to your surgery, or in the area operated on
  • Swelling from the intravenous fluids given to you during the surgery
  • Swelling due to your decreased level of activity

Breathing problems

Experiencing trouble breathing after surgery is rare but can indicate a severe complication. If you develop any chest and/or back pain, or feel short of breath, you must contact the office or be seen in the nearest emergency medical facility without delay.

Medication reactions

Stop taking your medication and contact the office if the following occurs:

  • A skin rash
  • Itching
  • Vomiting

Post-Surgery Instructions & Videos

Facial Post-Surgery Instructions | PERK Plastic Surgery

Drain Care Video

Facial Post-Surgery Instructions | PERK Plastic Surgery

Blepharoplasty Post-Op Video

Facial Post-Surgery Instructions | PERK Plastic Surgery

Buccal Fat Removal Post-Op Video

Facial Post-Surgery Instructions | PERK Plastic Surgery

Facelift & Neck Lift Post-Op Video

Facial Post-Surgery Instructions | PERK Plastic Surgery

Lip Lift Post-Op Video

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Dr 90210 TV Show

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