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Will Sleeping On My Side Ruin My Facelift Results?

By: Austin-Weston


In the months and weeks leading up to facelift surgery, you may be scheduling time off of work, arranging for help around the house, and stocking your fridge with healthy snack options. One critical part of facelift recovery that people often forget about, however, is preparing for the possibility of adjusting your sleeping position. The acclaimed team of plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery is committed to helping patients achieve their ideal look and enjoy the most comfortable, efficient, and complete recovery after facelift surgery in Reston, VA. Consider this useful information from Austin-Weston on important facelift aftercare, including how and why you may need to change the way you sleep after surgery.

What does a facelift do?

Facelift surgery, which is formally known as rhytidectomy, is an exciting facial rejuvenation procedure that aims to reverse or improve many of the classic signs and symptoms of facial aging, including:

  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Facial folds
  • Excess skin
  • Stubborn fat
  • Skin laxity
  • Volume loss
  • Hollow cheeks
  • Sunken eyes
  • Heavy brow
  • Drooping jowls
  • Old, tired, or angry appearance

There are several different kinds of facelift surgery available in Northern Virginia, such as traditional facelift and mini facelift, each of which has a unique set of applications and advantages. Additionally, targeted treatments and procedures are often combined with facelift surgery to create an even more balanced, beautiful new look. Some of the most common anti-aging procedures for the face include:

How does facelift surgery work?

Facelift surgery is typically performed using general anesthesia and involves a series of incisions, many of which are hidden within the hairline and the natural lines of the face, allowing the surgeon to access the underlying muscle and tissue layers. Using a combination of advanced techniques, including skin excision and muscle tightening, the surgeon is able to sculpt a new facial contour before re-draping the remaining skin over the face for a dramatically more youthful – yet natural-looking – result. Depending on the nature and extent of the procedure, some patients may require an overnight stay for observation, while others will return home the same day to begin their recovery.

How hard is facelift recovery?

Patients should expect to spend the first 1 – 2 days after facelift surgery resting in bed with some level of discomfort, swelling, and bruising. These symptoms can be controlled with medication and other recommendations provided by your surgeon. While rest is certainly an important component of facelift recovery, patients should take light, brief walks around the house to encourage proper circulation and minimize the risk of postoperative complications.

The majority of men and women who undergo facelift surgery feel comfortable returning to work within 1 – 2 weeks, though strenuous physical activity will be restricted for several additional weeks. During your follow-up appointments for facelift surgery in Reston, VA, your caring surgeon at Austin-Weston will closely monitor your healing progress and let you know when it is safe and appropriate to resume your favorite activities.

Do I have to sleep on my back after facelift surgery?

Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated after facelift surgery is an essential practice for many reasons, including:

  • Promote healing: When we sleep, regardless of the position, our bodies naturally regenerate cells and carry out other important processes that aid healing and recuperation.
  • Reduce swelling: By elevating your head with pillows or sleeping in a recliner after facelift surgery, you can greatly reduce the amount of postoperative swelling and inflammation that may occur.
  • Minimize complications: Sleeping on your front or side too soon after facelift surgery can cause a number of complications, including pulling out sutures or distorting your final results.
  • Increase comfort: Even patients who typically sleep on their side often report that sleeping on their back is naturally the most comfortable position after facelift surgery.
  • Preserve long-term results: Men and women who sleep with their face against a pillow night after night often develop prominent lines or creases. To maintain your facelift results for as long as possible, it may be worth considering a permanent change in your sleeping position.

How long do I have to sleep on my back after facelift?

On average, patients should plan to spend about 2 – 3 weeks sleeping with their head propped up after facelift surgery, though this can vary based on the nature and extent of the procedure.

What if I roll over in my sleep after facelift?

If you are worried about unintentionally rolling to your front or side after facelift surgery, use rolled-up towels or additional pillows to create a nest-like structure that prevents nighttime shifting. In some cases, patients choose to sleep in a recliner for several days or weeks after facelift surgery to ensure an appropriate sleeping position all night long.

With the proper sleeping position after Northern Virginia facelift surgery, you can achieve the look of your dreams!

Facelift recovery doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable or inconvenient as you may imagine it to be. In fact, most men and women tolerate facelift recovery exceptionally well and are able to resume their normal activities and preferred sleeping positions even sooner than they expected. To learn more about the anti-aging benefits of a facelift in Reston, VA, including how it can help you look up to ten years younger, call the expert team at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your in-office or virtual consultation with one of our award-winning plastic surgeons today!


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