Peak swelling after a facelift occurs at about Day 5 . It tends to recede thereafter. Several techniques can improve facial swelling post-op and you will need to discuss these with your surgeon.
1. Arnica – a herbal supplement comes as tablets or cream or both. Non-invasive and works quite well. Best to start it pre-op.
2. Light lymphatic massage – this needs to be done by an esthetician familiar with facelifts because too vigorous will cause damage to the underlying delicate surgical work or worsen the inflammation.
3. Ultrasound treatment- best works if swelling is persistent or occurs more than 2 weeks out – quite powerful and great to break up scar tissue and tightness.
4. A short course of steroids (medrol dose pack) 6 days.
5. Time – this is the most important treatment; almost all swelling will go down with time, but we try to accelerate the process with treatments 1-4 above.