AESTHETIC MEDICINE AND SURGERY
SKIN CANCER AND DERMATOLOGIC SURGERY
Post-operative recuperation is considered to be an integral part of surgery; the achievement of desired results, as well as the success of the operation, depend on it. Therefore, post-operative visits play a pivotal role in the healing process as they allow the early detection and treatment of complications. They are usually held at 7, 14, 28 days, and 3, 6 and 12 months post-op.
Upon discharge, a letter with post-operative instructions will be provided, medication prescribed (antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, pain-killers) and any necessary precautions will be clearly described.
Good personal hygiene is crucial for correct healing and to avoid wound infection. In light of this, the surgeon will provide clear instructions for wound management. For example, the first week, post-op, the operation site must not be wetted (only sterile saline is allowed). Sutures are usually removed from the brow after seven days (direct brow lift), whereas sutures from the scalp are removed after two weeks (temporal lift).
After surgery, bruises may appear around the eyes, which may take approximately two weeks to clear; bruising may be more conspicuous on one side of the face. Swelling, more or less evident according to the individual’s predisposition and the extent of the procedure, subsides significantly in the first two weeks post-op. It may be more apparent on one side. In the days following surgery, it is advisable to sleep with the head facing forwards with additional support (e.g. additional pillows) and to keep the face cool, so to accelerate swelling resorption.
Initially, brows will appear higher than expected. In the following weeks they will migrate downwards and arrive at their final position, resulting in a natural shape.
Post-operation, patients are unfit for work for one to two weeks in most circumstances. If prolonged or considerable physical exertion is required, a longer rest period is necessary. Normal activities such as driving, house-work, sexual intercourse and socialising can be resumed after two weeks. Mild exercise may be resumed after three weeks, but for more intense exercise, it is preferable to wait at least six weeks.
A direct brow-lift results in fine scars that run along the upper border of the brow. In the first months after the surgery it is possible to camouflage fresh and pink scars with make-up. Scarring can take more than a year to settle and become inconspicuous. In order to achieve the best results in terms of scar quality and visibility, it is advised to apply silicone gel for several months. Post-operative care continues with the application of sun-screen to the area for at least three months.
During post-op visits, starting from the first month, photographs are taken to monitor progress.