facelift survival guide

Dr. Erwin Bulan does everything necessary to prepare his facelift patients for surgery. During consultation he clearly explains all of the important aspects of the facelift experience, from preparing for surgery to postop recovery. However, there are also smaller details you may find helpful to know, many of which can make the surgery and recovery experience quicker and less stressful. Here, Dr. Bulan offers a facelift survival guide featuring some of his top tips.


  • Prepare your recovery space for rest and relaxation. Stack pillows on your bed or recliner so you can sleep sitting up comfortably. Buy an incline/wedge pillow if you think you’ll need it. Put recovery essentials by your bed or recliner so they are within reach. Make sure you have entertainment options (e.g., books, podcasts, movies on queue) ready.
  • Discontinue aspirin, herbs and vitamins that can thin your blood. Dr. Bulan’s office will provide a comprehensive list of medications and supplements to stop taking two to three weeks before your surgery.
  • Put everything you will need out on the counters. During your recovery, you should avoid bending, lifting and straining as much as possible. Put your food, kitchenware and bathroom supplies at waist or eye level so these items are within easy reach. Make sure all prescriptions given prior to your surgery are filled and ready available.
  • Have your hair cut and colored ahead of time. You won’t be able to go back to the salon for more than a month after surgery. Make sure you have clips or pins to keep your hair off your face during recovery.
  • Consider buying a full-coverage concealer product to cover up any lingering bruising. Also, pick up an inexpensive, mild soap for washing your face (harsh soaps must be avoided during recovery). For further advice on skin care products, Linda, our Plastic Surgery Nurse, is a wonderful resource available for product questions or concerns.


  • Try to avoid looking in the mirror — and don’t be discouraged if you do. Post-operative bruising and swelling are to be expected and will initially conceal your beautiful facelift results. Expect the worst of it to subside within two weeks.
  • Don’t avoid pain medication. There’s no reason to “tough it out” — if you feel uncomfortable, take the medication as prescribed. Keep a written record of when/how much medication you take, especially during the first few days of recovery, when you may be a bit groggy.
  • Be patient. So many patients expect instantaneous results, and feel discouraged by the healing process, which isn’t always linear and may last several months. But remember that every day of your recovery is one step closer to enjoying your facelift results.

For more information about facelift surgery and recovery, please contact Bulan Plastic Surgery today by calling (973) 467-9744.