Recently there have been claims that fibrin sealant speeds up healing after facelifts. Now every facelift patient wants to have the most rapid healing after their surgery so as to allow them to return to their normal activities as soon as possible. Recent advances in plastic surgery have made it possible to perform less surgery in certain cases – for instance a MACS-Lift as opposed to a full facelift – that allows for a more rapid healing on account of the lesser amount of surgery performed. Fibrin sealant is a substance derived from human blood that promotes a bond between the skin lifted and the underlying facial tissues that theoretically reduces the need for drainage tubes and the amount of fluid that forms beneath the skin.
About 7 years ago I used fibrin sealant in my office for a period of several years. The results were not what I had hoped. Fluid would frequently build up after surgery, requiring drainage and there were issues with skin healing. Needless to say, I discontinued the product.
What other things can be done to promote more rapid healing? I am a strong believer in careful control of blood pressure after facelift surgery. All of our patients monitor their blood pressure several times daily and are taking anti-anxiety medications and other medication if needed to maintain a low blood pressure. By keeping the blood pressure at the lower range of normal, there is less swelling and bruising and less chance of bleeding that could require more surgery. I also have patients take oral steroids for several days to reduce facial swelling, as well as using cooling measures on the face to further reduce swelling. Our patients also take Arnica and Bromelain, two over-the-counter homeopathic herbal medications that seem to help with bruising and swelling.
With all of these measures, most of our patients are able to resume normal daily activities by 1½ to 2 weeks following surgery and with a bit of makeup, look quite presentable.
For further information about facelifting and other procedures, please contact my office for an appointment.