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"He went the extra mile to make a complete and dramatic improvement."
- Berkeley, CA
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    Post-Treatment Healing Process



    Healing after cosmetic procedures

    Check here first for quick tips on how to improve your healing experience and for downloadable step-by-step post-treatment care instruction sheets.

    restful beach image to ease the mind, by simeon schatz

    If you still have questions, call our office or complete the form to the right.


    Recuperating after surgery

    Dig into your MAC·MD aesthetics™ post-surgery care package that you received at your pre-op appointment. Use all the goodies we’ve given you to make your healing process the best experience it can be…


    Tips to minimize swelling

    • Do not bend forward with your head below your shoulders for the first week post-op. This may cause increased swelling and bruising and puts pressure on your sutures.
    • Use cold compresses for 2-5 days after surgery as needed for relief of swelling and discomfort.
    • Sleep for the first 3-5 days in a more upright position with your shoulders and head elevated.


    Tips to minimize bruising

    • Do not take aspirin, aspirin-containing products, or omega-3 fatty acid supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery and several days after surgery. Tylenol is ok.
    • Continue taking the Arnica oral medication you started 3 days prior to surgery. It may also be applied topically to any bruising.

    Take medications as directed

    To control pain and minimize risk of post-surgical infection, take the pain and antibiotic medications Dr. Macdonald provided to you at your pre-op appointment as directed.


    Communicate with us

    In addition to coming for your pre-scheduled post-op visits, call us immediately if you are experiencing strange, unexpected symptoms or severe pain.

    Dr. Macdonald can speak with you and/or your caregiver about what's happening to determine if he should see you prior to your scheduled follow-up. If he is able to determine that your healing is on track, he may simply prescribe additional medications or healing practices for you to follow until he sees you at your scheduled follow-up.


    Specific post-surgery instructions

    For more detailed post-care instructions specific to each surgical procedure, we have provided you with downloadable PDFs below. You may wish to print the relevant instructions to keep on hand for easy reference as you manage your healing care in the early stages of recovery.

    Nasal Surgery [download PDF]

    Eyelid Surgery [download PDF]

    Brow Lift Surgery [download PDF]

    Facelift Surgery [download PDF]

    Midface Mini Lift Surgery [download PDF]

    Ear Surgery [download PDF]

    Cheek Augmentation Surgery [download PDF]

    Chin Augmentation Surgery [download PDF]

    Sumentoplasty or Neck Liposuction Surgery [download PDF] 

    Neck Lift Surgery [download PDF]

    Body Liposuction Surgery [download PDF]


    Skin products to promote healing

    • To minimize long-term appearance of surgical scars, we recommend using Dermatix™ scar treatment beginning 3-4 weeks post-op, once scars are fully healed.
    • Apply vitamin C and E concentrate to incisions once completely closed and healed.
    • Completely avoid exposing your scars to sun for at least 6-12 months.
    • Cosmetic surgery is an investment in you, so remember to protect that investment. Consider using our quality medical-grade Anti-Aging Kit and any of our top quality sunscreens as your daily skin care regimen.

    Consistent skin care with high-quality products accentuates and elongates the benefits of your surgical rejuvenation.


    Gradual return to exercise: 2-4-6 rule

    The more complex the surgical procedure you undergo and the greater the number of procedures you have performed at one time, the more slowly and carefully you should resume vigorous physical activity.

    The 2-4-6 rule we recommend to patients is the safest guide for ensuring your aesthetic results are not compromised. Be kind to yourself. Take it slow...


    1st Week Post-Op

    Take it easy—being too vigorous too soon may increase your risk of complications.

    Nothing more than gentle walks for 10 minutes 1-2 times a day just to get your body moving a bit and to help any bruising dissipate.


    2 Weeks Post-Op

    Again, only non-strenuous walks on a flat surface are advised. No other kind of workouts. Any activity that raises your blood pressure potentially compromises your healing incisions and newly developing blood supply in whatever areas you had surgically treated.


    4 Weeks Post-Op

    Light cardiovascular exercise such as aerobics is fine, but no weight training. Start light. For example, if you normally do 30 minutes on a treadmill, begin with 15 minutes. Then increase intensity as your body lets you know it’s comfortable.


    6 Weeks Post-Op

    Resume all of your usual activities, but don’t forget your daily sun protection.


    Taking post-op photos

    At 6-months post-op, we remind you to come back for a final surgical follow-up. This is a rewarding appointment for you, Dr. Macdonald and our entire staff. We love to see the happy faces of satisfied patients!

    After surgery, photos are taken to capture your final results. You are able to compare them with your before surgery photos and revel in your fantastic outcome.

    We enjoy celebrating with you on this day. It’s our pleasure to provide you with a free facial to pamper you in appreciation for allowing us to share in your cosmetic improvement journey.


    Healing after cosmetic laser treatments

    Side effects after laser procedures


    Broadband light laser therapy

    BBL™ is used to treat: photodamage and other skin discolorations, diffuse redness or brown spots, acne, skin tightening, and hair reduction. The VariLite™ laser is used to treat more discrete prominent blood vessels, red or brown spots, in a single treatment.

    With all of the intense pulsed light laser procedures, you can expect the following after treatment:

    • You may experience a sunburn sensation, redness or slight swelling in the treated area beginning a few minutes after the procedure and dissipating completely within a couple of hours.
    • Use sunblock on a daily basis between treatments. Sun exposure should be avoided or, at the very least, minimized. Treated areas are more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change.
    • You should require no pain medication greater than Extra Strength Tylenol.
    • Essentially, there is no downtime. Immediately following treatment, you may apply makeup and sunscreen, go back to work, or otherwise continue in your usual lifestyle.

    For more detailed post-care instructions specific to each BBL™ and VariLite™ laser procedure, we have provided you with downloadable PDFs as follows: 

    PDF DownloadsPhototherapy | Acne | SkinTyte | Hair Reduction | VariLite™


    Ablative laser therapy

    Ablative laser procedures offered at our center include: MicroLaserPeel®, Contour TRL™ fully-ablative resurfacing, and ProFractional™ fractionated resurfacing.

    With these procedures, you can expect the following:

    • A feeling of sunburn and tightness, redness and minor swelling. These short-term responses vary depending on the depth of treatment.
    • Aquaphor® or another healing ointment is applied within minutes of concluding your treatment. Using a healing balm the first 36-48 hours provides your skin with soothing relief and protection from the environment.
    • Facial masks with cooling and skin-soothing properties are provided to you for further relief of these minor side effects that may persist. Cold compresses or ice packs are also helpful.
    • Downtime can vary widely depending on the depth of your ablative or fractional ablative resurfacing procedure.

    As a benchmark of anticipated downtime before returning to work:

    • MicroLaserPeel® is generally 3-4 days.
    • ProFractional™ is typically 1-2 days. Although this laser penetrates deeper into the skin, the fractionated nature of the laser leaves tiny islands of healthy skin that accelerate healing.
    • Contour TRL™ deep resurfacing can be 7-10 days, depending on the depth of treatment. 

    For more detailed post-care instructions specific to each ablative laser procedure, we have provided you with downloadable PDFs as follows:

    PDF DownloadsMicroLaserPeel | ProFractional | Contour TRL


    Skincare to nourish and protect new skin

    Be gentle—do not scratch, pick, or peel your skin after any laser procedure. To encourage flaking skin to rub off easily on its own, wash the treated area 2-3 times per day with tepid water and gentle cleanser.

    Protect and extend the desired benefits of your laser results. Use high-quality sunscreen daily. Also incorporate a customized, comprehensive anti-aging home skin care regimen. These two easy steps make a big positive impact on the lasting nature of your results.

    Our Post Laser Healing Kit also incorporates Total Protection SPF30 sunscreen. Among its protective ingredients, this sunscreen has 17% zinc oxide for a physical barrier of sun block beyond UVA and UVB protection alone.

    Included in your laser consultation appointment is a consult with our medical esthetician. She advises you how best to nourish and protect your skin between and beyond the laser sessions in your series so that you achieve optimal post-laser results.


    Recovery after cosmetic injectable treatment

    Discomfort is minimal and short-lived

    • BOTOX® and Dysport™ injections no discomfort or downtime from your usual activities.
    • Dermal fillers contain a numbing agent (lidocaine) which takes effect immediately upon injection. You may feel related residual numbness for up to 1-3 hours afterward.
    • Temporary swelling and/or slight bruising are common side effects with tissue filler treatments. Itching, discoloration, and tenderness at the injection site are other possible side effects that all should subside within 24-48 hours.


    Tips to minimize temporary bruising

    Bruising is typically the biggest concern following injectable treatments, particularly in the under-eye hollows. Bruising in this area is more common, more pronounced, and longer-lasting than anywhere else. It could realistically take 7-14 days to completely diminish in this area.

    Tips to alleviate bruising:

    • Apply cold compresses for the first 24-48 hours after treatment.
    • Do not use aspirin, aspirin-related products, or omega-3 fatty acid supplements for 2 weeks following your treatment. Also avoid higher doses of Vitamin E.
    • Take Arnica and/or apply it topically immediately following treatment and continuing until bruising is resolved. Arnica is a natural homeopathic remedy for reducing pain, swelling, and bruise discoloration.
    • Use makeup concealers to cover any bruising or discoloration. Darker bruises may require a neutralizing method followed by a foundation concealer.


    Additional recovery tips

    • Do Not apply makeup or creams for at least 6 hours following treatment with dermal fillers  if your skin is sensitive or easily irritated.
    • Do Not expose the treatment areas to extreme heat (i.e., tanning beds or sauna) for at least 2 weeks, as this may affect dermal filler product durability.
    • Do gently massage the filler treatment areas for up to 2 weeks, if needed, to avoid unevenness.


    Touch-up is complimentary

    On the rare occasion that you require a touch-up after your initial treatment, Dr. Macdonald provides this service at no charge. Patients must first wait 5-7 days post-treatment to allow for full realization of BOTOX® or Dysport™ muscle-neutralizing effect.

    If you still notice a slight asymmetry between the right and left sides of your face or any other irregularity in your result, then call us to schedule a follow-up.