What to Expect During Your Facelift Recovery
When patients are considering the benefits a full facelift can offer, many are concerned about the recovery time involved. Patients can generally expect a fully recovery within four to six weeks after surgery, provided that they follow their post-surgical instructions precisely. Patients who cannot devote a full four to six weeks to recovery from a full facelift may want to consider the benefits of a mini facelift or a mid facelift, which have a significantly shorter recovery timeline. At our Pittsburgh, PA, practice, we can discuss what you can expect during your facelift recovery as well as provide you with tips to follow at your pre-surgical appointments. Following these guidelines can minimize your risk for infection and help you achieve satisfying results.
First Day of Recovery
Like many other facial cosmetic procedures, facelift surgery is considered an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to return home the same day of your surgery. Due to the nature of the procedure and the anesthesia involved, it is imperative that you have a friend of family member drive you home. As the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some soreness, fatigue, facial tightness, and nausea. Resting is critical during this time. We also recommend taking pain or anti-nausea medications to minimize any discomfort. Having a loved one stay with you to assist you for the first few days is also beneficial.
Weeks One and Two of Recovery
The first week of recovery will be the hardest. Side effects can include swelling, soreness, bruising, and continued fatigue. Resting with your head elevated, taking your medications, and applying cold compresses can help during this time. By week two, these side effects generally begin to subside.
Be patient with your results and continue following your post-op instructions as directed.
Approximately seven to 10 days after surgery, any sutures will be removed and your surgeon will monitor the incisions for any signs of infection. As soon as you feel up to it, we encourage light walking to increase blood flow and promote healing. However, it is imperative that you avoid overdoing physical activity, as it could hinder your recovery and cause infection.
Weeks Three and Four of Recovery
Most patients can return to work during week three of recovery, as long as their jobs do not require strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or bending over. By this time, energy levels will increase and bruising is minimal or easily concealed with makeup, and you may feel more comfortable going out in public. Although normal activity can be resumed and you may feel well enough to resume exercise and other physical activity, you should not resume your regular exercise routine for at least six weeks.
By week six, patients are generally cleared for full activity. While you may notice a dramatic difference in your appearance, it could take months for your face to heal and up to a year to see final results. Be patient with your results and continue following your post-op instructions as directed. By the end of your recovery, you could enjoy a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
Tips to Maximize Your Recovery
Your recovery could be expedited if you:
- Listen to your surgeon, abide by your post-operative instructions, and attend your follow-up appointments as directed.
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks or until cleared by your surgeon.
- Keep your head elevated when resting—and at night—so as to reduce swelling and the severity of bruising.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Avoid washing your hair or getting your face wet until cleared by your surgeon.
- Keep the surgical site clean and dry with fresh bandages.
- Avoid bending over, lifting heavy objects, or overexerting yourself for the first week after surgery.
- Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
- Wear your compression garment as directed.
Schedule Your Facelift
To learn more about facelift surgery and the recovery that is involved, we invite you to schedule a consultation. You can contact us online or call our office at (866) 241-0364.
“I honestly never thought of myself as a serious candidate for elective surgery ... but I’m already feeling and looking so much better.*” Jill's Story