Congratulations! Getting a facelift is an investment in your beauty and confidence. A facelift promotes a bright and youthful appearance. What’s more, after your facelift recovery time, you’ll soon admire the fresh contours of your face.
After selecting one of New York’s most acclaimed plastic surgeons, Dr. Andrew Jacono, MD, FACS, you’re probably curious about what the facelift recovery process. You have many questions, including:
• Will I experience pain after the facelift procedure?
• How long will my face look swollen?
• When will I be able to return to work or go out after the facelift?
• Is there any way to speed my recovery afterwards?
In this article, we answer these questions and others about what to expect in your facelift recovery period timeline.
On the Day of the Facelift Procedure
Most patients wake up after their facelift without any memories about the procedure. You will receieve anesthesia prior to facelift surgery. Because you received pain medications before, during, and after the facelift, you may also feel sleepy and relaxed after the facelift procedure is performed.
Post-surgical bandages are used to reduce swelling and bruises. The bandages may feel a bit tight for that reason. In some instances, the surgeon may have inserted small tubes to drain excess fluids that result after the procedure. These tubes will be removed in several days.
You probably won’t like your facial appearance immediately after the facelift. However, in a short few weeks you’ll see many improvements.
Some clients elect to return home on the day of the facelift procedure. Others stay overnight and return home the next day. Whatever your choice, we ensure that you’ve arranged for a friend or relative to pick you up and drive you home. Your friend or family member is also invited to receive the post-surgery instructions you need to observe during the important facelift recovery period.
Depending upon the extent of your facelift procedure, you will receive one or more pain medications. You may need only a moderate pain medicine for several days while other patients require stronger medications. Of course, we will advise you about the proper medicines for your post-facelift recovery period.
The First Days after a Facelift
Most patients experience some discomfort in the first few days after the procedure. You shouldn’t experience intense pain at this point. The pain medicines prescribed for you are intended to manage your post-operative pain. Bruising and swelling of your skin are normal and to be expected in the healing process.
You won’t immediately see youthful, radiant facial contours in this stage of facelift recovery. Swelling or bruising may seem more predominant on one side of the face. Again, this is normal.
You may also experience tightness in the neck muscles. Because the facelift procedure has altered your skin, along with muscles and subcutaneous fat, your face requires time to heal:
• Plan to relax as much as possible in the first few days after the facelift. Stay calm.
• Arrange for in-home care if you can.
• Walk gently and slowly after the facelift to promote circulation and healing.
• Avoid exercise such as weight-lifting or running or any other form of moderate-significant movement. (Get your doctor’s okay before returning to these exercise programs.)
• Visit Dr. Jacono’s office to have stitches and/or drainage tubes removed during the first week of your facelift recovery period.
The First Week after Your Facelift
The first week of your facelift recovery period is an important milestone. You should feel better now, and a little more activity feels right. Gentle walking is still the best exercise during this stage of facelift recovery. You should be able to stop taking pain medications at the end of this first week. With the doctor’s approval, you can drive once more!
Bruises and swelling are still present but should be less apparent. At this time:
• Practice patience. The results of your facelift aren’t yet visible.
• Pamper your skin with cool compresses. Never apply heat to your facial skin or surgical incision sites.
• Follow the post-op instructions provided by the office.
• Elevate your head during sleep to assist in the healing process.
The First Two Weeks after Your Facelift
Take a deep breath. Most patients feel that the first two weeks of the facelift recovery period are the most challenging. You may receive the okay to return to work, as long as your job isn’t physically demanding.
Bruises and swelling are probably still visible but it’s often possible to cover them with cosmetics. In fact, many patients feel confident enough to go out to dinner and see friends at this stage of the facelift recovery period.
As your facial skin and muscles heal, bruises and swelling resolve. You may experience slight skin tingling as part of the healing process. As always, call if any symptom causes concern.
The First Month after Your Facelift
After a month through your facelift recovery, you’re probably able to return to more strenuous exercise, e.g. weight-lifting or fast walking:
• Listen to your body. Progress only at a mindful pace.
• Return to work, go out to dinner, and enjoy your new appearance.
At this stage, most of the facial swelling and bruises are healed. You may have isolated, minimal swelling. Slight tightness or tingling in the skin are a normal part of the healing process.
The First Two Months after Your Facelift
Most patients are completely healed with no side effects at this stage in the facelift recovery period. It’s now time to enjoy your youthful and refreshed appearance, with or without cosmetics. All post-operative bruising, swelling or incisions should be healed, so it’s also possible to maintain your active lifestyle now.