Having a timeline showing what to expect from facelift recovery and how to follow the postoperative directions of your surgeon, will greatly influence the results of your facelift procedure. We’ve prepared an example of a one-month recovery plan for patients of facelift surgery.
The medical term for a facelift is rhytidectomy and is normally desired by those that are showing signs of getting older. Wrinkles, skin that is sagging, or the appearance of “jowls” would be issues that could be addressed with a facelift procedure.
Taking care of yourself properly during facelift recovery is a very important part of achieving the more youthful appearance you desire. When considering having a facelift procedure it is important to understand the entire process surrounding the surgery and recovery to ensure you achieve your aesthetic goals. Each individual is unique and so recovery times vary. The type of procedure, age of the patient, and their overall health are all factors in recovery time.
Facelift Recovery: The First Seven Days
Throughout your recovery, It is very important that you keep your incision site(s) clean and dry according to the directions provided to you by your surgeon.Day 1
You will need a family member or a friend to take you home and take care of you for at least the first night as you will not be able to drive, The first day tends to be one of the most uncomfortable days after surgery and you will most likely need to take the pain medication prescribed to you.
Usually, you will have a follow-up visit on the second day to look over how your incisions are healing and check for swelling. They may change your dressings and talk with you further about your aftercare routine at home. You will most likely need to continue taking your pain medication to alleviate discomfort. Day 3-4
These days are “rest days” and taking it easy is what you need to do. You may be feeling a bit better and can move around a little but do not overdo it The post-surgery swelling and bruising usually looks the worst these days but do not worry, it will be worth it. You may still wish to take the pain medication on these days if you are feeling discomfort.
You will continue to see swelling and bruising for several weeks but it will continue to get better. By this point, most people are not experiencing discomfort levels that warrant their prescribed pain medication so you can discontinue use if you desire. If you are feeling more comfortable and are up to it, you can do some light tasks around the house.
The Next Seven Days
This second week, you may feel some tingling, numbness, and tightness that can be caused by swelling and bruising. All of these things are completely normal after facelift surgery so you do not need to worry. By the end of this second week, you may feel more like yourself and feel ready to begin doing some light activity. Many are ready to return to their jobs.
The Final Fifteen Day Stretch
During the second half of the month, you should start feeling and looking like yourself again. You may have already had your stitches removed or this might be when you are getting to that step. It depends on the extent of your facelift surgery.
You may still have a bit of tightness and swelling but these should be much improved. Normally, with the swelling subsiding, patients can start to see some results from their surgery. It will also be much less obvious to others that you have had surgery.
You most likely can get back to your daily activities and exercise. Your incision sites will most likely be pinkish-red but with time they will fade.
Day 30 and Beyond
Now you have reached the one-month mark since you have had your facelift surgery. You should be enjoying your new look and resuming your normal daily activities. Keep in mind, it may take up to a year for some of the minor postoperative swelling, numbness, bruising, and tightness to completely go away. In most cases, these are very minor and you are the only one who would notice them.
Please note that this information is meant to be a general overview and timeframe and that each patient will be unique. Patients that understand the overall process, take precautions and closely follow post-operative instructions from the surgeon normally recover quicker and with the desired results. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to communicate with your surgeon regarding any questions you may have or if you are experiencing any symptoms out of the ordinary.
If you are considering a facelift procedure, we would love to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with you to ensure you achieve your desired aesthetic outcome.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer facelift surgery for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and other surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.