When you’re choosing a facelift, it’s common to have some concerns about the recovery process. Most of my patients have questions about when they’ll look “normal” after the surgery. While swelling, redness, or bruising look slightly different for everyone, there is a general timeline for recovery that most patients will experience after a facelift.
The first week of your recovery after a facelift is the most challenging, but I will offer pain medication to keep you comfortable and give you specific instructions to help avoid any complications. On the first day, you will be groggy and unsteady due to anesthesia, and will need to have a friend or family member to take care of you and drive you home from the procedure. Typically, we will schedule a follow-up appointment for the day after your procedure, so I can check in on swelling, incisions, and dressings. By the third day, you should be feeling more comfortable, and many patients begin to take less pain medication by this time. However, swelling and bruising tend to be at their peak on days three and four. By the end of the week, you should be comfortable without any medication, and swelling on both your face and neck should begin to subside.
During the second week, you should be feeling much better but will still see swelling and some bruising around the face. Skin tightness, tingling, or numbness in your face are all normal at this stage. If these sensations feel more extreme, you can call me to check on your healing progress. By the end of week two, you should feel comfortable doing some light exercise like walking or easy activities like preparing meals.
By weeks three or four, all of your sutures should be removed. Some patients will have sutures removed earlier, but this depends on the extent of the surgery and the rate at which they are healing. Through these weeks, you will still feel some skin tightness, but it should be improving gradually. Swelling will persist but be much less noticeable. By the ends of weeks three and four, you can return to your normal exercise routine again. You might notice some redness at the incision sites, which is the last stage of healing.
By the end of the first month, all side effects from your facelift should be resolved and you will be able to see your final results. While you might feel some lingering skin tightness or numbness or see very faint bruising or swelling, these won’t be noticeable to anyone else. At this stage, you can enjoy your facelift results and feel confident!
The best way to stay on-track with a fast recovery is to follow my instructions for the healing process closely and maintain your overall health. Sticking to a healthy and balanced diet and exercising regularly will help you maintain a healthy BMI and blood pressure. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco throughout the recovery process. You can also take some supplements, such as vitamin C, calcium, or potassium, to optimize your health through the recovery process. During your consultation, I’ll review some tips to help make your recovery as easy as possible.
To schedule your facelift consultation, call Mountain Lake Plastic Surgery at (802) 231-4284 or contact us online.