The facelift remains the gold standard in facial rejuvenation and achieving your youngest, most refreshed self. This makes it an excellent option for achieving your cosmetic goals, but it’s common to have questions about your recovery period. If you’re wary about undergoing surgery— especially when it comes to your face— then it can be helpful to know what to expect.
The truth is that each patient is unique and there are a lot of different factors that go into determining your specific recovery timeline. That’s why I’ll make sure you understand your specific steps and outcomes based on the facelift procedure we create together. Here’s a common recovery timeline I often provide my patients so they can begin planning accordingly for a successful facelift recovery.
During this phase, your main goal should be taking care of your incisions and preventing infections.
Because the facelift requires anesthesia, you’ll be sleepy and groggy after your surgery. This means you’ll need to have a close friend or family member bring you home. You’ll likely feel the most discomfort your first day, so you should take pain medications to stay on top of it. Our team will ensure you have these filled and ready to go for your recovery.
You’ll return to our office for a follow-up with me where we’ll remove your dressings and take a look at how your incisions are healing. You can expect a lot of swelling and redness, so we’ll review your postoperative care steps and re-dress your incisions for the time being.
Although you should continue resting, it’s normal to feel well enough to get up and move around a bit. Take this at a slow pace and listen to your body. Most swelling and bruising will peak at this point, but it can take much longer for it to subside fully. If you still have discomfort, take your pain medications as needed.
You likely won’t need any prescription painkillers at this point. You’ll see swelling continue to go down and will feel more comfortable going about light tasks around the house.
You can still expect some swelling and bruising around your incisions, and some people even experience symptoms like tightness, tingling, or numbness. These aren’t usually cause for concern and will continue to subside over the course of your recovery. At the end of week 2, most people feel ready to return to work and go for a walk, although it’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable returning to public yet.
At this point, your sutures (if used) will have been removed, although this can happen earlier based on your progress. You’ll still have some residual swelling during these two weeks, but things will look and feel much better. You’ll begin to see real anti-aging improvements at this point and might even feel well enough to return to your exercise regimen. Your incisions may look a bit pink or reddish, but most people won’t be able to tell you’ve had a procedure at this point.
You’ll likely be back to your normal self and lifestyle after 30 days, but it’s common for minor swelling, bruising, and tightness to still be present at this point. These things fade over time, so it’s important to be patient! At this point, you can follow up with us to explore your options for maintaining your results through skincare treatments or products so you get many more years out of your investment.
The facelift is one of the best ways to turn back the clock for a refreshed, rejuvenated you. I’m excited to discuss more about your options for a facelift during a consultation, so please contact our Burlington practice by calling or filling out our online form.