Recovery is perhaps the most important part of your surgery as it will affect how quickly you return to your normal life and how happy you will be with your overall results. Here is what you can expect during the recovery process and how you can get the most out of your investment.
Depending on the type of facelift, the healing or recovery time is between one week and several weeks. After a standard facelift, patients can expect to return to work after ten days to two weeks.
What to Expect:
Day 1-7 After Surgery
- After surgery, your head and face will be bandaged to reduce both swelling and bruising. A drainage tube may be inserted behind your ear to prevent blood from pooling under the skin.
- Have a caretaker to take care of your meals, etc. for the first 24 hours.
- After 1 or 2 days after surgery, you should feel fine to move around the house.
- Swelling or bruising should peak around day 3 or 4 and then slowly get better from there.
- Medication is usually prescribed, including pain medication (for soreness in your neck, ears or face) and to avoid infection and to promote healing.
- Having more swelling on one side of the face than the other is normal.
What is not normal: If you notice that one side of your face is significantly more swollen than the other or if you have a high fever, contact your doctor.
- Any bruising or swelling is still normal during this time. This includes either side of your face and neck or both. You may also experience this under your eyes or behind your ears as well. Bruising may cause tingling, burning and other sensations, which is also normal.
- Light activities are recommended to maintain energy levels.
- Staples are generally removed around this time (one week post surgery).
- Although some people still avoid being in public during this time, makeup can be applied in a way that makes any bruising very discrete.
- Incisions will begin to improve during week 3 and 4. Most people feel comfortable returning to work at this time.
- You will start to look and feel your best.
- You can begin to return to your normal activities, like exercise, but ensure that activities aren’t too strenuous.
- Some swelling is still normal and will improve over time. Incisions may temporarily turn pink or red.
- Keep Head Elevated and Immobile Post-Surgery. Take care not to move your head too much for the first few days after your surgery.
- Keep Incisions Dry. Ensure that you keep wounds dry until you receive further notice from your doctor.
- Rest. To ensure that you heal properly, get adequate rest. However, do not lie in bed all day as this can have the opposite effect.
- Light Activity Can be Beneficial. Light walking and stretching and ensuring that you move your body daily can promote healing.
- Avoid Strenuous Activity for at Least Two Weeks. Activities such as vigorous exercise, heavy housework and sexual activity should be avoided for two weeks.
- Avoid Alcohol, Saunas and Steam Rooms.
The recovery after a facelift procedure takes a little patience and care, but at the end of that time, you’ll emerge a whole new you.