Facelift Recovery Guide
Whether you’ve already decided that you want a facelift or you’re just considering surgery, it’s important to have some idea of the recovery process. Every patient, and every surgery, can be unique in some respects, but most patients are able to make it through the recovery process quickly and without great discomfort.
In general, patients are able to resume their usual daily routines – with the exception of strenuous exercise – within two weeks and will be ready to be seen in public within four weeks. The healing process will take even longer than this, however.
What can you expect at each stage of the recovery process?
Getting a Head Start
Even before your surgery, there are things you can do to help ensure your recovery goes smoothly. You’re going to have to limit your activities for a couple of weeks, and everything you can do ahead of time to prepare for this will make your days more comfortable and less stressful.
- Someone to help you – If you are heading home on the day of your surgery, you should have someone take you home and stay with you. You may still be groggy or disoriented to some extent and you could feel dizzy or faint if you get up to walk.
- Preparing your home – It’s smart to think about where you’ll be spending time when you get home from the hospital. You’ll need to keep your head elevated to prevent excessive swelling in your face. Do you have a recliner? Do you have everything you need to keep your head comfortably elevated in your bed? What kinds of items would you want to have within reach, and how could they be arranged so they are easily accessible?
- Having the right clothing – You don’t want to wear anything that you have to pull over your head. Have enough comfortable clothes nearby to get you through the first days.
- Food – In the early stages of your recovery, you should not eat foods that require heavy chewing. If you’re not going to have someone around to cook for you, you may want to do some cooking in advance and have soft food that can be reheated on hand.
The Day of Surgery
When you awake, you will have wrapping around your head. You may also have some tubes to help drain liquid that can build up in the area of the surgery.
While it’s not likely that your pain will be excessive, this will be the day you are most likely to feel uncomfortable. You will be given a prescription for a medication that is appropriate for you and for the specific procedure you have received.
The First Few Days After Your Facelift
Swelling and bruising are common, and a normal part of the healing process, during the first few days after a facelift. Some areas of your face may seem to be more swollen than others, and this is not a cause for concern.
You should keep activities as low-key as you can. If you can have another person to help you, so much the better. Some amount of movement is beneficial – i.e, gentle, slow movement. At this point, you’re not ready for jogging or any other form of exertion that rises to the level of moderate or above.
You may have an appointment to change your bandage or remove drainage tubes or stitches.
One to Two Weeks After Your Facelift
If you are still taking pain medication, you should be ready to stop using it at this time. You can increase your activity somewhat, but you should still avoid strenuous exercise. You will still see bruising and swelling, which can be helped with the application of cool compresses. You should continue to sleep with your head elevated, and may have additional instructions from your surgeon.
At two weeks, the most challenging period of your recovery is behind you. Unless your job involves strenuous physical labor, you can return to work.
It’s common for patients to begin to go out in public at this point. There may still be swelling that is visible to you, but others are not likely to notice it. You should be able to use some makeup to cover bruising (if any).
One to Two Months After Your Facelift
At one month, you’re well through your recovery, but you are not quite ready to resume strenuous exercise. Most of your swelling and bruising should be gone. After two months, the rejuvenation that you sought from your procedure should be evident. You can resume any activities that you enjoyed before your surgery.
Ensuring a Smooth Recovery for Los Angeles Facelift Patients
The real secret to a smooth, complication-free recovery from a facelift is choosing the right surgeon. Dr. Shervin Aminpour is a board-certified Los Angeles facial plastic surgeon with both the experience necessary to prescribe the exact surgical approach that will help you meet your aesthetic goals and the skill to execute every procedure at the highest standards. Schedule a consultation, and discover how you can achieve the refreshed, youthful appearance that brings more joy and confidence to your life.