What to Expect After Your Facelift

What to Expect After Your Facelift


If you are getting a facelift then this a very exciting time in your life – fresher and younger-looking than you’ve felt and looked for years! However, as you undergoing surgery, it’s also important that you take your recovery seriously.

Recovering from surgery can be a lengthy process so make sure to take things very slowly – don’t try and do too much too soon. While you might be very excited about seeing your results rushing things can lead to varying results.

Your recovery from your facelift will depend on a few different things:

  • How healthy you are
  • How well you follow the surgeon’s recovery instructions
  • What type of facelift you have (e.g. mini lift, full facelift, etc.)

How healthy you are and how well you follow the surgeon’s instructions after your procedure will dictate how well your recovery goes. A less invasive facelift, like a mini lift, will mean that you will have a shortened recovery period.

If you are undergoing a full facelift then your recovery process will probably look something like the following…

Right after surgery

Immediately after surgery, you will wake up in the hospital, in a different room than when you underwent your procedure. The general anaesthetic knocks you out completely, so you will have been unaware of undergoing surgery. You’ll feel quite groggy as the anaesthetic wears off, and you may have some pain as the painkillers used leave your system. Don’t worry; you can request more painkillers to help deal with the pain. You’ll usually stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring, and your surgeon will come in the morning to check whether you’re okay to be discharged. You’ll have facial bandages over your face.

Day two

After being discharged from the hospital, you’ll have a partner, friend, or family member drive you home and set you up, so you’re comfy. You should have this support person around for the first few days at least to help you with whatever you need. You’ll have some medicine prescribed by the surgeon to help deal with pain. Your facial bandages might be removed today, or perhaps in the next day or two, along with a drainage tube if it was used during surgery. Keep your head upright and still as much as possible to promote healing.

One to two weeks following surgery

You’ll experience some or all of the following: swelling, bruising, tightness, and numbness. These will generally subside considerably over the first week to two weeks. However, you may have some residual swelling and/or numbness for up to a year after the surgery. You’ll generally have another appointment with the surgeon throughout this time period to see how your progress is going.

Two weeks after surgery

Most people feel comfortable going back to work or light duties at two weeks after having their surgery. If you feel you are not quite ready to go back to work then, by all means, delay your return. You want to feel like you are doing the right thing, so trust yourself.

Three to four weeks after surgery

Around this time is when most people can return to light exercise. You must ensure that you don’t overdo it – very light here is the key. Moderate to vigorous exercise causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, and since we are still in recovery here, it’s important not to get this blood flow to the face. Most of the side effects like swelling, bruising, and tightness should subside considerably be now.

Six weeks after surgery

This is generally when you can return to full exercise again. You should check with your surgeon first to see whether it is advisable for you to return to exercise.

One year after surgery

Your facelift and side effects should be completely settled by now. If you have any ongoing numbness, dry facial skin, or other side effects you should discuss these with your surgeon to see what can be done about it.

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