What You Need To Know About Facelift Recovery
Deciding to have a facelift is deeply personal. At Southlake Plastic Surgery, our expert surgeons and plastic surgery staff help educate our patients on the facelift process and what to expect with their facelift recovery.
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Keep reading to learn what patients experience in the days, weeks, and months after a facelift in Southlake!
Facelift recovery milestones
A facelift is an extensive plastic surgery procedure that both men and women can undergo when they want to rejuvenate their appearance and look years younger.
The 3-to-4-hour outpatient surgery involves repositioning, lifting, and tightening sagging skin and loose muscles on the face and neck. You can expect about 2 to 3 weeks off work to heal and recover comfortably.
Though it is a very invasive procedure, a facelift is the most effective way to address signs of aging and the results can last over 10 years!
Most patients do not report feeling much pain upon waking up from surgery and rather feel unsteady and sleepy because of the anesthesia. When we discharge you, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home and ideally look after you for the next 5 to 7 days.
We will send you home with detailed care instructions and in bandages.
Days Two and Three
You will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Mason where he will remove the bandages, check the incisions, and evaluate your face. We will likely place you in new bandages and provide additional instructions for care and bandage removal if necessary.
Swelling, bruising, and pain associated with a facelift is at its peak between day two and three following surgery. During this time, it is important to drink lots of fluids and get as much rest as possible. Eat light, vitamin-rich foods that are easy to chew. You may use a cold compress off and on to fight swelling. You should avoid bending over, lifting anything over 10 pounds, anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Ibuprofen), strenuous exercise for two weeks, and absolutely no smoking.
Days Four to Six
During days four through six of your facelift recovery in Southlake, swelling should begin to go down and the face should feel less bruised and stiff. We will remove your stitches and results can start to be seen, despite the swelling and bruising.
Many patients report no longer needing their pain medications and feeling tighter in their face and neck from the procedure. We suggest continuing to sleep with an elevated neck to keep swelling on the decline.
One Week Later
Swelling and bruising will continue declining around the lower face, ears, and neck. Don’t worry if your appearance is not yet symmetrical, as the swelling can be uneven. We suggest beginning light activity around the house to keep healthy blood circulation.
Two Weeks Later
Most of your swelling should be resolved two weeks following your facelift, but some may remain around the ears and sides of the face. Your face or neck may feel itchy (no scratching!), tingly, tight, or numb, which is normal during the healing process.
You can continue to build up light activities and you may wear mineral makeup. At the end of the two week mark, many patients are considering going back to work even though they are still limited to light activity.
One Month & Beyond
Dr. Mason will clear you for all normal activities including work, social activities, travel, and exercise one month into your facelift recovery. Your final results will be clear, with neck and facial contours looking sleeker, smoother, and up to a decade younger! These results will continue to develop, with full results seen after about a year.
Some minor swelling may persist for several months, though this is likely only noticeable by you and most people will not even guess that you’ve had any surgery.
Your facelift can keep you looking years younger for a long time, as long as you take care of your skin with regular treatments at Southlake, use sunscreen religiously, stay healthy, and avoid tobacco.
The results of a facelift are also enhanced by nonsurgical facial procedures which keep the skin healthy and rejuvenated as well as using medical-grade skincare products.
Southlake’s tips for optimal facelift recovery
Follow all care instructions
There is a reason we provide you with extensive facelift recovery instructions – because they work! We help countless patients with facelift recovery and our instructions and tips are essential to follow carefully for a speedy recovery.
Take the proper time to recover
A facelift is a major surgery and needs to be treated that way. You must give yourself proper time at home to heal or you risk complications during recovery. We suggest having a friend or family member stay with you for a week to help you with everyday activities to keep you from overexerting yourself.
Sleep with your head elevated
Adding an extra two or three pillows behind your head will help fluids drain easier and reduce swelling, making recovery time faster. We recommend sleeping on your back with your head elevated 45° to 90° for about two weeks post-surgery.
Drink plenty of water & eat right
Water intake ensures that toxins and waste products are constantly removed from your system. Water also keeps your cells healthy and makes the recovery process quicker and more efficient.
Furthermore, a healthy diet full of protein, vitamins, and minerals aid your cells as well and provide your body with the building blocks it needs to heal.
Stay (moderately) active
Though you should remain mostly homebound during your initial recovery, we do suggest getting up and walking soon after surgery. Walk a few laps around your yard, take a trip to the mailbox, or any other light activities (once or twice a day) that get your blood flowing will help with recovery.
Come to Southlake Plastic Surgery to have all your questions about facelift recovery answered
If you want to take years off your appearance permanently, and you’re able to recover and heal properly, it’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mason and the surgical staff at Southlake Plastic Surgery.
We will evaluate your health, describe the process, and answer your questions!