Facelift Recovery Timeline
Posted on: January 19th, 2018
By: The Office of North Shore Aesthetics
After wondering what results they can expect from a facelift, many patients are concerned about the recovery experience. Facelift surgery is a major procedure that requires some downtime for the body to heal. While every individual is unique, and various facelift techniques can lead to different recovery experiences, the average facelift patient can expect the following for the recovery timeline:
After your surgery, you will be sent home to rest and recover. A bandage will be wrapped around your head and neck. The bandage is a bit bulky and can be a little uncomfortable. The bandage is kept on for the first night, and it is removed the first day after surgery. Any initial discomfort and swelling can be controlled with oral medications and cold compresses.
1 to 3 Days After Surgery
The day after your facelift, your initial bandage will be removed, and a much lighter bandage will be applied. It is imperative that you let yourself rest and encourage your body to heal. Discomfort, swelling, and bruising may appear to worsen, but all of these side effects are temporary. Rest and downtime accompanied by a healthy diet will give your body the tools it needs to recover well and quickly.
1 Week After Surgery
During the first week after your surgery swelling, bruising and discomfort will begin to subside. The skin will feel a bit numb, and this will take several months for normal sensation to return. Continued use of medications and cold compresses should minimize some of these side effects. Patients typically look OK after the first week and very good by the end of the second week.
10 to 14 Days After Surgery
By 10 to 14 days after surgery (if not sooner), you should be able to return to work. Bruising and swelling will continue to diminish, but some numbness and dry skin may persist for several weeks or months. Your sutures from the surgical incisions will dissolve. Make-up may be worn at this time.
2 to 3 Weeks After Surgery
After two to three weeks, you will be feeling mostly normal and ready to return to your natural lifestyle and activities. While you can resume most activities, you should continue to avoid strenuous physical activities for a few more weeks so that your body can continue to heal. Even though swelling and bruising may continue, they should not draw unwanted social attention or interfere with your ability to function normally. Continued numbness is normal and will dissipate as healing progresses.
The Following Weeks and Months
With the initial recovery behind you, you will be able to fully resume normal activities as your tissues continue to heal. A moisturizer can be used to correct dry skin once your tissues have healed enough. Your surgical results will improve for six to eight months. Scarring should heal inconspicuously and will gradually fade over time.