Facelift Recovery Time

For men and women looking to minimize signs of aging such as wrinkles, facial volume loss or sagging skin, facelifts are a type of procedure that allow for personalized results tailored to address individual needs. Thanks to modern innovations in facelift procedures, patients can expect a more refreshed, youthful appearance with less recovery time. 

A Customized Approach for Your Facelift 

At Schaffer Plastic Surgery, facelifts are among our most commonly performed procedures, and our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Christopher Schaffer, designs facial procedures to match each patient’s unique anatomy, expectations and lifestyle in order to achieve a refreshed, unoperated look.

Following a facelift, most patients can expect to return to their normal daily lives within a few weeks and will see results within this time frame. While factors such as age, health status and type of facelift procedure affect recovery time, it is helpful to know what to expect during your facelift recovery. 

What to Expect During Facelift Recovery

Following your facelift procedure, Dr. Schaffer will provide post-operative instructions, including how to care for incisions and any drains. These instructions will include medication regimen, garment use,  and follow-up appointments. A bandage is placed around the face to help minimize swelling or bruising and drainage tubes are used to remove any excess blood or fluid. Some soreness following surgery can be expected, but most patients can expect a complete recovery after about two weeks. The full effects of your facelift results will become apparent after a few months.

Stages of Facelift Recovery

Throughout the different stages of your recovery, rest is an important part of your body’s natural healing process. It is recommended that patients take one to two weeks off of work and recruit a friend or family member to help out around the house for the first 48 to 72 hours to allow for maximum rest and safety.

The Day of Facelift Surgery

When you arrive home after your surgery, it is common to feel a little unsteady or sleepy as any anesthesia wears off following the procedure. Day one is usually the day when the most pain medication is needed to help manage any discomfort following the procedure. While facelifts are an outpatient procedure and patients are able to return home on the same day, it is important to have someone available to drive you home, and it is helpful to have a friend or family member to help out with daily tasks.

A Few Days After Facelift Surgery

Dr. Schaffer will hold a follow-up visit the day after your surgery, during which time he can change bandages and evaluate the surgical site as well as any swelling. Drains, if utilized, are typically removed during this visit. At this time, Dr. Schaffer will once again go over important post-operative care instructions. A removable support garment is provided with instructions for application and use.  

Over the next few days, rest continues to be important, but after day three most patients begin to feel better and can engage in light movement such as walking around. Bruising and swelling typically peak around the third or fourth day post-surgery and will gradually resolve over the next few weeks. By the end of the first week, most patients are able to move beyond prescription pain medication and can begin to do light activities. 

One Week After Facelift Surgery

During the second week of recovery, swelling and bruising will still be visible and it is common to also experience some tightness, numbness or tingling in the affected areas. By the end of the second week, most patients feel like themselves and are able to return to work and very gentle exercise such as walking. Sutures are typically removed during this time frame.

A Few Weeks After Facelift Surgery

By the time you reach two weeks post-surgery, life should feel relatively normal. Most patients have resumed daily activities at this point and begin enjoying life with their newly rejuvenated appearance. While some lingering numbness, bruising or swelling can last for several weeks, this is typically only noticeable to the patient. The full results of your facelift will continue to become more and more noticeable over the next several months as you go about life with a renewed sense of confidence.

If you are interested in learning more about what to expect from facelift recovery, contact us today. With more information about your unique goals for facelift results, we can provide a more accurate glimpse of how long your recovery will last and what you should expect.