In Toronto, a facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is the leading procedure for delivering dramatic reversal of the signs of aging. The face and neck are arguably your most visible features, and when wrinkles or sagging set in, there are both surgical and non-surgical options to help smooth and treat them. Many of our clients reach a point where injectable and topical solutions no longer have enough power to pull up jowls and crepey skin. When the time is right, they have a consultation with Dr. Cory Torgerson to discuss his customized approach for surgically reversing these changes while ensuring natural, flawless results. Below Toronto facelift recovery is explained week by week.

We’ve provided an overview of the key steps in your recovery so you can plan ahead and meet each part of your journey with confidence. When you’re ready to plan your own facelift in Toronto, you’ll likely have plenty of questions. You might even feel a bit nervous about what to expect after your procedure while you heal. It helps reduce stress and bring peace of mind when our patients have a clear outline for recovery and a realistic timeline for the process. At the Torgerson Clinic, we supply an abundance of step-by-step information covering the days leading up to your procedure and many of the days after, because when our patients are relaxed and happy, so are we.

Dr. Cory Torgerson

Dr. Cory Torgerson

MD, PhD, FRCSC

First, select an unparalleled facial surgery expert. Dr. Cory Torgerson is a very highly skilled and well-trained facial plastic surgeon. He is one of the few facial surgeons in Canada with his FRCSC, MD, and PhD, which means that his education and experience are focused on the head and neck with an abundance of targeted surgical knowledge. Leaders in facelift surgery devote considerable time and attention to innovative techniques and perform hundreds of these procedures each year. There is truly an artistic element to creating desirable facelift results.

Your consultation is the first important step on your journey. Schedule your appointments with top facial surgeons and don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need so that you feel comfortable. You’ll get a good feel for your surgeon’s approach and bedside manner as well as an in-depth look at what your personalized surgery will entail.

Your recovery time and details unique to you will depend somewhat on the precise elements of your surgery, your age, and other health factors.

Where Does Your Procedure Take Place?

Your surgery will take place in stylish Yorkville, downtown Toronto. Dr. Torgerson is one of only a few surgeons with an out-of-hospital premises (OHP) Level 3 facility in the city. Private surgical centres must pass strict inspection by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), and our state-of-the-art facility not only meets but exceeds the provincial standards for quality and safety. If you haven’t undergone a procedure at a private hospital before, you’re going to love the difference. You’ll have devoted, personalized care and attention from expert staff who are hand-picked by Dr. Torgerson. You’ll never have to worry about your procedure being moved for another case or feeling overwhelmed in a stark public environment. Our luxurious and warm accommodations make you feel valued and right at home the moment you step in.

Right After Your Procedure: Day 1

Facelifts in Toronto are performed under general anaesthetic. This means that you’ll likely feel a little dizzy and sleepy when you first wake up. You’ll be able to have a family member or friend close by, and our caring operating room (OR) nurses stay by your side as you recover from anaesthesia and gradually prepare to get up.

It’s completely normal for patients to feel a little nauseous or dizzy during the first few hours, and we’ll provide you with medication and recovery care as needed. You’ll be advised to eat and drink something light and take medication as prescribed.

We’ll help you get up and walk around as soon as you are able to, because this reduces the risk of blood clots, gets your circulation flowing, and will keep you regular too.

Your facial tissue will feel numb for a number of hours because of long-acting anaesthetic, and you’ll be advised about taking additional pain medication and antibiotics throughout the first week. It’s useful to have a family member or recovery support person with you to help track instructions and prescriptions when you feel groggy in the early days.

Tip* Don’t be alarmed if one side of your face bruises or swells more than the other. Each side of your body heals a little differently, and they are rarely symmetric. Do let your surgeon know if you have any concerns, but expect to see some differences between the two sides.

Day 2: You will likely have a follow-up appointment scheduled for the day after your procedure so that Dr. Torgerson can ensure everything is on track and answer any questions. You’ll have your dressings changed, and all instructions for washing and incision care throughout the next week will be reviewed with you.

You may feel tired, and it’s okay to rest and relax, but remember to keep your head and shoulders elevated 30 to 40 degrees to reduce swelling and discomfort. On days 2 and 3, you’ll see puffiness increase. This is expected, as the face is incredibly vascular and sensitive — it often looks far worse than it feels. Most people report that their facelift is not very painful post-op, but the swelling can appear dramatic. Take it easy, continue with your medication, and try to enjoy simple distractions like movies and listening to music.

Days 4 to 6: Patients will often discontinue pain medication at this time and may feel up to light housework, work on a computer, or short walks. The swelling will have peaked and will start to decrease around Day 5. While you’ll likely feel pretty good at this point, it’s too soon for most people to socialize in public or return to a job, because bruising and swelling will still be apparent. A soft compression garment may be worn around the head and chin for the first few weeks.

Toronto Facelift Recovery at 2 Weeks

You’ll be advised to avoid strenuous activity for a minimum of 2 weeks after your procedure. The reason for this is that increasing blood pressure from aerobic exercise or heavy lifting pushes more pressure into all the little blood vessels in your head. Increased swelling and even an elevated risk of bleeding are possible when you spike blood pressure. This is why we recommend propping up the head of your bed and resisting the urge to bend over at all.

Some people find it really challenging to be away from their usual workout routine and the gym, but don’t worry – your body won’t fall completely out of shape in just a few weeks, and your safe healing will be well worth the break.

Throughout the first 2 weeks as your tissue is actively healing, you may feel some strange sensations. Numbness, tingling, or tightness are expected and shouldn’t cause concern, but of course, do let your surgeon know if you’re worried about something you see or feel.

Facelift Recovery: Weeks 3 to 4

Sometime between the end of Week 1 and Week 3, your surgeon will ask you to come for a check-up to remove sutures. Depending on your specific procedure details, you may have little visible stitches behind the ears or at the hairline that are quickly and painlessly removed during this appointment. At weeks 3 to 4, you’ll note a significant improvement in swelling and bruising. It will appear as if it’s almost completely gone, but residual swelling lasts a few more months.

Luckily, at this point in the recovery, it will be only you and your surgeon who can see this subtle inflammation, and you’ll start to show the new, youthful facial contours that you’ve been waiting for. You can get back to everyday life, the gym, and socializing however you please.

You’ll need to continue to protect your face from the sun. That means hats and high-level sunblock. Swollen skin and fresh incisions can react to sunlight and tanning in negative ways. To avoid rashes, hyperpigmentation, and darkened scars, protect your skin vigilantly while healing and throughout the first year.

Your incisions will be completely closed at this point but will likely appear pink, and that’s okay. The long scar maturation process takes roughly 1 year. Dr. Torgerson will advise you if additional topical products or treatments are needed to get your scars looking their faintest.

1 Month After Facelift Surgery

Our clinic takes good care of patients long after the facelift procedure. We’ll schedule you to come back throughout the first year at your convenience so we can track results and ensure that the scars are healing beautifully. You’ll see subtle changes unfold over time. Because the skin is continually renewing itself and adapting, the initial tightness or numbness you may feel will relax, and nerves will be growing and repairing for many months.

As you can see in this guide, the recovery process after a facelift procedure is somewhat personal and can be considered lengthy, but the nature of healing stages means that only the first 2 weeks will disrupt your lifestyle. After that, you’ll need a little extra patience to see your final results revealed, but you’ll be able to return to most activities and your busy life.

We highly recommend booking as much time off as you can manage so that you have a stress-free recovery. This is a great time to ask for help from friends and family with housework, child care, or pet care. Take a much-deserved vacation from work or work from home. The arrangements you make beforehand will go a long way to making logistics easier afterwards, and you’ll even be able to think of downtime like a short staycation instead of an inconvenience to bear.

When you return to life and work healed, you’ll look younger, brighter, and noticeably revitalized, and you’ll feel that way too.

When you’re ready to start planning your own facelift, or if you’re curious and wish to ask more questions, we’re happy to meet with you for a private consultation. Call Dr. Torgerson’s Clinic today, and let’s get you started on your path to rejuvenation.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.
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