Face Lift Recovery Time
Face lift surgery can significantly improve the signs of aging in the face and neck by removing excess skin, reducing wrinkles, and increasing firmness in the skin.
For a facelift surgery, your surgical coordinator will provide you with all the necessary surgical documentation. This includes information on your medications as well as pre-operative and post-operative instructions on how to prepare for surgery with important details on how to manage recovery after surgery.
More About Face Lift Recovery Time
The surgical package is an important part of the recovery phase for patients, as it gives them essential information in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Pre-and post-op instructions are also beneficial for post-surgical symptom management such as:
- Medication to avoid before and after surgery
- Healing and wound care instructions
- Nutritional information to promote healing
- Safety information on the resumption of physical exercise
- Information on improving on swelling and bruising
The healing phases after a facelift can be broken down into 3 general stages. Below we discuss what patients can expect at each stage of healing.
First Week of Recovery
Immediately after surgery, patients are required to have a caregiver for the first 24 hours after discharge from the surgical facility.
- It’s completely normal for people to feel discomfort, drowsiness, and tiredness during the first few days after surgery.
- Some people may experience nausea from the pain medication. This can be managed with the help of your plastic surgeon, who can prescribe you anti-nausea medication.
- Patients are advised to get up and walk around to promote blood circulation.
- It is very important for patients to follow the specific recommended time intervals with their medications to help manage pain or discomfort in the face, neck, or ears.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed for the first week after surgery to prevent infection.
- Patients should not be alarmed if one side of their face is healing slower than the other. That is normal and can be expected.
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2 – 3 Weeks After Facelift Surgery
Follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon will be required to remove sutures and staples and to monitor the progress of recovery after your procedure.
- It is normal to experience some persistent bruising and swelling into the second week of recovery.
- Patients may feel unusual sensations like tingling, burning, and numbness as the body recovers from the effects of surgery.
- By the third week, most patients recover from most of the swelling and bruising. However, isolated areas of mild bruising and swelling are normal.
- Most patients will experience the feeling and the appearance of tightness in their skin and in and around their incision lines from the procedure. That is normal and expected.
- Patients can start wearing makeup to cover up any remaining bruising and redness (not directly on top, but around) the incision lines at this stage of recovery.
1 Month After Surgery
At 1 month, most patients find that they are well enough to get back to their “normal” life.
- There may be puckering of the skin around the suture lines, which will flatten out in the next few months.
- Most people can resume their normal daily and professional activities with special care to not participate in overly strenuous activities.
Light exercise is permissible.
- Patients must take great care to not expose their new suture lines directly to the sun, as the new skin is prone to darkening and premature aging from the sun.
- Patients can freely wear makeup on the incision lines.
- Scar healing takes about 1 year but will continue to improve daily.
Call Your Plastic Surgeon if You Experience any of the Following
- Unusual bulges on the face or neck
- High fever after your procedure
- Reopening of any incisions
- Pain or irritation at incision lines that doesn’t progressively improve
- Any oozing or fluids released from the incisions
Patients can optimize their face lift plastic surgery results by getting plenty of rest, following recommended doses and times of medications, and ensuring that they consume plenty of water and nutritious foods to allow their body to recover from the effects of surgery.
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