There are a number of temporary procedures that you can choose for your face that show an instant – or nearly instant – result, such as Botox and fillers. Recovery time varies between procedures, however, we will be covering facelift recovery time and tips and tricks to make a full and quick recovery. If you’ve seen a lot of those or had them yourself, it’s easy to imagine that a facelift recovery will be similar. However, a facelift is a very different kind of procedure. It’s a surgery, so it’s more invasive and involves more recovery time, for one thing. For another thing, you don’t necessarily see the results immediately. This is somewhat tied to the invasiveness of the procedure and the recovery from it – you’re going to have to wait for the swelling to go down and other surgical wounds to heal before you can really reap the benefits of the procedure. How long it takes to fully recover from the surgery depends on the person, but most people go through most of the healing process and begin to see results in the first month. Take a look at what you need to know about facelift recovery and what you can expect to see in the first 30 days.
First Week of Facelift Recovery
The first week is when you’ll need the most support, so you should have plans to stay in a recovery facility or surround yourself with family or friends who are willing to help out. On day one of your facelift recovery, you won’t be able to drive yourself home from the surgery facility. You will need to make arrangements for that. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication and you’ll need it most during the first few days.
You’ll have a follow-up visit with your surgeon around the second day, and at this time they’ll want to see that things are progressing as they should. As long as your incisions and swelling look normal, the surgeon will redress them, go over post-operative care with you again, and that will be it.
Your bruising and swelling will probably reach their peak halfway through the week. Rest as much as you can – surgery, no matter how safe, successful, or minor – is always a shock to the body. You need sleep, rest, and time in order to recover and reacclimatize to normal. Toward the end of the first week of your recovery, you’ll want to move around more, and for most people, the pain subsides to the point that they no longer need prescription-strength painkillers. Prescription painkillers can be addictive and dangerous, so use them responsibly and under the supervision of your doctor.
During the second week of facelift recovery, rest is still important. You’ll still have bruising and swelling, though these will begin to lessen during this time. Once again, recovery time varies, but the more rest and recovery time that you can give yourself, the better
You might experience symptoms of tightness, numbness, and tingling in addition to swelling and bruising. These are common post-surgical symptoms for facelift recovery patients and not a cause for undue concern. On the other hand, if you experience symptoms like fever, bleeding, substantial pain that is increasing, pus from the incision site, or swelling on only one side of the face, these are symptoms that should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.
By the end of the second week, you should be able to handle light activities and feeling more like your usual self. It’s at this point during facelift recovery that many patients feel comfortable making plans to return to work or resume their usual activities.
By now, you should be having your sutures removed, if you haven’t already. This can happen anywhere from the first to the third week depending on the specific procedure you had and your doctor’s protocols. While your sutures might have looked bunched or puckered at first, they should be settling down now. They may remain pink or red for some time. Keep in mind when you go outside that scars need extra protection from the sun and may become permanently discolored when allowed to burn in the sun.
You should be feeling better by now. The facelift recovery process varies greatly from person to person. Some people may still have some swelling and tightness, while others may not have many visible markers of their surgery left. But either way, you should be feeling up to resuming regular exercise (take your time, though – when you’ve taken time off, it’s safer to start slow and work your way up) and any normal activities that you’ve been putting off, and if you’ve been waiting to be seen, you should be able to go out into public now without it being obvious that you’ve had a facelift.
These last two weeks are an important part of the healing process. This is where recovery becomes speedier than it was in the beginning. Sometime in the fourth week, you should be able to see the shape of your new and improved face. It may not be perfect yet, but you’ll still be able to see what it was that you had this done for in the first place.
Tips for Your Facelift Recovery
It can take up to a year to fully recover from facelift surgery, but much of the work is done in these first 30 days. There’s very little you can do to make your facelift recovery faster – much of that comes down to the natural healing process. This takes time, and your own body’s processes, which may work faster or slower depending on many factors. You can make your facelift recovery smoother and reduce your chance of complication by following some simple tips:
- Listen to your doctor’s recommendations – This should be a no-brainer. Your doctor knows your medical history, your exact procedure, and your symptoms. They have the best handle on what you should be doing to take care of yourself.
- Drink lots of water – Hydration is important all of the time for many reasons. Your skin always benefits from being well hydrated. And after surgery, dehydration can be a major concern and even a reason for readmittance to the hospital.
- Rest – It’s mentioned in the earlier weeks, and your doctor will mention it in his post-surgical recommendations, but it’s always worth reiterating. Your body heals when you rest. And when you don’t rest enough, the consequences for your skin can be bad, even when you’re not recovering from a facelift.
Our professionals at Pearl Recovery Retreat can help you plan a healthy facelift recovery after your surgery.