Getting a facelift is a great way to achieve a youthful look, it also helps you look more contoured and boosts your self-esteem. But, once the surgery is complete, what is the healing process like? Is it painful? How does your face look? Is it a quick recovery process?
These questions are common and your doctor will be able to explain more in your consultation. However, we’ve put together a guide to facelift recovery to show you what life is like after the exciting procedure!
Table of Contents
The First Day
After the procedure is completed, you’ll likely wake up feeling tired and groggy. This is because you’ll be given pain medication during and after the surgery to keep you feeling comfortable. You may also have bandages on, depending on what procedure you had, which can sometimes feel restrictive.
Some patients may also wake up with a drainage tube attached. These are nothing to worry about and they’re used to let any excess fluids drain away from your face and to avoid fluid build-ups.
It’s common for patients to leave either a day after the surgery or in some cases the same day. Make sure you arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up, as they’ll also need to be present when you get your facelift recovery instructions.
The first day after the procedure isn’t the most pleasant, but you’ll be given pain medication to remove any discomfort and it’s worth it for the refreshing results of the surgery!
A Few Days After
After the first couple of days, you’ll feel slight discomfort, but you shouldn’t be in any significant pain. Take your prescribed pain medication when you need to and consult your doctor if you feel you need to.
Facial swelling and bruising are expected in the stage of the healing process and you won’t be able to see the final results of the surgery yet. Though this may feel frustrating, the waiting is worth it! Some patients also experience tightness around their neck, but this is also a normal reaction. In the procedure, your skin (and sometimes fat and muscle too) has been altered so your face needs time to rest.
Make sure you’re relaxed in this period as any excess movement should be avoided. You’ll be able to move around your home, but it’s advised to have someone there with you to help with cooking and cleaning. Slow walks are encouraged to promote healing but don’t exert too much energy as this can inhibit healing.
You may have an appointment during this first week after surgery to remove stitches or draining tubes, always make sure you attend this appointment!
One Week Post-Op
For most facelift recipients, one-week post-op is the time they can stop taking pain medication. At this point, you’ll be feeling better and you’ll be able to be more active when you’re at home. Any light exercise like walking is advised, but you should still avoid intense exercise.
Bruising and swelling will still be apparent one week after surgery, and this often puts people off going outside. It’s important to be patient and persevere through this stage as your final results are nearly here and any swelling will go down soon. You can use cool compresses on your face, but you must not apply any heat to incisions or your face.
Make sure you’re still following any post-op advice as these routines matter a week after surgery. For example, keep sleeping with your head elevated to reduce swelling and stay hydrated. If you’ve stopped taking any pain medication you’ll be able to start driving again if needed.
Two Weeks Post-Op
After two weeks of recovery, you’ll be able to return to work if your job isn’t physically demanding. The two-week mark shows that you’ve made it through the toughest period, so well done! Not long until you can see your results.
You may still have slight swelling or bruising, but it should be less than straight after the surgery. If you’re worried about your face, always contact your doctor to be safe. If you’ve been advised not to take regular medication (such as blood thinners or aspirin), you should be able to start taking them again now – but always check with a medical professional first.
A Month After
Once you hit the month mark, congratulate yourself! You’ve made it through the toughest parts of the recovery process and you can now get back to any exercise routines or moderate lifting jobs.
You will most likely be able to go out in public without using makeup to cover bruising, as any swelling should be gone now. There may be areas of isolated swelling, however, it will be minimal and nothing to worry about. Any tightness or tingling in your skin is generally nothing to worry about either.
Keep checking in with your body to ensure your healing is progressing well. If anything seems wrong or painful it’s important to consult a doctor to figure out why!
General Healing Tips
If you want a quick overview of healing tips keep reading. These are the most important actions to take to promote healing after the procedure!
- Try to keep your head elevated at all times, even when you’re asleep.
- Stay hydrated.
- Eat a balanced diet with multivitamins and protein.
- Make sure incisions are dry and clean.
- Protect your face from direct sunlight.
- Apply any ointments or medications suggested by your surgeon.
How Can Beautifi Help?
Though you need to take a few weeks to rest after a facelift procedure, the facial results are worth the wait! The healing period isn’t too painful and your doctors will supply you with relevant medication to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible when recovering. Hopefully, this guide has helped you, but remember to ask your doctor any specific questions if needed.
The Beautifi team is always here to help when choosing a surgeon or financially planning for a cosmetic procedure. Learn how our process works or fill out an application to start your procedure journey!