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Over time, the effects of aging eventually catch up to us, causing our skin to lose elasticity and facial tissue to lose volume.
These changes weigh down on the face, making you look older than you really are. A facelift procedure can reposition the soft tissues of the face and neck to restore a tighter and more youthful appearance.
Many prospective facelift patients are concerned about the recovery process. How long will my facelift recovery take? What does it entail? Well, below is a step by step guide to help you know what to expect during a typical facelift recovery period.
After Surgery to Two Days
Following your surgery, you will experience some discomfort and need some pain medication to keep you comfortable. Swelling and bruising are substantial at this point, but this is normal and shouldn’t have you worried. You may also feel tightness in the neck. It’s great to arrange for support from friends and family to drive you home and help around the house.
You will likely have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to evaluate your incisions and swelling or remove/change your surgical dressings. Patients are encouraged to follow the post-operative instructions given by the surgeon, as this makes a significant difference in the outcome.
After a week of recovery, most people no longer need pain medication. The swelling and bruising should start to subside, and you may feel better and want to move around some more.
At this point, patients can engage in light activities/housework but should refrain from strenuous activities. You will still be sleeping with your head elevated to reduce swelling and promote healing.
You will likely have some swelling and bruising around the affected areas, but this should be minimal at the two-week mark. Sensations like tingling of the skin can also be expected, considering your face is healing.
Removal of your sutures may occur anytime from the end of the first week, but this will depend on the specific procedure performed and healing progress. Your incision sites may have a pinkish-red hue, but this should fade with time. By the end of the second week, most people will be feeling like themselves and can return to work and light duties.
At this point, you are certainly through the hardest part. Residual swelling and tightness may still linger, but you will be looking and feeling good for the most part. Your new and improved facial contour will be more apparent.
Patience is critical during recovery. You will not see the final results of your cosmetic procedure until after a couple of months—usually two to six months after surgery. Therefore, if you are planning for a facelift, a little preparation can go a long way in helping you commit to the time needed for a full recovery.