Recovery From Facelift Surgery: Do’s & Don’ts

Woman in knit cap and sweater looking to the right

If you are considering a facelift, you may be wondering about the recovery time and how to prepare for it. Knowing what you should do during recovery from your facelift—and what you should not —will help set the stage for a smooth post-op experience. 

Before we get to our facelift recovery tips, though, let’s talk a bit about what to expect after your facelift surgery.

What To Expect

Facelift surgery is usually less painful than people anticipate. Many of our patients say they only need prescription pain medication for the first night and then easily manage their discomfort with acetaminophen.

Some of the things you can expect after your lift include the following:

  • Numbness
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Mild to moderate pain

Your face may also feel tight or heavy at first, but that will ease as much of the swelling lessens over the next 10 to 14 days. Most people can return to work after 1 to 2 weeks of recovery. 

With a bit of knowledge of what to do and not do, healing time will be shortened, and discomfort eased.

Things To Do After a Facelift

Your facial plastic surgeon will give you detailed instructions on handling discomfort, caring for your incisions, and supporting your needs during the first few weeks of recovery. Follow those instructions as closely as possible, and be sure to ask questions if you have any. 

Here are a few ways to ensure you enjoy a smooth recovery:

  • Have an adult stay with you for the first 24 hours. They can provide transportation, help with food preparation, and ensure that medications are taken properly and postoperative instructions are followed.
  • Rest with your head at an elevated level to help minimize swelling.
  • Take the medication for pain as recommended by the doctor.
  • Apply cool packs to reduce the swelling and help ease the pain in the surgical area.
  • Wear compression wrap as recommended by the doctor.

Other things you can do to make life easier after your procedure include.

  • Wear clothing that buttons in front, rather than clothing or sweaters that pull over the head.
  • Take short, gentle walks around the house every few hours to keep your blood circulating and promote healing.
  • Follow the instructions on when you can shower and shampoo your hair.
  • Follow all wound care instructions.

In some cases, we recommend certain types of massage to ease swelling. You can learn more about massage during facelift recovery in our related blog post.

A few weeks after your procedure, you can change your hairstyle to hide any remaining remnants of the incisions. Delay parties and social events until you feel and look your confident best; most people find they feel confident attending social events at least 3 to 4 weeks after their procedure. You can see some of our patients excellent results in the Instagram post below:

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Youthful Reflections (@youthful_reflections)

 

Things Not To Do After Facelift Surgery

You will have some activity restrictions after your surgery; these restrictions prevent complications and protect your results. Some of these limitations include:

  • Do not use makeup during the first week after surgery.
  • Avoid applying pressure around the incisions.
  • Restrict physical activity for several days after surgery (other than walking). Avoid bending and lifting heavy objects for about 2 weeks.
  • Do not color or bleach hair for at least 4 weeks.
  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun at the incisions; use a 30-SPF sunscreen or higher.
  • Avoid bumping or hitting your face and neck.

The tightness of the bandage is meant to minimize swelling and bruising. It is usually removed shortly after surgery.

By following these recommendations after your facelift, you will have a shorter recovery time and will feel better more quickly. Try not to skip meals, as good nutrition will aid healing, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. By following these suggestions and the doctor’s orders, you will be on your way to being more beautiful more quickly.

Things To Consider After You’ve Healed

Now that you’ve invested your time in healing, it’s natural to want to enhance, protect, and prolong your facelift results. Many people find that nonsurgical procedures provide just the right touch-up treatment to keep their faces looking vibrant and fresh, such as:

The staff at Youthful Reflections and Dr. Boggess are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your facial procedure. If you’re ready to explore facelift surgery or another facial rejuvenation procedure, please request a consultation or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.

Please note: Individual results may vary, as individuals differ, and results may not be the same for everyone.

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Results

Worth Waiting For

We understand you want your facial plastic surgery right away, but this is an instance where patience pays off. Our surgeries are often booked out a few months because Dr. Boggess:

  • Is highly accomplished, and his services are in demand.

  • Takes his time to ensure outstanding safety, care, and results.

  • Offers personalized techniques that aren’t available elsewhere.

We are worth the wait.

Learn more about why the best facial plastic surgeons are worth the wait, and how you can make the most of that time in this blog post.

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