Taking some time to familiarize yourself with the facelift recovery process and what you can expect after a facelift will help you to stay relaxed and confident going into your procedure. While your recovery will vary depending on what type of facial plastic surgery you’re getting, these are some general guidelines to keep in mind to help you prepare.
1. Expect to Have Some Down Time
Facelifts and other facial plastic surgeries like brow lifts, neck lifts, eyelid lifts and nose jobs do require some down time to give your body a chance to rest and recover. After a facelift, plan on taking it easy for about a week. Starting around week two, you should be able to drive and start getting back to your normal daily activities, including heading back to work if you choose to. You’ll still need to limit your physical activity for the first 4 to 6 weeks, avoiding heavy lifting and intense workouts.
Stay in touch with your plastic surgeon during your facelift recovery process so you have a better idea of when you might be able to introduce a new level of physical activity into your routine.
2. You’ll See Some Bruising and Swelling
Don’t be alarmed if your face looks a bit worse before it starts to look better. The face is a delicate area, so bruising and swelling are very common after these types of cosmetic procedures. But the good news is that bruising and swelling should gradually subside over the next few weeks, so you’ll start to see the beginnings of your final outcome as these side effects improve.
There are some things you can do to help minimize bruising and swelling, including:
- Avoiding blood-thinning medications and supplements
- Talking to your plastic surgeon about supplements like arnica
- Eating pineapple, which contains bromelain
- Wearing a supportive garment if instructed by your plastic surgeon
- Keeping your head elevated
- Applying cold compresses, but never directly to the skin
3. Ease Back in Slowly
Recovery after plastic surgery isn’t a race, so be sure to listen to your body and take things slow at first. If you’re uncomfortable or in pain when doing a certain activity, you may need to take a step back and give your body some more time to heal. The more patient you can be during your recovery, the smoother the process will go and the better the results you’ll see.
4. Be Ready for Gradual Results
In the same vein, your results aren’t going to appear overnight, so don’t get discouraged if your face doesn’t look exactly like you’d hoped right away. Bruising and swelling can last for several weeks after facial plastic surgeries, so don’t expect to see your final outcome until those effects have completely diminished.
It can take anywhere from about 6 to 12 months to see your full facelift results.
Most people look about ten years younger after getting a facelift.
5. Everyone Will Recover at Their Own Pace
Researching what to expect after a facelift will give you a good idea of how long it might take to recover, but keep in mind that everyone is going to have a unique experience. Many different factors can influence how quickly you might recover from surgery, including genetics, age, skin quality and diet. Be patient and give your body the time it needs to rest and recuperate so you can see the best possible results.
Dr. David Dellinger at Elysian Plastic Surgery in Austin is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who maintains a practice focus on body contouring surgery, breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation.