What to Expect While Recovering from a Facelift
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A facelift can help to restore a youthful appearance by tightening loose or sagging skin and the underlying connective tissue layer. Dr. Angelchik has many years of experience performing this procedure and understands the healing process well. While the specifics will vary from patient to patient, there is a basic timeline that can help most understand what to expect from recovery.
The day of your facelift surgery, you will require care from a family member or friend, or you may stay overnight in a recovery facility. If you have outpatient surgery and are going home, you will need a driver and a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours postoperatively. You will have prescriptions for pain medication, antibiotics, and to prevent nausea. Keeping your head elevated and applying ice packs to the face are paramount during the early postop period.
Dr. Angelchik will check on you the next day in the office or at the recovery facility. During this appointment, he will check on your progress and evaluate your surgical areas for any problems.
Two days after surgery most patients find that bruising and swelling are at their worst. At this point, you should continue taking any prescribed medication to ease discomfort. Dressings and drains ( if present) will be removed, and you will learn how to perform routine cleaning and treatment of your incisions with antibiotic ointment.
For the fourth through the sixth days after your facelift, most patients no longer require medication. At this stage, swelling begins to subside. Sutures are removed typically at 6 days after surgery.
Through the second week of healing, some swelling and bruising persists. It’s typical to feel a numb, tingling, or tightening sensation through your face at this time as well.
After the second week, most patients are able to return to work and light activity such as walking or household chores.
There is typically some residual swelling, but at this point, there will be a noticeable visual improvement. Most patients can return to all of their normal activity, including exercise routines, during the third and fourth weeks. Your incision sites are likely to be slightly pink at this point.
After the one-month mark, patients can see their results. Complete healing after any surgery for an adult takes about a year. Numbness in the cheek areas may last up to six months following a facelift. But after six weeks, patients will not look like they just had surgery to the casual observer. Taking good care of your skin will help preserve your facelift results. This includes following a medical-grade skincare program and potentially using some energy-based devices to maintain skin tightening as time progresses if indicated. These would include Accutite and/ or Morpheus8 bipolar radiofrequency treatments.
To see examples of final results, browse the before-and-after pictures of Dr. Angelchik’s clients.