The face is the most visible part of the body. Unfortunately, it also tends to show the most signs of wear and aging over time. A facelift is one of the most powerful tools in the plastic surgeon’s kit to rejuvenate the aging face. It is able to address sagging, wrinkles and a tired or worn appearance, restoring a more youthful and radiant glow. Before undergoing any surgery, however, it’s essential that patients have a good understanding of not only what the procedure entails but what the recovery involves.
Initial recovery from a facelift will take about one week. For most patients, the pain experienced is mild and can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. Swelling may increase during the first four days or so. It is important during this time to follow your physician’s instructions as far as keeping your head elevated to help control excessive swelling. After about five days, swelling will begin to decrease fairly rapidly.
Some bruising is also common. Generally, patients experience bruising low on the face, along the jaw line. These bruises should mostly dissipate before you return to normal activity, and any bruising that hasn’t disappeared can be covered up with makeup.
You will want to avoid strenuous activity for around three weeks after your operation. This includes exercise, heavy lifting, and any other activity that could cause trauma to your face while it is healing. It is important to follow all post-op instructions to maximize your results.
Most patients will want two weeks off from work to feel fully comfortable being out in public. After two weeks, you should appear mostly normal. A change in hairstyle can help to avoid detection for those who desire to be discrete. For full secrecy, you may want to allow three weeks. At this point, the only remaining side effect you are likely to be experiencing is some mild numbness in your face. This is normal and resolves on its own over the course of 6-9 months.
Despite what predictions surgeons are able to make about what patients will experience following a facelift procedure, the fact remains that all patients are individuals and no two experiences are identical. Be sure to discuss your expectations and concerns with your physician beforehand, and together you can develop a good plan for your recovery. Always inform your physician if you experience any symptoms that seem unusual or cause you concern.
If you are interested in learning more about the facelift, contact renowned facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jessica Kulak of The Naderi Center at 703-481-0002 in Virginia or 301-222-2020 in Maryland for a consultation today.