I’m 8 weeks post-op from a facelift and I still have significant swelling. When can I expect this to fade?
Everyone heals at different rates, depending on their individual factors and the extent of their facelift and adjunctive procedures. In most patients, the majority of the swelling after a facelift typically resolves by three months, but this can vary. The initial swelling and bruising is usually at its height 48-72 hours after surgery. By two weeks most patients have little remaining bruising and should be able to be out and about and return to non strenuous work. It is not uncommon to have swelling in the cheeks and firm areas that can last for several weeks to months, but this should steadily improve over time. Swelling can also fluctuate with prolonged positional changes, with slight worsening in the morning after sleeping all night with improvement during the day. Patients with medical problems, previous facelifts, smoking, and diabetes can also extend the healing process with a slower resolution of their swelling. Furthermore, if additional procedures such as browlifts, mid-face lifts, eyelid lifts, chemical peels or laser resurfacing were performed at the same time as the facelift, swelling can sometimes be exaggerated and take longer to resolve.
-Dr. Jessica Kulak