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What is the recovery time after a facelift?

What is the recovery time after a facelift?

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initial facelift recovery is around two weeks for a return to light activities, the first month sees the biggest improvements in swelling and bruising, and most patients are back to normal around 6 weeks post surgery as numbness dissipates and they can resume all regular activities. Complete healing often takes 6 months.

The facelift recovery timeline is:

Week 1 

  • Swelling and bruising peaks at around 3-5 days after surgery. Face will look puffy..
  • Bandages and facial dressings are removed within a week.
  • Pain and discomfort is moderate but controlled by medication.
  • Sleeping upright and icing helps minimize swelling.
  • Stitches will be absorbed or removed after about 5 days.

Weeks 2-4

  • Swelling improves significantly but lower face may still feel stiff.
  • Numbness around the incisions is normal during this time..
  • Most patients return to desk work 2 weeks after surgery.
  • Walking and light household chores are possible by the end of week 2.
  • Head dressing remains night and day to control swelling for up to 2 weeks.

Weeks 4-8

  • Swelling continues to go down and results become more visible.
  • Bruising has usually fully subsided by week.
  • Strenuous exercise and vigorous activity can typically be resumed after 6 weeks.
  • Numbness and tingling should gradually disappear over next few weeks.

Typical steps to expect on the day of your facelift surgery

 Preparation 

  • Do not eat or drink anything starting midnight the evening before surgery.
  • Wash your face gently and remove any make-up, contacts, jewelry etc.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that do not need to be put on over your head.

Arrival 

  • Check in at the surgical facility and complete any remaining paperwork.
  • Nurses will start IVs, take vital signs, and prepare the surgical areas.

Right Before Surgery 

  • You will meet with your surgeon to mark surgical sites or make any last minute changes.
  • An anesthesiologist will discuss the sedation/general anesthesia options with you.
  • Nurses will escort you into the OR when ready..

The Surgery

  •  Facelift surgery typically takes 2-6 hours depending on the extent of work..
  • Your surgeon will follow the surgical plan you agreed upon beforehand.
    If receiving local anesthesia with sedation, you’ll be relaxed but not fully asleep.

Post Surgery 

  • You will wake up in the recovery area where nurses will monitor you.
  • Once stable, you may go home or stay overnight depending on your condition.
  • You’ll have facial dressings and likely a head wrap that must stay until your follow-up.

Overall you can expect a smooth ongoing process with visual markings, discussions of the surgical plan, anesthesia, the operation itself, and recovery room time before discharge.

Approved by: Doctor Mohsen Fadae

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