You did your research. You made your plan. You found an experienced surgeon that performed your facelift with artistry and expertise. It’s only natural that you want to see how your new face looks and feels right way. Keep in mind, however, that you’ve undergone a major surgical procedure.
Healing and recovery after a facelift takes time. However, knowing what to expect will make it easier for you to get through the first few hours, then the days and weeks that follow. The results will be well worth the wait.
4 Stages of Face Lift Recovery
The healing process varies dramatically from patient to patient. That being said, the following is a general overview of what you can expect post-op:
Stage 1 – The First Week – Swelling/bruising and pain are common after a facelift. You’ll be prescribed pain medication, which may contribute to feelings of weakness and nausea. These symptoms should peak at three or four days post-op, but you’re likely to feel well enough to get up and move around the house as early as one or two days after surgery.
Getting your circulation going can help you to recover more quickly.
Stage 2 – The Second Week – At this stage, things start to improve dramatically, but don’t become over-eager. You will still have a week or two to go before all the visible bruising/swelling is gone. You should also keep in mind that it can take up to a full year to see final results.
You won’t be ready for the gym or getting back to work, but you should try to do some walking to keep your energy up.
Stage 3 – The Third and Fourth Weeks – You’ll look and feel much better three weeks after your facelift. Most patients feel hearty enough to get back to their regular activities, including work and the gym, as well as socialising.
Scars will still be visible and can be covered with make-up at this stage. It may take months for scars to fade as much as you would like. Until they have completely disappeared, you can safely use make-up to cover them.
Stage 4 – The First Year – Residual swelling, bruising and changes in skin sensation will need a year to resolve fully. You don’t have to be self-conscious, however. Chances are, you will be the only one to notice the lingering side effects of your facelift.
After three weeks or so, it will be hard for anyone else to tell you’ve had work done. They’ll just think you look youthful and refreshed, as though you’ve been on holiday.