Undergoing a Facelift is an extensive surgical procedure that takes most patients a few weeks to recover from. During this time it is important that patients follow the aftercare advice provided by their surgeon to help ensure they have a smooth and easy recovery period. This blog is designed to inform potential Dallas facelift patients on the recovery period following the surgery so they can be aware of what the different stages of recovery will be like for various facelift techniques.
- Facelift Recovery
- Facelift Aftercare
- Facelift Recovery Day By Day
- Mini Facelift Recovery Time
- How Long Does A Mini Facelift Last?
- Deep Plane Facelift Recovery
- Facelift Recovery Swelling
- Facelift Recovery Tips
After undergoing any type of facelift procedure patients should be driven home by an adult who can stay with them for the first couple of days of their recovery. Facelift patients will have surgical dressings applied to their face for the first few days after their surgery. An appointment will be made with your surgeon to have these dressings removed or changed. When dressings are removed, many surgeons advise their patients to wear a compression garment to help with excessive fluid build-up. It takes most patients two to three weeks to have mostly recovered from the procedure and be able to return to work and normal activities. This does not mean that all side effects of the procedure have subsided and vigorous activities should still be avoided.
During your consultation with your surgeon, they will explain the general recovery period and aftercare following a facelift procedure. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure a smooth recovery period. Some important facelift aftercare instructions tend to include:
- Keep your head elevated when sleeping to prevent excessive fluid build-up
- Avoid sun exposure- especially the incision sites, these will be extremely vulnerable to sun exposure and you may risk darkening your scar sites
- You must keep the incision sites clean to prevent infection
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol
- Drink plenty of water
Facelift Recovery Day By Day
Many patients have concerns regarding what the first week of their recovery period will be like. Following your surgery, the first week will be the hardest time of your recovery as you will experience the most significant pain and side effects.
Day one– After you have undergone your procedure you will likely be in the greatest amount of pain and feel sleepy following surgery. This is why it is important that an adult drives you home and stays with you for the first couple of days as you will need the most support at this time.
Day two– Most patients still feel pain the following day and so should take pain medication. In some cases, you may have your surgical dressings changed and your face assessed by your surgeon the day after surgery.
Day 3-4 – For many patients, the side effects of swelling and bruising tend to be most significant three or four days after the procedure. However, the pain generally begins to improve
Day 5-7 – Within a week following your surgery you are likely to be in less pain and require less pain medication. Many patients have reduced swelling and feel able to undergo small tasks and activities. It is important not to put your body under unnecessary strain and you should only do activities if you feel well enough to.
Mini Facelift Recovery Time
After a mini facelift, your surgeon will cover your incision sites with dressing and you may have some drains in place that will need removing around seven to ten days after your procedure. Even though a mini facelift is a less extensive procedure than a full facelift, it still takes most patients a few weeks to recover from the surgery and most of the aftercare advice for more extensive procedures applies.
How Long Does A Mini Facelift Last?
The results from a mini facelift procedure can be permanent due to the fact that areas of excess skin and wrinkles have been removed. Although the procedure will create a permanent improvement, it will not prevent the face from continuing to undergo natural aging. This means that additional excess skin, fine lines, and wrinkles can occur after the procedure, but the patient will have less significant signs of aging than they would have had without the surgery. Some patients decide after their surgery to have less extensive anti-aging treatments like dermal fillers or botox to maintain their initial surgery results. Furthermore, a mini facelift only covers a small area of the face and so many patients do desire future treatments on other areas of their face such as a brow lift or blepharoplasty.
Deep Plane Facelift Recovery
A deep plane facelift is a specific facelift technique that is thought to achieve the most natural and long-lasting results as it works on a deeper layer of the face rather than pulling and tightening the skin. This is why this technique has become extremely popular among patients. Recovering from a deep plane facelift results in less swelling and bruising since the surgery is performed on the supportive layer of the face and it doesn’t cut the blood vessels. This means that the recovery period tends to be shorter and patients tend to heal and return to regular activities slighter earlier than traditional facelift patients. However, you will still experience some pain, swelling, and bruising as the blood vessels will be disrupted and you will need to take time off work to recover.
Facelift Recovery Swelling
Swelling and bruising are a normal side effect of undergoing a facelift procedure as the surgery disrupts the lymphatic vessels and results in the tissues retaining a greater amount of fluid. This is why many surgeons will recommend that their patients wear compression garments after their procedure as this will help with the build-up of fluid.
The American Society of Plastic Surgery explains that swelling tends to appear around the third or fourth day after your surgery. The first week of your recovery is when the swelling will be most significant but within two weeks a large proportion of the swelling will have subsided. However, it can take months for the rest of the swelling to completely subside and the final result of your surgery to be visible. For most patients, there is no obvious swelling after three months but it can take a full year for the last 10% of the swelling to disappear.
Therefore, swelling should not be a cause of concern for most patients. However, some patients may experience some fluid leakage and may require a drain or a compression garment to help with the excess fluid. If you have concerns about post-operative swelling it is important that you speak with your surgeon.
Facelift Recovery Tips
- Prepare your home (or wherever you will be recovering) before you undergo surgery. After your procedure, you will be in pain and woozy so will not be able to sort things out. This is why it is essential to properly prepare for your recovery period so when you return things are organized and you can rest and focus on recovering.
- Additionally, you should organize someone to collect you from surgery and look after you for the first couple of days. It is also important to ensure you have support for the first week or two as you will not be able to complete housework and activities as normal.
- Keep in communication with your surgeon or other healthcare professionals from the surgery for support and to ensure you have someone who can answer any questions or solve any problems after the procedure.
- Spend time researching the procedure and the recovery stages so you are well informed on the aftercare process and stages of your recovery.
- Pay attention to your recovery so you notice any potential problems and ensure you get enough rest and heal properly.
Potential Dallas Facelift patients should research the recovery period so that they are well informed on what to expect after the surgery. It is also important that candidates interested in a facelift procedure research the surgical techniques in more detail as well as look into how they can finance the procedure and the risks of undergoing the surgery. For information on the average cost of undergoing a facelift in Dallas you can read our blog ‘How Much Does A Facelift Cost In Dallas, Texas?‘
Dr. Liland is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who has 30 years of experience. If you are interested in undergoing a facelift procedure you can book a consultation on our Contact Page or call us on (214) 692-6500.
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Though the content of this blog has been carefully prepared, the author of this content is not a medical doctor and the content has not been reviewed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Unless specifically stated, patients referred to in this blog have not received a facelift procedure from Dr. Liland. This blog does not endorse the work of any doctors or surgeons mentioned. Stories relating to patients’ personal experiences of facelift procedures should be treated as anecdotal only.
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