Those who are deciding whether having a full surgical facelift is the right decision for them, should take the recovery process into mind as well. It is always best to know what to expect when you are contemplating a serious surgical procedure such as a facelift and knowing how long you will need to convalesce can make planning easier.
What to Expect
As all faces are unique, so are facelift surgeries. What may have been one person’s experience may not be yours. What you can typically expect following a surgical facelift is that there will be bruising and swelling. This usually abates after about two to three weeks after the procedure.
Once you have had a facelift, most patients make appointments to meet with their surgeon within a few days of the procedure. The first appointment the surgeon will typically remove the tubes for drainage and take a peek under the bandages to ensure that all is going according to plan.
After about a week, you will again visit your surgeon and at this time he will begin to remove the stitches. You may have to leave the stitches that are based at your hairline for a few days longer than other stitches as this part of the face heals more slowly than the rest.
It is not unusual for the plastic surgeon to want to see the patient a few more times in the several weeks following your facelift. This helps the surgeon to chart your progress and ensure that no complications have set in. You will have follow up visits after these crucial weeks have passed, but they will be less frequent.
You will probably look worse than you will feel. The choice of whether to be seen in public is a personal one, and many people choose to only go out to visit their surgeon. You should plan on resting for the first few days and take it easy for the first week following a facelift.
You will have to take additional care around the facial areas. The area will be tender and numb and you need to be careful that you don’t pull on the incisions or irritate them. You will have to be careful when styling and working on your hair as well. You will have incisions along your hairline and you must be careful not to pull on them.
You will need to avoid any type of strenuous activities in the few weeks following your facelift. It is okay to do some walking and a bit of light stretching, but that should be the extent of it. You will not be able to do anything that will require you to exert yourself or do any heavy lifting. This will include doing housework as well.
If you are a smoker, try not to smoke while you are convalescing as this slows down the process of healing. You should also avoid alcohol for a few months following a facelift. The best advice to a patient for face lift recovery is to get plenty of rest and take things easy until the healing process is well on its way. A few weeks of discomfort will quickly be forgotten once you are getting complimented on your fabulous new look.