Getting a facelift can be an exciting step toward rejuvenating your facial appearance, but the recovery process can be daunting for those unsure of what to expect. Educating yourself about your facelift recovery is the best way to ensure you’re prepared for the gradual healing process as your final results develop.
During the first week after your facelift, you can expect swelling and bruising around your lower face, ears and neck. Swelling may be uneven, so don’t be alarmed if your results don’t look perfectly symmetrical at this stage. It’s normal to experience some discomfort, which you should be able to manage with over-the-counter pain medications.
By your second week following surgery, your swelling should have subsided somewhat, but you will most likely still have some puffiness around your ears and the sides of your face. You may experience tingling, itching or numbness in some areas. This is a normal part of your recovery as facial tissue and nerve endings slowly heal. You’re encouraged to do some light walking or other physical activity to maintain optimal blood circulation.
By the third week after surgery, most patients feel well enough to return to work. You can apply makeup around your sutures to conceal the incisions if they are visible.
One month after your facelift, you should have an idea of what your final results will look like. Your facial and neck contours should appear sleeker, smoother and more youthful. Remember that your final facelift results may take up to a year to fully develop. Take good care of your skin with high quality products and regular facials, and remember to avoid direct sun exposure and tobacco to get the most out of your facelift.