Recovery from Facelift: A Timeline of What To Expect

A mature woman with her face turned to the side (model)

Facelift surgery is one of the most effective ways to address facial aging, including wrinkles, deep creases, and sagging. But while facelift results are transformative and long-lasting, they don’t happen overnight. That’s why patients considering this popular procedure should understand what to expect and have a realistic understanding of their facelift recovery timeline.

Learn what to expect from your recovery from the facelift below, including some helpful tips and tricks that can position you for optimal healing and results.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Facelift?

While every patient experience is different, facelift recovery generally entails about 2 weeks of dedicated downtime. During this window, you should carefully follow your surgeon’s post-op protocol and prioritize rest and healing.

Patients typically undergo four stages of their facelift recovery process:

Stage 1:

You will likely experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort during your initial week of recovery. We prescribe pain medication and offer skin repair products to aid in your comfort and healing. While rest is paramount, you are encouraged to take gentle walks to boost circulation and curb cabin fever. It’s essential to have a support system in place to assist with caregiving and household duties so that you can focus on healing and recovery.

Stage 2:

After 2 weeks, most patients can return to work and non-strenuous activities. Sutures are usually removed by now and the majority of swelling and bruising have subsided. If you wish, you can apply makeup to cover any residual bruising.

Stage 3:

After 4 to 6 weeks, you are truly in the home stretch of your recovery! You can resume most activities, including exercise. You should avoid direct sun exposure for at least 3 months, apply sunscreen daily, and maintain a good skin care regimen to minimize scarring and accelerate healing.

Stage 4:

By now, the scarring has softened and faded, and you can appreciate (and show off!) the results of your facial transformation. Remember, it can take 6 to 12 months to achieve complete healing and results. Rest assured that your patience will be well-rewarded—most men and women take 10 to 15 years off their appearance following a facelift.

Before & After Facelift Case 573 view-1 View in Orlando, Florida
Before & After a Facelift
Before & After Facelift Case 446 view-2 View in Orlando, Florida
Before & After a Facelift
Before & After Facelift Case 303 view-1 View in Orlando, Florida
Before & After a Facelift

Facelift Recovery Tips

After undergoing facelift surgery and recovery, many patients are thrilled to realize that their facelift results can last over a decade! However, we caution patients that turning back the clock with a facelift doesn’t halt the natural aging process. Here are some suggestions to help ease the recovery process and maximize facelift results:

  • Plan ahead. Prior to surgery, we encourage you to prep and set up a comfortable area at home to recuperate. Fill medications before surgery, stock your freezer and pantry, and arrange for help with household and family duties. Your pre-arranged support system can also provide you with a much-needed mental boost as you “lay low” during your recovery downtime.
  • Don’t overdo it! While you may feel better than expected, you must follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions and take it easy during the first few weeks of your recovery. Seemingly small actions may increase bleeding or harm your incisions.  Be careful not to jeopardize the healing process by taking on too much too soon.
  • Take care of your skin. Your skin will be extra vulnerable as it heals. It’s essential to stay out of the sun, apply sunscreen every day, wear brimmed hats, and use high-quality skincare products to enhance healing and preserve the results of your facelift.
  • Take care of yourself! In addition to prioritizing skin care, stay hydrated and eat nutritious, well-balanced meals. A healthy diet and good hydration maximize wound healing and help accelerate the recovery process.
  • Be patient. Exercising patience is critical to your physical and mental well-being throughout your recovery window. Take your recovery day by day, and trust that the healing process will come to fruition if you set aside adequate downtime.

Choose the Right Surgeon… and Set Realistic Expectations

Knowing what to expect and having a good understanding of the outcome of your procedure can significantly impact your facelift expectations and experience. While your facelift should effectively slow the aging process by helping you appear younger and more rested, it cannot stop the aging process or completely change your entire appearance.

Knowledge is power, which is why much of your consultation is spent exploring your options and addressing your concerns. Before committing to surgery, our goal is to educate and empower you with what to expect during each stage of your procedure—especially your facelift recovery and results. It’s absolutely essential to select a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in faces and can thoroughly assess your needs and explain your options before embarking on facelift surgery. We also create facial imaging to give you an idea of the results you may experience. Then we share before-and-after photos featuring actual patients to help you visualize your potential facelift results.

Schedule a Consultation

Now that you have a good understanding of what to expect from facelift surgery and recovery, are you ready to take the next step toward looking younger and more refreshed? We encourage you to request a consultation online or contact us at (407) 333-3040 to schedule an appointment.

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