Often one of the most frightening things about surgery is uncertainty about the recovery process. As we know, all people are different, so recovery is not the same in everyone. For facelift surgery, most of the recovery process is completed in 1-2 weeks.
Day 1-7: Immediately after surgery, there are soft drains behind the ears as well as a light head wrap. These items are typically removed the day after surgery and replaced with an even smaller bandage, which is removed the third day after surgery. Initially most people experience soreness on the sides of the neck as well as a tight feeling under the chin. This soreness is very controlled with Tylenol. After the bandage is removed, people notice puffiness and bruising on the sides of the face and neck, and these typically resolve during the second week after surgery. For the first few days after surgery, it is very important to use cool compresses and sleep with the head elevated in order to reduce swelling. Stitches are usually removed around the seventh day after surgery. Most people take at least 1 week off from work to allow their body to heal during this crucial period.
Day 7-10: Now that the bandages and stitches have been removed, people can return to normalcy. Although some bruising is still present, it can be covered with makeup. Those with desk jobs may return to work. During this time, it is a good idea to continue to refrain from strenuous activity.
Day 10-14+: Bruising and pain have largely resolved. Energy levels are returning to normal. People are usually cleared to resume their normal workout activities. While most of the recovery is now complete, the incisions remain very sensitive to sunlight for the first several months after surgery, so it is important to remember sunblock during this time. Any remaining small contour irregularities slowly resolve with the continued healing process. And most importantly, this is the time to go out into the world and show off your new look!
*Patient Results May Vary
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