When your surgery is complete, you'll be placed in a tight neck and head wrap to help reduce the swelling and protect the incisions. A small drain will be placed to collect some of the swelling. You will be observed in the office and released to the care of your family or friends when ready. For any discomfort, you will have typically a pain medication such as Percocet. You will also take antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection.
Your diet will be soft foods only, because chewing will be difficult. You will be able to move about and take care of yourself at home, although Dr. Khalifeh recommends having someone to help for the first night. You will ice the treated area and sleep with 3-4 pillows to keep your head elevated and minimize swelling. You may have a sleeping aid prescribed if needed.
By this time, you will feel much better than you look. If you've kept your procedure a secret from your co-workers, you will need another week before returning to work or before seeing friends you don’t want to know. But you will feel just fine. Your main limitation is who you want to know you had surgery. If you don’t mind others knowing, you may return to work after day 7. You will need to continue wearing the mild compression at night.
By now, swelling has resolved by 90%, and you will look great. You can return to work at this time. Mild makeup will be needed to cover any mild bruising, but no one should be able to know you had surgery (other than your improved appearance). The hidden incisions will be fading by this point.
This will be your one-month follow-up with Dr. Khalifeh to make sure you are continuing to heal properly. By now the incisions have healed, but may still be a little red.
This will mark your final visit with Dr. Khalifeh in regards to your facelift recovery. We will typically take the post-op pictures at this point.