Facelift Recovery Timeline
The facelift procedure will take one to two weeks to recovery from. Everyone heals differently, and every surgery is unique. Below is what a typical facelift patient experiences.
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.
Any pain is typically mild, but may require pain medication. Your swelling and bruising will manifest itself maximally at this point, and typically more than the first day. Continue to ice, and continue to rest.
You will see Dr. Khalifeh on day three so that he may remove the bulky dressing and provide you with a lighter, more comfortable compression. Some of the fine facial sutures will be removed. (These are removable because they produce the most minimal scars.)
- By day 4, your swelling will begin to subside. You should not require much, if any, pain medication at this point. You will feel fairly normal at this point, but you will still appear swollen.
- By day 5-7, you will be able to do outdoor walking or shopping for a change of scenery. You will see some results, but at this point you will also have some swelling and bruising.
- By day 7, you will feel almost back to normal. Dr. Khalifeh will see you around this time as well, and remove the remaining sutures. If your plan includes laser resurfacing, we can usually get one treatment done at that time so the recovery period overlaps.
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.