Healing and seeing results from a surgical facelift take time. How much time, however, varies among patients who undergo this procedure, given that factors such as age, compliance with doctors’ instructions, and extent of procedure all contribute to healing time. In most cases, we can generally expect a similar 30-day timeline for recovery, and what activity level people can expect to have each week during recovery from facelift surgery.

Week 1

In the days immediately following surgery, you will need the most care and rest, and focus on keeping incision sites clean and dry to avoid infection.

Day 1: Most of the immediate experiences after surgery include grogginess and nausea from the general anesthesia. You will need someone to drive you home and help you to your prepared recovery area. The first 24 hours are the ones most likely to require pain medication to overcome pain and discomfort.

Day 2: Dr. Newman may schedule a follow-up appointment on the second day or sometime within the first week. At this appointment, he will change out dressings that need to be replaced, remove stitches, and evaluate your progress. Pain is still expected this day and you’ll rest in bed with your head elevated for much of it.

Day 3: Bruising and swelling tend to reach their most intense around this time, and both will be present for many weeks to a small degree. Pain medication will likely still be required.

Days 4-6: By this time, many people don’t need prescription pain relief, and swelling will start to dissipate. You will also likely feel more comfortable getting up and moving around, and you may be cleared to do light activities like household chores if Dr. Newman says it’s okay.

Week 2

During the second week, you’ll still have swelling and bruising that obscure the final results of your surgery, especially around the incision sites. Other sensations besides residual pain are often numbness, tingling, and tightness, which are not anything to be worried about. Dr. Newman will continue to follow up with you to check on your progress and to instruct you on what level of activity you can safely perform. Many people feel much more like themselves by the end of the second week, and return to work as they’re able and willing.

Weeks 3 and 4

After the second full week following surgery, things start to level out as far as recovery goes. Swelling and bruising that is present at this point in the healing process will be minimal, but is likely to linger for several more weeks. However, people are able to see the full results of the surgery in this period of time, starting to enjoy the benefits of the facelift. By this point, people are usually able to return to their full active lifestyle as instructed by Dr Newman, with some restrictions on strenuous exercise in some cases.

After Day 30

Once you cross the 30-day threshold after surgery, you’ll likely feel back to normal and enjoy the improved facial appearance and contour that Dr. Newman achieved through surgery. Swelling in some areas may remain for up to several more months, in addition to sensations of tightness or pain, but these symptoms are only noticeable to you.

It’s important to remember that this timeframe is generalized, and your unique recovery process may be quicker or slower, which is why keeping in touch with Dr. Newman is key to getting back to health and your normal life. Follow his directions for a safe and smooth recovery process, and let him know if anything feels off or changes suddenly.

Facelift Surgery in St. Petersburg

To learn more about what you can expect from a personalized facelift procedure, schedule a consultation with double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Newman. He can tell you what technique and procedure is best suited for your unique needs, as well as what you should expect for recovery. Get started by calling our office or contacting us online today.