Your face is a mirror of your inner self and can reflect joy, radiance, and growth. You don’t want your face to reflect the passing years but rather the age you feel inside. A facelift can do exactly that by giving your face and neck a subtle refresh and recapturing a more youthful look.
You likely have many questions and concerns about what to expect after your facelift procedure. How long will I need to be off work? When can I resume exercise? Will I have scarring after a facelift? Demystifying the recovery process can help prepare you for your procedure so you know what to expect after a facelift. Our Torrance team explains 3 things you should know about the facelift procedure:
#1 Know What a Facelift Can & Can’t Do
During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin from the lower face and neck area, repositioning your facial skin for a more lifted appearance. This procedure usually takes 2 to 3 hours. A skilled and experienced plastic surgeon can make subtle, nuanced changes to your face, making you look 8 to 12 years younger.
A facelift does not address skin concerns such as rough skin texture, redness, or blotchiness. To create a smoother, more even complexion, you can choose to add facial rejuvenation procedures such as microdermabrasion and IPL Photofacial. Read our related blog post to learn about other facial rejuvenation procedures that can enhance your facelift results.
#2 Understand a Typical Facelift Recovery Timeline
Knowing what usually happens during recovery is an important step in preparing for the surgery. Here’s a brief timeline of some recovery experiences and milestones you can expect. You can learn more about what happens after a facelift on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons site.
Although most patients say their facelift recovery was less painful than expected, you will likely experience some pain, tightness, numbness, and heaviness in your face after surgery. Your physician will advise you on what pain medications to take, if needed, during the first few days after your facelift procedure.
Minor swelling and bruising are common after facelift surgery, and they’ll peak 3 to 4 days post-op. Pain should begin to subside a few days after the procedure, and some patients switch to over-the-counter pain relievers at this time.
Light movement around the house is encouraged to keep your blood circulating and promote healing.
You can usually return to work about 10 to 14 days after surgery, depending on your recovery progress and how strenuous your job is. As you heal, be mindful of your facial incisions and avoid any strenuous activity for the first few weeks. Swelling and bruising should continue to diminish.
Much of your swelling has receded by this point, allowing more of your results to show. Most restrictions have been lifted, although it’s still important to follow your surgeon’s instructions.
It can take around 1 month to see the final improvements to your facial contours. Your incisions around your ears and hairline should be mostly healed.
You can usually resume some of your usual exercise habits at this point.
You will likely feel like yourself again and excited about the results you’re seeing. Swelling and bruising should be mostly gone, although you may still feel some tightness and heaviness for a few more weeks.
#3 Learn How To Reduce Scarring
For most men and women, the chance for scarring is minimal as the incisions heal to be almost imperceptible. Since the incisions are made around the ears and hairline, they easily blend in. For these reasons, most facelift scars are barely noticeable, even when you’re looking for them.
To help minimize scarring, here are some things you can do before and after the procedure:
- Avoid smoking or vaping for 4 to 6 weeks before and after the procedure. This will help your incisions heal faster, as tobacco products impede blood flow.
- Keep your skin hydrated with a thick moisturizer to promote healing.
- Protect your skin from the sun with good-quality sunscreen after your facelift procedure. Scar tissue is sensitive to sunlight, and scars can look thicker and discolored after sun exposure.
Your plastic surgeon will advise you on how to care for yourself after facelift surgery to get the best results from your procedure. If you are ready for a more youthful, refreshed appearance and want to roll back the years on your face, request a consultation or call us at (310) 784-0644 to schedule an appointment.