Facelift recovery: Timeline ,Stages and Tips
A facelift is also known as rhytidectomy, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that corrects the signs of aging on the face and neck. These signs are shortly deep lines around the nose and corner of the mouth, sagging skin, excessive fat on the face and neck area. Stress, smoking, sun, gravity, heredity and loss of facial fat in years are the reasons for these signs. However, many procedures can be done along with a facelift, such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery, fat transfer, or fillers to replace the lost fatty volume. Consult your doctor for more information.
What is the recovery time for a facelift recovery?
Most of the visible signs of facelift surgery will be gone in the first 2-4 weeks. However, the total recovery process may take 6 to 12 months. Incision sites will usually have a pinkish-red hue after 3 months; this can be easily cover-up with makeup. Do not worry since all of these signs will fade over during the first 6 months in most cases. Follow your doctor’s pre-procedure instructions to get the easiest recovery and best results of a facelift.
Facelift recovery week by week
Although facelift recovery may be different from one patient to another, there is a guideline to what you can expect during your recovery.
In the first week after a facelift surgery: Bruising and swelling usually reach their peak during the first 3 or 4 days; however, they start to improve over the next few days. Although signs of healing will likely be visible for several more weeks, most patients can return to their work after the first week of the procedure. You should be able to resume light, daily activities by the end of this week too. However, you are required to visit your doctor at this time to see the outcomes and healing process.
In the second week after a facelift surgery: Most of the swelling and bruising around the treatment area will be significantly improved. The incision areas should still feel numb. However, you will feel some discomfort and pressure, but it is not a sharp pain. At the end of the second week, you may be ready to return to more intense daily activities. Be careful when shaving or drying your hair with a hairdryer. Use the cool setting since the hot or warm setting can cause injury to the skin and delay healing.
In the third week after a facelift surgery: You will feel much more like yourself, doing more comfortably in more daily social activities outdoors and indoors. If you are still upset about the appearance of healing incisions, you can try wearing your hair down, donning a scarf, or applying makeup. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that the outcomes have not appeared yet.
In the fourth week after facelift surgery, you would know the final results after one month of a facelift. Your face and neck contours will appear smoother and more youthful. However, it may take up to one year for the outcome to fully develop anyway; if you want to get the best possible results, take care of your skin by following your doctor’s orders, such as avoiding direct sun exposure by applying a strong sunscreen.
Facelift recovery tips
To help you prepare well and get the best outcomes, we collect the best tips for facelift recovery:
- Follow your doctor’s post-op instructions carefully. Do not skip the scheduled visits where your doctor checks on your healing and removes sutures and bandages.
- Keep your head elevated because it decreases the swelling after surgery; sleep with your head propped up to 30 degrees at least 3 days and up to a week.
- Rest as much as possible since simple activities increase blood flow. To avoid swelling or even bleeding, we advise you not to turn your head frequently or lift heavy weights during the first two weeks until the swelling has abated and the incisions have healed.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and blood thinners before and after surgery. Your surgeon will give you a list of medications that you should stop using a few days before the surgery. In addition to that, alcohol dilates blood vessels and increases the chance of bruising and bleeding.
- Avoid too hot and too cold temperatures or sun exposure. Your skin will be more sensitive after doing a facelift surgery; it will burn very easily. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF in the first year of surgery.
- Keep the incision clean by using soapy water or saline. You can shower on the second day after facelift surgery using a mild shampoo. Male patients are also advised to stop shaving for the first week of surgery.
- Eat healthy food because your body l requires plenty of protein, vitamin C, and plenty of rest to heal as fast as possible for the healing process.
How painful is the facelift recovery process?
You may experience a little pain after a facelift, in addition to a deep bruised sensation because of the swelling. Your face may seem heavy in the first two weeks after surgery; some restricted feeling is accepted since you will wear a compression garment in the first nights after the procedure.
How to speed up healing after a facelift?
To speed up the healing process after facelift surgery, you should keep your head elevated all the time, even when sleeping, and protect your incisions from direct sunlight by using sunscreen. You must also keep your scars clean and dry, stay hydrated and eat healthy food and enough protein.
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