Understanding the Facelift Recovery Timeline

Initial Recovery: 1-7 Days after Surgery

Like any surgical procedure, a facelift requires time for recovery. Immediately after a patient receives facelift surgery, incisions are sutured, and bandages are applied to the patient’s face. Some pain, swelling, and bruising can be expected during the initial stages of recovery, and you will be prescribed pain medication to help you through the healing process. You should keep your head elevated and avoid moving your head quickly. Get plenty of rest and only engage in very mild activity during the first week of recovery. At the same time, it’s recommended that you take some light walks, as these can help reduce the risk of blood clots and encourage healing.

Second Stage of Recovery: 1-2 Weeks after Surgery

Bruising can still be visible at this stage, but it should begin to decrease. To help reduce swelling, you can use clean ice packs. While you may feel that you have recovered enough to be able to return to work, exercise or any kind of strenuous activity should still be avoided.

Final Stage of Recovery: 3 Weeks

The recovery period after a facelift is different for everyone, and it’s especially important to follow the doctor’s instructions so you don’t rush your recovery. Most patients are able to return to their regular routines within a few weeks after they’ve received facelift surgery, but you will most likely need to avoid strenuous exercise until you’ve specifically been authorized for this by your surgeon. Although it can take several months to see the full results of your facelift, most patients will begin to see improvement as swelling goes down.

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