If you’re considering facelift surgery but are concerned about how long your recovery will take, you’re not alone. Knowing what to expect after an invasive surgical procedure helps you prepare both mentally and physically, making the process a lot more pleasant.
What you can expect after your facelift
If possible, arrange for someone to assist you during the first few days after your surgery.
Here is an overview of what you can expect during the recovery period
24-48 Hours after your surgery
A friend or family member will need to collect you after your surgery.
You also won’t be able to drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign any important documentation for the first 24 hours after being under anaesthesia.
Facelift patients can expect the face and fat donor areas to be swollen and bruised. The severity of the swelling and bruising is dependent on the patient.
Since your facial skin and tissue will be very fragile after your surgery, it’s important to follow your doctor’s post-surgery instructions very carefully. Numbness and mild pain are also very common for the first day or two. Your doctor will prescribe you the necessary pain medication to alleviate any discomfort.
You will need to get as much rest as possible for the first two days and it’s recommended that you sleep with your head in an elevated position to reduce swelling. It’s also advisable to walk around every 3 – 4 hours to improve your circulation.
Your first meal should be small and light and it’s very important for you to stay as hydrated as possible.
1 – 2 Weeks after your surgery
You should still be resting as much as possible during this period. You can also still expect to have some swelling and bruising so you will still need to sleep with your head in an elevated position.
You may also still have some numbness and mild pain but the prescribed medication will help for this. It’s also important to give your eyes as much rest as possible so try not to read or watch TV for too many hours at a time.
Non-surgical facelift specialists in Perth, Academy Face and Body, will also remove any stitches at this point.
Patients can also start driving around 7 days after their surgery.
3+ Weeks after your surgery
Recovery will be different for every patient, with factors such as health, skin quality, genetics and age all playing a role. The more extensive your surgery is, the longer your recovery will take.
Most patients will be able to return to their normal work and social activities at this point as most of the swelling and bruising will have subsided. In terms of physical exercise, it’s best to wait at least 4 weeks before you start exercising again.
Patients should also avoid exposing their wounds to direct sunlight for at least 12 months and to avoid any nicotine for at least a month too.
Is there anything else I should know?
If your face is still feeling numb a few months after your surgery, know that this is completely normal. Numbness can take up to 6 months to subside.
Speak to your doctor about what to expect in your unique case after your facelift surgery so that you’re completely comfortable with the process.