People have a variety of different reasons for considering a facelift. Perhaps you’re tired of looking in the mirror and seeing someone you barely recognize looking back you. Maybe you might want to look younger or less tired overall. You might be considering a facelift to improve your chances on the job market. Whatever your reasons are for wanting the surgery, it’s important to understand that the results from the procedure won’t be instant–and that some rest and recovery will be required to help you bounce back afterward.
You might not look quite like yourself in the days and weeks after your surgery. Your body will be working hard to heal and you’re likely to look worse before you look better. Knowing what to expect can help you stay patient while you wait for your final results to emerge. Consider this your facelift guide to the first month following the procedure. Use this guide to get a sense of what you can expect during the first four weeks after surgery.
Day 1 and Day 2
The first two days after your facelift might be the most challenging. Usually, a facelift involves the use of general anesthesia, so you’re likely to feel a bit out of it the day after. For that reason, it’s important to have a friend or relative bring you home and stay with you the night of your surgery and into the next day.
On the second day after your surgery, you might start to feel a bit better. Your surgeon might want to see you for a follow-up appointment to change your dressing and to take a look at how you are healing. It’s a good idea to use this first follow-up appointment as an opportunity to ask more questions and to get clarity on anything you’re unsure about.
During the rest of the first week after your surgery, you’ll want to continue to lie low and recuperate. Stay home from work or other engagements during this week. Around day 5, your surgeon might want to remove your stitches, but he might also postpone the removal of sutures until sometime in the second week.
Usually, people are able to stop taking any pain relievers around the end of the first week. Although swelling is likely to be present, it will be considerably less than it was on the first day after surgery.
While you’re likely to be a bit more “with it” during the second week after your facelift, you probably aren’t going to be feeling 100 percent at this point. For that reason, plenty of people take an additional week off from work and other activities. Don’t feel guilty for doing so — resting up after surgery is essential.
Although you might not be ready to go back to work, you might notice that your swelling and bruising has decreased considerably. That said, don’t be alarmed if your face still feels different. It’s common to have bruising, tightness, some numbness, and significant swelling throughout the second week.
Many people are more than ready to go back to work or start participating in other regular activities by the start of the third week after a facelift. At this point, you’re likely to begin to notice the positive changes from surgery, such as a tighter jawline and a more lifted mid-face area. Some swelling and light bruising might still persist, though. It’s also worth noting that although you can resume light activities by the third week, you’ll still want to steer clear of anything strenuous, including workouts.
As you get to the end of the first month after a facelift, your life will pretty much be back to normal. Usually, you can start exercising again around the fourth week, although your surgeon might ask you to wait until six weeks out. You’ll probably also feel confident about appearing in public at this time, as any lingering bruising is likely to have fully faded.
Knowing what to expect after a facelift can help you determine if the surgery’s right for you right now. Dr. Paul Vitenas, a board certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas can help you understand what to expect from a facelift and can recommend other procedures that can complement the surgery or that might be a better option for you. To learn more, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation today.