When undergoing any surgery it is important to consider how long the recovery time will be. Patients should be able to plan how long they will be out of work for and how long it will take them to fully recover from surgery. Most face lift patients, will have undergone a general anesthesia and will not only need someone to drive them home the day after surgery but it would benefit them greatly if they had someone to be with them and help them in the first few days after surgery.

Face Lift Recovery Time

Your-Face-Lift-The-Recovery-is-Real-3It really depends on exactly what procedure you get and how your body responds to the surgery when trying to figure out how much time it will take to recover.

Right after surgery your head will be wrapped with bandages to assist in healing and to control swelling. Bandages will be wrapped with the right amount of pressure per your doctors instructions.

Right after surgery, your face and neck will be sore, and you may be emotional and cold. You may also feel nauseas, mostly due to the general anesthesia. Medication will be available to help control your nausea if you need it. You may have mild to moderate discomfort and your doctor will let you know what type of painkillers you can take to alleviate this pain.

Patients may feel numb near the incisions, as well as feel a change in how your face moves, that could include tingling, sharp pains, burning, or cold sensations. Swelling and bruising are common after a face lift but typically get worse a few days after surgery. After a few days the swelling starts to subside.  By about ten days after surgery, up to 60% to 70% of the bruising and swelling will most probably have disappeared.

Face Lift After Care

After surgery, it is most important to keep your head and neck still and elevated when you are resting. If you have to turn to look at something you should turn your whole body, not just your head. Particularly if you had your neck and face operated on at the same time. You may need to adjust your sleeping style to compensate for this. You will need to sleep with your head elevated for one or two weeks. Sometimes patients feel it is easier to sleep on a recliner instead of stacking a few pillows behind their head. Patients can decide whatever is most comfortable for them after discussing it with their doctors.


Patients should avoid doing too much too soon, but should try to get up and walk around a couple times a day. This will help patients blood circulation and reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). DVT occurs when a blood clot is formed in a vein in the body and blocks blood flow, resulting in swelling and pain.

Activities that should be avoided in the first couple of weeks after surgery include, showering, heavy lifting, strenuous activity, sexual activity and exercise. Patients should avoid alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen for up to a week after surgery. In the days after surgery patients should expect to have postoperative appointments with their surgeon where their dressings may be changed. Patient’s sutures will most likely be removed seven to ten days after surgery.

Face Lift Scars

The most experienced doctors will likely give you a face lift with the least noticeable scars.  It’s important that patients research their doctors carefully when deciding to undergo a facelift.  The incisions are made mainly along the hairline and ears.  The best doctors will use the anatomy of the ears and face to help conceal the scars. As the scar heals it is best to discuss the look of them with your doctor.  Don’t wait, if you are in doubt as to the thickness of a scar, have it looked at right away.  There are ways to treat a scar as it heals to minimize its eventual size.

Facelift  and infections

Signs that indicate you should contact your surgeon immediately include excessive pain, redness and pus at your incisions. Pus and redness can be signs of infection and should be treated immediately. Make sure you take your antibiotics on time and for the correct amount of days as they were prescribed to reduce infection risks. It is also good to take your temperature regularly as a fever is another sign of infection.

Your-Face-Lift-The-Recovery-is-Real-4Back to work

Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but for the most part, patients will be able to return to work within the first two weeks following the date of their surgery. This all depends on the type of face lift surgery the patient received. On average, recovery time takes two to four weeks.  This is not to be confused with the time it takes to see the full results of the surgery.  It may take a full year before the results set in.