11 Questions to Ask About Your Facelift Recovery

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Facelift surgery has long been one of the most effective methods for reversing signs of aging and restoring the beauty of one’s youth. Face and neck lifting should be individualized for each patient. Some procedures are minimally invasive and involve a quick recovery. Others are more extensive, or combined with other aesthetic procedures that extend recovery time. Naturally, there can be significant physiologic differences between patients that affect recovery. Because of this, it is essential to ask questions that broaden your understanding of what to expect. 

Discover some of the common concerns regarding facelift recovery or questions you may not have thought to ask.

Woman looking at her face in mirror after a facial procedure, such as facelift surgery.

Nourishing the skin with water and nutrients is a vital factor in proper skin management and overall skin health.

  1. Can I Drive Myself Home After a Facelift? 

No. Driving is only recommended once patients are off of their prescription pain medications and can comfortably turn their head and neck. Since driving requires so much observation, patients must be able to turn their shoulders easily to check for blind spots without overextending. 

This can take one to two weeks. 

2. How Can I Reduce Swelling After a Facelift?

There are many ways to reduce swelling following surgery. This includes preserving your body’s energy by getting a lot of rest and exerting the body as little as possible. Another great option is the consistent use of ice packs throughout the day and night to slow blood flow and reduce inflammation. Head and neck elevation reduces swelling. If your swelling is marked, though, it is important you talk with your plastic surgeon about proper prescription medication.

Lymphatic massage is often instructed after facelift to speed recovery.  

3. Will I Have Pain After a Facelift?

Maybe. Facelift surgery is performed with anesthesia to ensure that there is no pain or discomfort felt during the treatment. Naturally, with the alteration of skin tissue and muscle, it is likely patients will feel discomfort once the anesthesia dissipates. Any pain can be reduced with prescribed pain medication. Over-the-counter supplements, such as TYLENOL®, are also good options if you do not wish to use prescribed medication. Most patients feel comfortable enough to return to their daily routine after two weeks.

4. When Can I Shower After a Facelift?

Most patients can safely wash and dry their hair as soon as two days after their facelift. It is important to stay clean and wash your hands regularly to avoid bacteria and infection getting near your incision sites. 

5. How Should I Sleep After a Facelift?

Patients are recommended to sleep on their backs with their heads upright as much as possible. Using pillows and a foam wedge for back and neck support is a great way to relieve discomfort, reduce swelling, and promote circulation in the treated area. 

6. When Can I Return to Work After a Facelift? 

Sedentary, desk-type work can often be resumed after a week, while more active professions may take up to two weeks or more. It is important to talk with your doctor to fully understand what to expect in terms of safe and proper recovery time. 

7. When Can I Apply Makeup After a Facelift?

It should be okay to apply makeup within one to two weeks. Heavy makeup can clog your pores and interfere with proper healing, so it is important to follow specific advice from your doctor and staff. 

8. When Can I Exercise After a Facelift?

Depending on your body’s recovery speed and your surgeon’s recommendations, you may be able to return to light workout activities within two to three weeks. However, more strenuous activities should be halted until the four to six-week mark as your body continues to heal. 

9. Will I Be Able to Move My Face After a Facelift?

Yes, however, some of the mobility of the head may be restricted initially by a head/neck dressing and by stiffness. To return the mobility and strength of your neck and face muscles, your doctor will give you specific instructions for light massage and range of motion exercises.

10. How Long Will It Take to Look Normal After a Facelift?

Normal is relative to each patient and their expectations. Some patients desire to not look like their old selves, while others wish to look like a more refined, elegant version of themselves. The results of your treatment will peak over the first few months to reveal your enhanced facial appearance. Incision lines may take up to several months to heal.

11. How Should I Take Care of My Skin After a Facelift?

There are many ways to take care of your skin over the days and weeks to come. Nourishing the skin with water and nutrients is a vital factor in proper skin management and overall skin health. Your doctor will consider medical grade skin care products to augment and speed healing. Keeping your incision scars out of the sun and wearing sunscreen is also an essential part of skincare. 

Interested in Learning More About Facelift Surgery in Santa Monica?

The best facelift results come from the most experienced and skilled surgeons. Dr. David Butler is among the most trusted facial plastic surgeons in Santa Monica. Call us today at (310) 428-0033 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation. You can also follow us on Instagram @Butlerfacialplasticsurgery for more before and after transformations.