Facelift – or rhytidectomy – is the procedure of choice for individuals who are looking to combat signs of aging in facial areas. In 2020, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that facelift was the third most popular cosmetic surgery after rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery. More than 234,000 of these procedures were completed in the US alone. If you – like hundreds of other Americans – are considering facelift surgery in order to enhance your facial appeal and youthfulness, this article gives you an idea of what to expect during recovery.
Week 1 of Recovery
The most important thing during the first week in your facelift recovery timeline is to take good care of your incisions and keep them clean in order to prevent infections. You may feel sleepy and unsteady the first day after you are discharged from the hospital. It is important that you have a friend or family member available to look after you and help out with basic chores. A follow-up visit is required around the second-day post-surgery. This visit helps the plastic surgeon to change your surgical dressings and assess your progress. It is not uncommon to notice bruising and swelling this early during recovery. Your surgeon will likely administer painkillers to improve your comfort level and antibiotics to prevent an infection. Throughout the first week of your recovery, you are encouraged to get as much rest as possible. You should be feeling a lot better and even able to take care of some light housework by the 7th day of the week.
Week 2 of Recovery
During the second week of facelift recovery, some bruising and swelling may still be evident. Some patients may also experience a varying degree of tightness, numbness, and tingling. These are common side effects that warrant no concern. By the end of the second week in your tummy tuck recovery timeline, most patients are feeling okay enough to tackle light work and even return to routine office work.
Week 3 and 4 of Recovery
Sutures are usually removed by this time (or even much earlier depending on the pace of your recovery). Residual swelling may still be evident within weeks 3 and 4. Other than that, most patients are feeling as good as new. You should start to notice enhancements in your facial contour. Exercising should now be possible without much of an effort, and incision sites should have assumed a pinkish-reddish hue that pauses progressively with time.
A Month After Recovery
About a month since the day of your facelift surgery, you should be able to enjoy normal life while sporting your newfound look. While some minor bruising, swelling, tightness, and numbness could persist for up to a year, these will hardly be noticeable by anyone else. The final outcome of your facial cosmetic surgery should be taking shape. Get in touch with your plastic surgeon if you have any concerns or questions regarding the outcome.
It is important to note that this recovery timeline can vary from one person to the other, often depending on the speed of your healing. Some types of rhytidectomy may require a little longer for recovery compared to others. Plastic surgeons recommend that you strictly adhere to the post-operative instructions in order to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted process. Among other things, you’ll be asked to focus on a healthy diet, stay hydrated, avoid straining the treatment area, and take it easy, particularly within the first two weeks. It is also important that you quit smoking throughout the recovery duration because nicotine and other tobacco products can impair healing. Keeping in touch with your plastic surgeon’s office is important during the healing phase so you have access to all the recovery information you need.