Your Facelift Recovery Explained from Day 1 to Day 30

By Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno on April 8, 2024 under Facelift

Your Facelift Recovery Explained from Day 1 to Day 30

In today’s day and age, everyone is probably familiar with the plastic surgery procedure known as a facelift. Also known medically as a rhytidectomy, this procedure is ideal for treating signs of aging in the face and neck such as unwanted jowls, wrinkles, or sagging skin. When choosing to undergo a facelift procedure, it is reasonable to wish to know more about what to expect during the recovery process. However, it is important to note that exact recovery times are dependent on many factors such as age, health, and type of procedure. Read on for a 30-day guild on a general overview of what to expect during a typical facelift recovery period.

Week 1

Day 1: After surgery, you may feel sleepy due to the general or twilight anesthesia. A trusted friend or family member should drive you home and care for you on your first night. Prescription pain medication and a muscle relaxer (for tender facial tissues) can be taken to control discomfort. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for the next day.

Day 2: Your surgeon will schedule a follow-up visit with you around this time. During this appointment, our team will change or remove surgical dressings and evaluate incisions and swelling. If everything looks normal, the area will be re-dressed and you can return home to heal. It is important to wear your provided facial compression garment for 22 hours a day for the first week as directed by your doctor.

Day 3: Rest is recommended. Bruising and swelling may reach their height during this time and may be present for several weeks. Continue to take pain medication if you experience discomfort.

Day 4: By day 4 most people no longer need pain medication. Swelling should begin to go down. For a mini lift, light housework may be permitted. However, those who underwent a more invasive procedure may not yet be ready to resume daily cleaning.

Week 2

Days 7-14: Some swelling and bruising will remain around the treated areas. Tingling, tightness, and numbness may also occur. It may be difficult to chew hard foods during the first week, so softer food is often recommended. Patients will also have their second follow-up appointment with their surgeon during this time. You may be directed to wear your facial compression garment for only 12 hours a day at this point.

Most people can return to work after 2 weeks. Celebrations such as wedding graduations and reunions can be attended after 4 weeks.

Week 3 and 4

Days 15-30: Your surgeon will remove your sutures anywhere from the end of week 1 to week 3. At weeks 3 and 4, you may still have some residual tightness and swelling, but you will begin to look more like yourself. Here is where patients see improvements in their facial contour. Mild exercise and enjoy activities with friends and family.  Because too much activity leads to swelling.

What to Expect After Day 30

One month after surgery you should be back to doing normal activities. It can take up to one year for minor swelling, bruising, tightness, and numbness to reside. The above timeframe is general, and everyone will have a unique experience. Patients who do their research, take the necessary precautions, and follow their surgeon’s post-op care instructions often have the easiest recoveries and best outcomes.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information regarding facelift surgery in or near Lone Tree, Denver, or New Castle CO, please contact FacesFirst Cosmetic Surgery today. Your first step will be to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Picerno or Dr. Cote.