Everything You Need to Know About The Facelift Recovery Process

Facelift Recovery

Are you looking to get a facelift and want to learn more about the facelift recovery timeline? If so, you’re in the right place!

Face lift Las Vegas surgery is known to be an advantageous procedure for patients who are looking to reduce the appearance of facial aging. The results of this plastic surgery provide an unparalleled transformation in your face’s texture, elasticity, and youthful appearance.

This surgical procedure can produce exceptional results, but it is also known to have an extensive recovery period. With the knowledge below, you’ll be far more equipped to receive this operation and go into the procedure feeling entirely prepared!

Understanding Facelift Surgery Recovery

Though you should also be provided post-operative care instructions from your medical provider, having a clear expectation of your facelift recovery period before the day of the operation can significantly ease any lingering discomfort. With your facelift recovery explained below, you should know what your recovery will look like each week.

Facelift Recovery Week 1: Critical Recovery Milestones

One week post-surgery is characterized by a day-by-day transformation. During the first week, swelling and bruising are most pronounced during this time, but with the help of prescribed pain medication and careful management, discomfort can be significantly reduced. Following your facelift surgeon‘s advice on caring for your incision sites will promote a much quicker healing process and aid in minimizing your risk of complications.facelift recovery time

Weeks 2 to 4: Noticeable Changes and Healing

As you step into the second week and beyond, you’ll notice very minor swelling. The healing of incision sites will also become more apparent. During this phase, most patients can slowly resume normal activities, albeit with a strong emphasis on avoiding strenuous exercise to prevent undue stress on the healing tissues.

Eyelid surgery or the addition of facial implants, if performed alongside the facelift, will also show signs of settling into their new positions and contribute to an enhanced facial contour.

Long-Term Recovery: Up to One Year

All in all, your journey toward the final results of your facelift procedure will be roughly a year long. Residual swelling will continue to subside during that time, and eventually, your facial skin will be able to maintain its new shape healthily. This period, though lengthy, is essential for allowing your facelift’s full benefits to manifest.

Essential Factors For a Perfect Recovery

Managing Pain and Discomfort

  • Prescribed Medications: Listen closely to any information regarding your medication intake during this time.
  • Elevation: Always try to maintain head elevation above the heart level. This is particularly important during the first night and throughout the initial week.
  • Rest and Care: Ensure you receive adequate rest and follow all post-operative care instructions to support healing.

Minimizing Swelling and Bruising

  • Head Elevation: Maintain head elevation to reduce swelling, especially while sleeping.
  • Cold Compresses: It can be helpful to use cold compresses, as recommended, to help minimize bruising and swelling.
  • Surgical Dressings: Always wear any surgical dressings or compression garments provided by your cosmetic surgeon to support the healing areas.

Navigating Activities and Exercise

  • Avoid Strenuous Exercise: Be sure to refrain from any heavy lifting or intense exercise for whatever period specified by your surgeon.
  • Gradual Resumption:
    • Lighter activities, like short daily walks, are often promoted later in your recovery.
    • Slowly increase your activity level based on your surgeon’s advice and your comfort.

How to Speed Up Your Recovery

Dietary Recommendations and Hydration

After facelift surgery, nutrition plays a heavy role in healing. To support your body’s healing ability, focus on a balanced and varied diet, promoting skin regeneration and reducing swelling. Include plenty of protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your meals. Hydration is equally important; drinking adequate water helps maintain moisture in the skin, is essential for healing, and can also help reduce swelling more efficiently.

Sleep and Rest: Essential for Healing

Quality sleep and rest are crucial for recovery after a facelift. During the first two weeks post-surgery, especially the second week, it’s vital to maintain a sleeping position that doesn’t pressure the affected areas, typically by keeping your head elevated. This position not only aids in reducing swelling but also helps protect the incision areas. Extra pillows or a recliner chair can make this more accessible and comfortable.

deep plane facelift recoveryFAQs

How long will it take to see the final results of my facelift?

The timeline to see the final results of a facelift varies among patients, but most can anticipate seeing a great deal of improvement within a few months after surgery. It’s important to note that residual swelling may persist for up to one year, although minor swelling and the subtle refinement of facial contours will continue to evolve.

Can I combine my facelift with other procedures?

Combining a facelift or mini facelift with other procedures is common and helpful in addressing multiple areas of concern such as face and neck in a single surgical session. Procedures such as eyelid surgery (to correct sagging skin around the eye area) or a neck lift (to manage loose skin and extra fat in the area of the neck) can complement the facelift results.

What are the potential complications of a facelift recovery?

While facelift surgery is generally safe, mainly when performed by a board-certified surgeon, potential complications can include bruising and swelling, minor swelling at the surgical site, and issues related to the sites where the incisions were placed, such as infection or poor healing. Necessary precautions and specific instructions from your surgeon can minimize these facelift risks.

How can I ensure a successful recovery from my facelift?

Ensuring a successful recovery from a facelift involves several vital practices:

  • Follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully, especially regarding care for the surgical area and when to resume activities.
  • Decrease the amount of swelling by keeping your head elevated, particularly during the first two weeks, and using cold compresses as advised.
  • Don’t participate in tasks that involve a lot of heavy lifting above the timeframes recommended by your surgeon to prevent stress on the healing tissues.
  • Don’t skip out on follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is on track and any complications are addressed early.

By following these tips, you can minimize swelling and bruising.

How long does it take to recover from a facelift?

The facelift recovery time varies for each individual, but it usually takes around 6 weeks. Even after the incision site is fully healed, you may notice some swelling and scar tissue over the next few months.  Facelift scarring tends to be hard to see because each incision is made within the hairline.

Put Your Cosmetic Surgery In The Right Hands

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rachel Mason has extensive experience performing the facelift surgical procedure. In her well-equipped hands, you can rest assured that the healing process for your facelift procedure is as smooth as possible.

Contact Dr. Mason and her team today to schedule your consultation!


  1. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/your-facelift-recovery-explained-from-day-1-to-day-30
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11023-facelift
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