Facelift Recovery: By the Numbers

Posted in Facial Procedures, Plastic Surgery patient recovering from a facelift

Recovering from a facelift surgery can be a source of concern for many who are considering the procedure. Your face is not a part of your body that you can hide while you heal, especially if you have work or social obligations to attend to before all residual effects have faded. At Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center, we recommend learning as much as you can about the facelift recovery process before scheduling your procedure. That way, you can clear your schedule until you think you’ll be comfortable to return to normal activities. To help you better plan your time post-surgery, here is a breakdown of milestones to remember for your recovery.

One Hour: A Little Help from A Friend

Immediately after your surgery, you’ll need to spend about one hour in our recovery room for monitoring. We need to make sure you do not show any signs of adverse reactions to anesthesia, pain medications or the surgery itself before we send you home. We also wait until your anesthesia wears off enough for you to be aware of your surroundings — sending you home before you are coherent could be a jarring and disorienting experience. At this point, we will give you some written post-operative care information to take home with you, and you can ask any remaining questions about your recovery before you leave.

Since you’ll be drowsy or woozy from anesthesia, we strongly recommend having a trusted friend or family member there during your recovery. We require that you have someone to pick you up from your surgery since you won’t be able to drive. It is a good idea to have this person arrive a little earlier than your estimated release time so that they can look through your take-home information with your surgeon — they can help you remember specific information that might be difficult to recall by yourself.

Two Weeks: Rest and Relaxation

After your facelift, most surgeons recommend that you spend two weeks resting before you return to normal activities. Your face, particularly the area around your sutures, will likely be tender, red and swollen — in all likelihood, you will not want to leave the house because you won’t be feeling or looking your best. Your surgeon will be available to provide you with any specific instructions regarding medications or ways to stay comfortable during this time. If questions or concerns about your healing arise within this period, you should call your surgeon’s office right away — though rare, if complications do occur, it usually happens within these first two weeks.

Depending on your job and lifestyle, this two-week period is the time you should plan to take off work, schedule extra childcare help, decline social invitations or stay away from the gym. You should spend these two weeks resting, following a recovery skincare regimen and avoiding direct sunlight on your face. This is the time when your face and skin will be doing the majority of its healing, so it’s imperative that you remain patient and take the best possible care of yourself until you are healed enough to restart your daily routine.

Six Weeks: Before and After

Around six weeks after your facelift, your redness and swelling will have disappeared and you will feel as though your face and facial expressions have largely returned to normal. You will be able to see your results clearly, which means you may notice other people commenting that you look younger or seem more energetic. As you continue to heal and get back into the swing of things, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to show your new look to the world.

At Advanced Aesthetics, the six-week mark is when we recommend post-op photos for “before and after” comparisons. Our clients are typically very excited about their results around this time because they truly see the healing process taking place and can tell that their surgery has made a difference. You may want to consider scheduling an appointment with Advanced Aesthetics or your regular dermatologist at this time, as well. Your skin will need extra attention as it continues to settle into its new placement, and taking care of your face over time helps your results last longer. This stage of healing is a good time to consult a professional about the best products to keep your skin looking younger and refreshed.

Three Months: A Full Recovery

Although six weeks is enough time for your skin’s appearance to return to normal, it will take a bit more time for you to feel as though skin texture and sensation have leveled out. This final stage of recovery is usually realized about three months after your surgery. This is the last major benchmark for facelift recoveries; at this point, most clients report that their scars are no longer visible, they do not feel any more residual tightness and any lingering irritation or discomfort has subsided. After three months, your surgery can seem like a distant memory as you come to feel totally natural in your new skin.

Even though your recovery is medically complete, it’s important to treat your skin with the same level of care and attention that you did as you were healing. A full facelift alone can last five to ten years, but this number can be extended with healthy habits and a good skincare regimen. Avoid skin-damaging habits like smoking and tanning; remember to always use sun protection, even on cloudy days. Anti-aging skincare techniques like regular facials or topical treatments can also help your facelift last longer. Talk to your plastic surgeon or your dermatologist about the best long-term options for your skin.

Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center is proud to provide expert plastic surgery and consultation to the Atlanta, Georgia area. Our locations in Newnan, McDonough and LaGrange and our state-of-the-art Grand Facility in Fayetteville are all ready to provide the services you need. If you are interested in facelift procedure with Advanced Aesthetics, call us today at 770-461-4000.

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