If you’re considering a facelift to reverse the signs of aging, it’s important to understand every aspect of your procedure before moving forward. This includes what to expect during the recovery process. As with all surgical procedures, you should expect to experience some downtime for the first few weeks of recovery while your body heals.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Jean will review this information with you in detail and answer any questions you may have about the facelift recovery process. The following information will provide you with a basic overview of what to expect as you recover from surgery.
Planning for Your Initial Recovery Days
A little planning will go a long way to ensuring a smooth start to your recovery. We recommend that you take the following steps prior to undergoing your facelift procedure:
- Arrange for a ride home after surgery – You will be unable to drive due to the lingering effects of the anesthesia, so it is crucial that you have someone available to drive you home after your procedure.
- Arrange for help around the house – You may find it difficult to perform many of your routine daily activities during the first few days of your recovery. It will be helpful to have someone stay at the house with you to assist you as needed for a few days. This is especially important on the day of your procedure.
- Prepare meals – You will most likely not feel up to cooking immediately following your facelift. We recommend that you prepare a few meals before undergoing surgery that you can easily reheat while you recover. Make sure your prepared meals include a lot of soft foods that are easy to chew.
- Create a comfortable recovery space – Whether it’s in your bedroom, your living room or some other part of the house, make sure you set up a space where you can rest in comfort. This should include pillows to keep your head elevated, blankets, and plenty of entertainment. You’ll want to have some good movies and/or audiobooks on-hand for the first few days after surgery.
First Two Weeks of Recovery
The first two weeks of your recovery are the most critical. It’s important to follow all of Dr. Jean’s instructions in order to facilitate proper healing. Make sure you keep the following items in mind during the first two weeks of recovery after your facelift:
- Mild bruising and swelling is normal, and it will gradually subside as you start to heal. A cold compress will help reduce the severity of bruising and swelling.
- Keep your head elevated to reduce the swelling, but avoid big pillows that will push your head forward. Dr. Jean recommends using a small towel roll under your neck to keep your head sufficiently elevated.
- You may experience some mild discomfort during the early stages of your recovery. Dr. Jean will prescribe pain medication to help you reduce this discomfort.
- Stay out of the sun during the first two weeks of your recovery. You will also want to avoid tanning beds during this time.
- While light walking is encouraged as soon as possible, it may take up to two weeks before you can return to work and resume most routine daily activities. It will take several more weeks before you can resume exercise and other rigorous activities.
Your Facelift Results
Patience will be crucial after your facelift procedure. You should expect that it may take several months before you notice your final results due to some residual swelling. However, once you are fully healed, you can expect to look significantly rejuvenated. Many men and women find that their facelift makes them look as much as 10 years younger.
One of the benefits of choosing a facelift is that your results will last a long time. In most instances, it can take up to 10 years before signs of aging return in a prominent manner. The duration of your results will also depend on factors such as:
- Your genetic predisposition to aging
- The extensiveness of your signs of aging when you undergo a facelift
- The facelift technique Dr. Jean uses
- Your lifestyle choices (excessive drinking, smoking and sun exposure may reduce the duration of your results)
Contact our Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
If you would like to learn more about your facelift options, please contact Main Line Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call 484-222-0010 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Bryn Mawr, Villanova and throughout the Main Line of Philadelphia.