Recovering from a Facelift: What Patients Should Expect

By Sheryl Pilcher on March 11, 2015

A woman smiling in a roomAt Accent Plastic Surgery, patients throughout the greater San Antonio area get the information they need to look their best and feel confident about their choices. Dr. Sheryl Pilcher is a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon who takes great care when it comes to going over the risks and benefits of all procedure.

With this in mind, we'd like to look at patients who are recovering after undergoing a facelift. This should give you a good idea about the surgery and realistic expectations about the healing process involved.

Common Side Effects After Undergoing a Facelift

Some of the most common side effects of facelift include the following:

  • Soreness and discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Grogginess
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Redness or discoloration near incision sites
  • Tingling or numbness near incision sites

Keep in mind that these are all normal parts of the healing process and that the side effects will diminish significantly over the course of two weeks, with further improvements in the weeks ahead.

Activities to Avoid as You Recover from Facelift

As you are healing from a facelift, be sure to avoid the following activities until your plastic surgeon says otherwise:

  • Strenuous exercise
  • Heavy lifting
  • Sexual activity
  • Smoking
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Use of steam rooms and saunas
  • Sleeping on your side or stomach
  • Use of makeup or facial creams

What to Expect in the Early Days of Recovery

In the first few days of facelift recovery, discomfort is common. Patients should get ample rest, sleeping on their backs but with their bodies propped up at an angle with pillows. For pain and discomfort, be sure to take pain relievers as instructed.

Cold compresses can also be used for bruising and facial swelling, but be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions for proper use. Patients should also follow their surgeon's instructions with regard to surgical dressings and how they should keep the face and the incision sites clean.

What to Expect by the End of the First Week

By the end of the first week, patients will have returned to the practice for the first of several follow-up visits. These are intended to monitor the patient's healing progress and ensure that they are in good health as they recover from surgery.

By the end of the first week, patients should notice the discomfort, swelling, and bruising going down as well. These side effects will continue to become less serious by the end of the second week, at which point patients will be able to return to work looking fine.

What to Expect in the Weeks and Months Ahead

In the weeks and months ahead, patients will notice continued overall improvements with regard to their appearance and any minor but lasting side effects from the procedure. Gradually, patients will be able to return to normal activities, though this depends on the progress of their recovery. Do not rush things, and be sure to consult your surgeon even weeks after surgery if you have any concerns.

Contact Dr. Sheryl Pilcher

For more information about facelift and how it can help you achieve all of your aesthetic goals, it's important that you contact our cosmetic skin care and plastic surgery center today. Dr. Pilcher and her team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve all of your cosmetic goals in the process.

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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

More Info Directions (210) 654-9900