I've had a facelift, upper eyelid surgery and lip injections. When will I start to look normal? (Photo)

I'm very very swollen, although not in too much pain. I was wearing a compression mask but it was so uncomfortable and tight I had to loosen it. I'm so swollen right now that I can barely see out of my eyes. I had the surgery on Monday evening and am going back tomorrow for a check up. When shoul I expect the swelling to subside a bit. I'm using ice packs too and taking arnica and the prescribed mess from the surgeon? Thanks

Doctor Answers 13


Thank you for your question. It is great to hear that you are not experiencing pain 3 days after your surgery. Remain patient because the swelling should begin to subside 1-2 weeks after surgery. I suggest that you consult with your board certified facial plastic surgeon about your healing process and stick to their recovery guidelines.

Best wishes,

Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

When will I start to look normal?

Mild to moderate swelling and bruising should be expected during the first several weeks. Some swelling and fluid retention can persist for several months. Remember everyone heals at a different rate, and your surgeon will follow your progress closely. You may place cool compresses over your face for 20 minutes followed by a 20 minute break on and off for the first 48 hours to help with swelling. One easy way is to use a bowl of ice water and dip a clean wash cloth in, wring it out and gently lay it over your face. Wearing your compression garment if given one by your surgeon also significantly helps to reduce the swelling and support healing tissues.

Audrey A. Klenke, MD, FACS
Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Swelling after Facelift, Eyelid Surgery, and Lip augmentation

Hello.  Thank you for your question.  Typically the facial swelling will increase during the first 2 - 3 days.  It will usually begin to decrease around day 5.  The majority of the facial swelling (80%) will resolve by 2 weeks in most patients, but this can vary from one individual to the next.  The remainder of the swelling will slowly resolve over the following weeks to months.  Be patient with the healing process and be certain to communicate any concerns to your physician.  Best of luck to you in your recovery.

Michael Boggess, MD
Nashville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Swelling following facelift

Swelling can take weeks to subside and is different for each person.

I would recommend you speak with your doctor if you are having severe pain in addition to the swelling.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling After Facelift

Thank you for your question.

If the swelling continues to worsen, I recommend contacting your doctor urgently to discuss the issue.  If the swelling is stable, you can expect the vast majority of swelling to be gone in a couple weeks (but all of the swelling to be gone in several months).  Congratulations on your facelift!

Dr. Michael Epstein
MAE Plastic Surgery
Northbrook, IL

Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Facelifting #woundhealing #cosmeticsurgery #BOTOX

Dear Rockyroad65

Thank you for your question and photo! Please check with your surgeon about the swelling- make sure that there is not a collection of fluid or blood.  Ice packs may not help much after the first 24 hours- take care not to freeze your skin.  The worst swelling is in the first 3 to 5 days.

With Warm Regards

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Healing takes time

The face lift healing time and recovery period can last anywhere from one week to several weeks, depending on the type of face lift surgery undergone. Most patients can return to work from a standard or mid face lift in 10 days to two weeks.

It is critical to follow the aftercare instructions given by your doctor, including wearing the compression mask. Keep All incisions and dressings dry until your doctor says that showering or bathing is okay. For the first few days, the head should be kept elevated and immobile in order to minimize swelling. Most stitches will be removed in about five days, and the initial face lift results will be apparent soon afterward. Blow-drying your hair and wearing earrings, is prohibited for a longer period of time.

For the first few days or weeks, depending on your procedure, only walking and mild stretching are appropriate physical activities. Vigorous exercise, heavy housework, and sexual activity should be avoided for at least the initial two weeks after surgery. Alcohol, saunas, and steam rooms should be avoided for several months. Extra rest is very important to promote proper healing.

Jan Zemplenyi, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

I've had a facelift, upper eyelid surgery and lip injections. When will I start to look normal?

Hello Rockyroad65,

Your swelling will increase for the first 2-3 days, stay there for another 2-3 days, and it isn't until the 5th or 6th day that the swelling starts to come down.  That is about the time you will start to see your face starting to return to normal.  But around 2 weeks is when you will have 80% of your swelling gone and look better then than you did before your surgery.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Swelling after facelift

Swelling after a facelift is expected.  Some swell more than others depending on the type of facelift and whether additional procedures were performed.

You pictures appear to have appropriate swelling which should continue to decrease in the week.

Continue to follow up with your surgeon to ask these questions.

Ernest Robinson, MD
Aliso Viejo Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Takes time

The face remains swollen intensely for the first week and then starts resolving.
Hang in there, it will get better.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.