How Long Does It Take to Feel "Normal" After a Mini-facelift?

I had a mini-lift six days ago (NOT a "Lifestyle Lift" -- my doctor is a double board certified in Plastic & General Surgery and has been practicing for 22 years.) The results are terrific BUT my ears are very painful and still swollen.(They look OK though) There is also quite a lot of pain around where the staples are inserted in my scalp. My doctor gave me every assurance that this is all normal but I'd like a second opinion. Thanks so much.

Doctor Answers 10

Recovery after Mini-facelift

It is not unusual to still have some pain one week after a Mini-Facelift.  This discomfort should resolve over the next week or two.  It may take up to six weks for the swelling to totally resolve.  The scars from the incisions will probably be most noticable at 3 to 6 weeks following the surgery and will take about 6 to 12 months to fade.  Best wishes.


San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Healing after a mini facelift procedure

Hi there,
Typically, a mini lift requires only 5 to 7 days of rest time, compared to 7 to 14 days for a full facelift. It is common for patients to experience side effects such as bruising, swelling, redness, sensitivity, temporary loss of sensation, and some discomfort in the weeks following a mini facelift.
Things to consider:No strenuous activities, including sex and heavy housework, for 2 weeks.
Walking and mild stretching are okay.
No swimming for 4 weeks.You may experience tightness in the neck for 2-4 weeks.
Return to work in about 1-2 weeks. Final result is not fully realized for approximately 3 months.

By the third week you should look and feel much better to resume most normal activities. 
Good luck healing!

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Normal usually takes a few weeks

The at-home downtime for a mini lift is usually 1 week, but incisions take weeks to months to heal. Discomfort usually does not last more than about two weeks, although the ears can be especially painful in some. I stopped using staples due to reports of increased discomfort. In the end, all discomfort, swelling, bruising will go away and you will look great!

Anand D. Patel, MD
Brookfield Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

It is normal to feel some pain and discomfort less than a week following a mini lift

It is normal to feel some pain and discomfort after any surgical procedure, including a mini lift. 6 days is still quite early in the healing process, and it is expected to have some swelling and discomfort at this point. Each individual is different, and healing times as well as level of discomfort varies from patient to patient, so I would not worry as long as your surgeon said it was normal. I hope this helps.

Post Procedure Healing and Expectations

Healing varies from person to person, but patients can generally expect to be presentable within three weeks from surgery. The #healing process in general can take up to one month for the majority of swelling to subside, incisions to close, sutures to come out, and for bruising to completely go away.Patients should expect swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the skin during this phase of #recovery (swelling normally goes down after 48 hours; most bruising will go away within two weeks). For example, the marks from a #facelift can easily hidden with “camouflage” make-up which you can learn how to apply.
Also, the scars from a facelift mature within six to twelve months from the surgery date. It is during this time that the rejuvenating effects of the procedure(s) will become apparent and the real result will be seen.
If you have certain concerns about the procedures and #healing process, it is recommended to call your board-certified surgeon or their medical staff and discuss those #concerns.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Swelling after mini facelift

Thank you for your question for sharing your concerns with us. Swelling and firmness in the tissues will return to normal as time passes by. Between the first and second week, much of your swelling and bruising will dissipate. It may take more than a month or two for your tissues to fully soften and any residual swelling to resolve. Lymphatic massage maybe an option to help clear the swelling and firmness at a faster pace. I would make sure that you continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon during this period of time. Your discomfort may also resolve once the staples are out.

1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks to feel "normal" after a Mini Lift

Healing and recovery from a Mini Lift is a progressive process and while every patient is different there are some general guidelines that the majority of patients will follow. For dicussion purposes I consider a Mini Lift to be a surgical procedure where short incisions are used, excess skin is removed and the SMAS lyaer is elevated by using a combination of dissection deep to the SMAS and superficial to it. In essence, a trditional facelift but with smaller incisions. 1 week - majority of swelling will be gone. still may have some areas of numbness and bruising. most pain should be gone but can have occasional discomfort. 2 weeks - by the ends of 2 weeks about 90% of the initial swelling, pain and bruising will be gone. Some mild tightness and discomfort may be noted. 4 weeks - by this time all of the noticeable healing should be done and a patient should feel "normal". The subtle healing under the skin will continue for the next 6 months to a year with very occasional tightness being noted. Everyone is different and it is key to work closely with your surgeon both before and after surgery to ensure a safe and efficient recovery process. Follow all instructions as well since they really are very important to the healing process. All the best, Dr. J

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How Long Does It Take to Feel "Normal" After a Mini-facelift?

     There can be discomfort after a facelift, which usually resolves over the first couple of weeks.  However, techniques are surgeon dependent, and the surgeon is the best source of information in this situation.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

How long does it take to feel normal after mini-facelift.

Hi.  Each patient is an individual and therefore, there are no rules for how long it takes to feel normal.  I tell patients that they will have numbness in the areas of the cheek where the skin was elevated for 4-6 months.  The swelling should be resolved in the first 3-4 weeks.  Most patients are back to work in the first week to 10 days.  I hope that this is helpful.

Jonathan Pontell, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Mini LIft recovery

I would say that you need to give a good full 2 weeks before you start to feel good. Despite the "mini" moniker, quite a lot of dissection is done and therefore recovery can be tough. It's definitely not the "lunchtime lift" that some have mentioned.

Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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.