How Long Do Surgeons Generally Follow Up After a Face Lift?

It has been four months since my SMAS facelift. My surgeon has moved to Florida (hated to see him go). I haven't had any serious issues since my surgery, healing is still taking place (still some very minor swelling along the jawline, minor tightness and numbness around sides of face). He had told me at the onset that he likes to follow up for several months to a year on facelifts. Is it necessary to have further check-ups?

Doctor Answers 25

Maintaining a relationship with your surgeon helps to maintain your result

In over 25 years of practice, I believe that maintaining a relationship with your surgeon helps to maintain your overall rejuvenation result with facelift surgery.
In my practice, I see my patients after facelift surgery frequently for the first six months. Then they enter an anniversary period where I see them on the anniversary of their procedure or their birthday, every year, if possible. During their visit, photographs are taken to see how they are aging. I try to emphasize good skin care, laser skin rejuvenation and injectables, as needed, to help maintain their result over time.

I have been fortunate to even do follow up facelift surgery for my patients, years later, when the time is right.

Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

How long should I follow up after my facelift?

I personally see my patients weekly for the first month after a facelift.  I prefer that they have the ability to return for examinations at 1 month 6 onths and a year.

Facelift follow up is a personal choice

I personally follow my facelift patients for 6-12 months. This really depends on how far away they live. I have many patients that travel long distances to have their facelift with me, some even overseas. I ask these patients to stay for 2 weeks, but many can only stay for 7-8 days, then they go home. We do check in on them occasionally to make sure they are healing as expected and to answer any questions they may have. If you have any concerns, I'm sure your surgeon would love to hear from you, even to just reassure you that everything you are experiencing is normal.
I would much rather reassure a patient than have them sit at home worrying  about something.
Andrew C. Campbell, M.D.
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


I agree it is nice to see your patients for the long term but if you are not having issues it may be ok to not have follow up. I am sure if you contact your surgeon he can have you see a local colleague 

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Follow Up After Facelift

In general, I follow up with my patients for many years after the initial time period of 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, a year and then annually after that. I want to maximize their result by providing them with medical grade skincare such as Retin-A, sunscreen, as well as the use of intermittent fillers and/or Botox to maximize the result long-term.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Follow up after lift

This varies surgeon to surgeon.  At your stage (4 months) there is no absolute need to follow up as long as you are happy and have no issues

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Routine follow up after Facelift is day 1, 5, 10, 6 weeks, 3 months and one year

I routinely see my Facelift patients the day after surgery to check the viability and circulation of the skin and remove drains.

Sutures on the visible skin are removed day 5-6, and those in the hair bearing areas at 10-14 days. I follow up at 6 weeks to asses the results and healing. I like to see the patient at 3 months and one year for final post op photographs and to evaluate the result.

Each surgeon will  have his/her own routine

Face lift follow-up depends on the face.

The short answer is:  No problems, no more follow up.  At four months there is no longer risk of infection, healing complications, etc.  We sometimes will laser red scars at this point, but if there are no issues you can feel confident and enjoy your results until you need something else done.  Maybe begin a relationship with a medi-spa for some non surgical maintenance.  That way you will develop the contacts and referral system for your next intervention.



Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Face Lift, Mini Face Lift, The Palmer Celebrity Face Lift, Beverly Hills Face Lift

The amount of follow up time after a Face Lift depends on the individual Face Lift surgeon, how invasive or involved the particular Face Lift was and how the patient is healing afterwards...which is the most important part.  If you are healing well and have no issues after 4 months post-op, it's not unreasonable not to see you for follow up unless you had some questions or issues.  I often have Face Lift patients from all over the world that are great and don't require further follow up.

If your plastic and cosmetic surgeon moved but is still in practice you can eitrher see him/her at the new location for follow up or contact their office to see if they can recommend a colleague that can see you in your own city if the need arises.

Having said all of that, I want to mention that not needeing futher follow up is not the same things as being fully healed, which can take up to a fiull year with a traditional full Face and Neck Lift.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Follow-up after facelift

Most of the post-op changes have settled down in 3-4 months after a facelift.  Scar maturation and resolution of numbness, however, take longer - about a year or so.

In terms of follow-up, each surgeon will have their own routine.  If you have any questions or concerns about your current situation at 4 months post-op, I would certainly seek out a local plastic surgeon for an opinion.  Perhaps your old surgeon has made arrangements with a local MD for ongoing care of his former patients?  That would be a good place to start.


Best wishes,

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 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.