What is my predicted time out of work in a job where I meet the public?

My surgical facelift will involve lifting and smoothing just the chin and lower cheeks by pulling up skin slightly on both sides of my temples, as part of a reconstructive neck surgery. Do the horizontal incisions made above the ears require shaving my head and long recovery/down time?

Doctor Answers 24

What is my predicted time out of work in a job where I meet the public?

Hello Bobwilbor,

I tell my patients that by two weeks 80% of the swelling will be gone and they should be able to be seen in public with a little make up.  A few patients look good enough at 10 days and a few a little later.  With regards to shaving you will have to ask your surgeon. I personally don't shave any hair as I find that makes the healing process more difficult to hide for my patients.  I know other surgeons who shave a fair amount of hair.  Another limitation I give my facelift patients who have the neck lifted is to avoid driving for two weeks so as not too pull on the deeper stitches.  

I would recommend you discuss your concerns with your surgeon prior to your operation so there are no surprises as we all have our specific post operative instructions to follow.  

I hope this helps and good luck.  


The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

What is my predicted time out of work in a job where I meet the public?

  HI, I have performed many Facelifts for almost 30 years and your recovery (when you are able to return to work) will depend on how invasive the facelift is and how time-efficient your Facelift Surgeon can be or more precisely, how long it takes to complete the facelift procedure.  Traditional facelift, mid-facelifts, cheek lifts, deep plane facelifts and sub-periosteal facelifts are all very invasive taking 5-6 hours to complete.  These will have weeks and months of recovery time.  For the past 15 years, I have performed a minimally invasive, short incision (no incisions in the hairline front or back) that is described below as well as a comparison of its benefits over the more invasive type facelifts.  Just for clarity sake, I have performed many of the more invasive type facelifts but my patients over the last 15 years are simply not interested in an extended recovery making those types of facelifts no longer an option.

 If you have "jowls" this is sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last). The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery
  • can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
  • no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
  • excess fat can be removed
  • excess skin removed
  • cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Perlane) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op
Hope this helps.

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

Recovery time after a surgical facelift

 There are many variables that go into the healing process after a facelift procedure, which include the surgical techniques performed, and how each individual patient responds to surgery. In our practice, we do not use any bandages, however we do place small suction drains  that are left in place for one to 2 days after the procedure to drain the blood out from underneath the skin. This minimizes any bruising. In our practice most patients are able to return to work or  social activities at 2 weeks.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Time Off For a Facelift: About 2 Weeks

It sounds as if you are having a Facelift, which is designed to contour your cheeks, neck, and jawline.  A Facelift is a very individualized procedure based on the anatomy of the patient and the preferences of the Surgeon.  Generally speaking, you will need to stay away from heavy lifting and bending over for 2 weeks, and 4 weeks from weight lifting.  However, you should discuss these guidelines with your Surgeon to ensure best results.  Hairline and shaving shifts should also be reviewed, and I ask my male patients to shave with an electric razor for at least 6 months after having a Facelift. Shaving of hair is a very uncommon practice with modern Facelift techniques, but again a better question to review with your Surgeon. Men tend to bruise less than women making the relative downtime somewhat shorter.  Make sure that you see a Surgeon with a busy Facelift practice: this can be a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon who focuses on facial surgery.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

What is my predicted time out of work in a job where I meet the public?

If having Full FL/NL than best to take 30 days off. But you need to ask your chosen surgeon his/her response//////

Time outof work would be 10-14 days.

The amount of bruising different patients get can vary but usually most bruising is gone or reduced enough to be easily covered with makeup by day 7-10 and most certainly by day 14.  Incisions are purposely placed in the hairline so hair does not have to be shaved.  Discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon in detail so you are both on the same page.

Time off post face

Usually about 7 to 10 days.I generally do not shave any hair and if patient s want to put on a little makeup to cover some bruising that is ok.I usually will let them shampoo their hair the next day and get everything wet.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Recovery Time for Facelift

In general, 2 weeks is average for taking time off work following this surgery.  Everyone heals different, so the time can vary.  I do not consider this as a long recovery time.  I have never shaved anyone's head for a facelift.  Discuss the procedure with your plastic surgeon.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Time off

Each surgeon has small variations in his or her protocol regarding incision placement and hair trimming. To answer these questions I would contact your surgeon.

Most of my facelift patients will take 1-2 weeks off from work. After this time, any bruising should be gone, but there will still be some mild swelling, which may take 4-6 weeks to resolve. Most people feel comfortable being in public during this time--simply style your hair over your ears so the incisions aren't visible. You may want to wear a scarf or turtleneck to hide any lingering neck swelling. Hope this helps!

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Healing after a facelift, and time off from work

Healing after a facelift, and time off from work
My more simple #LiteLift procedures can be good enough at a week to be in public.
It will depend on the type of lift that is done.   see the link below

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