Recovery Time for Facelift?

I am considering going out of the state for Facelift. How many days should I stay before returning home?

Doctor Answers 35

Recovery Time For a Facelift

Recovery time is a universal concern for prospective patients and the most frequent question during consultations.  Since there is no way to perform a surgical procedure without some recovery, it is important to first dispel the myth of "no downtime" surgery.  The "lunchtime lift"  belongs in the land of unicorns and flying pigs and should be dismissed as a marketing term.  The initial phase of recovery involves some degree of swelling and bruising.  In the link shown below, I show a patient before, at 1 week, and at 1 month after a Facelift. Although all patients are physically capable of driving and going about their business at 7-10 days, some individuals are more sensitive to having a postoperative appearance.  For most patients wearing makeup, going out in public without being conspicuous takes about 2 weeks. Although the wound healing process takes many months to fully settle down, these aspects of recovery are rarely noticeable to the general public.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Recovery time for a facelift

The recovery time for a facelift is largely a matter of appearance. Most patients feel fairly normal after a few days and depending on the type of procedure will look fairly normal in 10-14 days. Assuming everything goes well with the surgery, it should be safe to return to your home after that time.

Good luck and best wishes on your surgery.

Wayne I. Yamahata, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Recovery time after facelift

Generally patients can travel 7 to10 days after surgery. If possible, I like to see my patients again after a few months, and again long term. During that interval, internet communications are comforting to a patient.

The recovery is a different matter. Some patients heal fast, some slow. Patients who have a straightforward facelift will usually be "presentable" faster than patients who have their eyes, brow, cheeklift, lip lifts, LiveFIll, laser etc. done at the same time.

Generally, patients are "presentable" by 2 weeks and "spiffy" by 4 weeks. Final healing time is ually 6 months.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Recovery from a facelift

Depending on the procedure done and how careful your surgeon is with stopping bleeding and thus minizing bruising and swelling, the stay I would recommend if you were my patient is 10 days.  But obviously you should follow your own surgeon's advice.

Average Facelift Recovery Time

The average recover time is a week. To speed up the process first and foremost, it is important that you follow your any post-op instructions your surgeon has given. Usually I recommend staying at home for at least a week. To promote healing staying hydrated and be sure to relax. While moderate activity, such as a low-impact walk, can help encourage healing, strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first couple of weeks. Take lukewarm showers (not hot) and avoid washing your hair for about 3 days. This will help protect the incision sites so that they can heal efficiently.

Stay for at least two weeks

I would recommend staying for two weeks before returning home to allow for the majority of bruising and swelling to go down. This will also allow yourself time to rest, and to be able to visit your surgeon in person for follow-up visits and in case there are any complications. I find that in most of my patients, bruising resolves enough to be covered with makeup after one week, and fully resolves by two weeks, while swelling will be most pronounced for 24-72 hours following surgery. There will be other symptoms such as tightness, numbness, itchiness, and further swelling that may last for months, but these should not interfere with your ability to travel or go out in public. Wherever you go for your surgery, make sure that you choose a board-certified, well-qualified facial plastic surgeon in order to minimize recovery time and ensure a good result! Facial plastic surgeons generally have more experience than general plastic surgeons with facelifts as well as more head and neck anatomical knowledge that allows them to achieve superior results.

Recovery After Facelift

Since you are an out-of-town patient, I would recommend that you leave a 10-day time frame in your schedule for recovery before travelling home. It is important that you give your body sufficient time to rest and heal, especially in the initial days after your surgery. During these 10 days, you will also have sufficient time to schedule the necessary post-op appointments with your surgeon to ensure that everything is going smoothly before you return back home. Most plastic surgery offices assist out-of-town patients plan out their travels before their surgery. You can call or visit a board certified facial plastic surgeon to get more information on travel accommodations they may offer.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews


1-2 weeks for most of your bruising to resolve and all sutures removed, ~One month of no heavy lifting/ strenuous work. Most of the swelling is gone in the first month, but some residual swelling can take a few more months to settle. See an experienced Board Certified surgeon for more info.

Kevin Dieffenbach, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

About two weeks

It will generally be 10 to 14 days before the swelling and bruising has resolved enough that you will want to go out in public. This is when you will really start to see the rejuvenative effects of the surgery. Be patient during the first two weeks. After this time, camouflage make-up can be worn.

You should stay for about two weeks or so,and I recommend you find a PS in your area if a complication occurs upon your return home.

Recovery after Facelift

There will initially be a large amount of swelling and bruising. This will peak 1-2 days after surgery before gradually declining over 10-14 days. A small amount of swelling may remain for a month or so. Discomfort should be moderate and should decline after about two days.

For the first week, you will not be able to drive or lift anything. You’ll need to keep your head elevated as well, which will mean sleeping in a reclined position rather than lying flat. Exercise should be avoided for a month. Be prepared for your scars to be red for the first month, after which they will fade until they reach their final lightness in about a year. The tissues themselves should be completely healed in about six months.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 75 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.