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 36

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 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
4.9 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 133 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.

Recovery Time for Facelift?

Thank you for your question.  I perform The Concept Facelift on my patients, which is a pioneered procedure giving the longevity and results of a traditional method facelift, however significantly reducing recovery time (swelling and bruising).  I would guide my patients to have approximately 7 day to recovery (this does depend on patient to patient therefore some will be out shopping and back to their daily routines with 4 days).

Overall recovery process does differ in patients.  Here is my recovery protocol which my patients follow to help minimise a long recovery period:

  • Do use a cool pack on the incisions as this will help reduce any residual fullness.
  • Do continue with painkillers if required, as around 5% of patients will have some ear pain which will settle within a week or two.
  • Do shower and hair wash daily.
  • Do resume normal activities however avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for 2 weeks post procedure.
  • Don’t apply any make up, moisturiser or oils to the incision line until advised by us.
  • Don’t allow pets of any variety to share a bed with you and avoid allowing pets near your face for the first four weeks after your procedure. Allowing pets near your face has the potential to result in an infection. However being vigilant will help reduce this risk.
  • Do be vigilant with hand hygiene.
  • Do notify us immediately if you have any concerns or notice any increased redness, heat around the incision or if you have any discharge from around the ear.
Once you have seen your plastic surgeon for your follow up, they may advise on when you can start massaging the incision areas and the best technique to use. They may recommend the use of scar improvement oils such as Bio-oil.

All the Best with your recovery!

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Facelift

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 23 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.

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.