What is Recovery Time on Lower Facelift?

What is Recovery Time on Lower Facelift?

Doctor Answers 40

Recovery Time for a Lower Facelift

A neck lift is similar to a mini facelift and the recovery is not a lot different between the two.  Similar incisions are made unless an incision under the chin is done as well.  The work done under the skin to tighten the muscles may be just as extensive as a regular facelift depending upon the surgeon and what need to be done to get good results.

Recovery from any facelift or necklift is somewhat variable depending upon the individual and the extent of surgery that is done.  A limited or mini facelift or simple necklift may have slight shorter times than I mention here but not always.  There are three parts to "recovery":

  1. True recovery or time back up on your feet and able to go for a walk or get things done.  This should be no more than a day or two.
  2. Downtime or the time for the swelling and bruising to pass so that you can go out with some makeup on and not have people look aghast.  This is usually 7 to 10 days but may be a little longer depending upon you and the extent of the procedure.
  3. Time for healing.  I tell all my patients that all of the swelling is usually gone at 3 months and 80% of it is gone at 3 weeks.  Bruising can last up to 3 weeks.  Small lumps and bumps that can occasionally form may be 3 to 6 months before they are completely gone. The scars will be red and thick for up to a year.

Facelift and neck lift surgery can be transformative however and most of these problems are pretty minor.

I hope that helps and if it does please give it and up vote at the top right at the "report' button.  Thanks.

Best regards.


Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Plan A Two Week Recovery After Lower Face And Neck Lift

Thank you for your question.  Recovery time varies greatly between patients and among different surgeons.

However I advise my patients to plan a 2 week recovery following lower facelift and neck lift surgery.  Although you will feel well and able to be up and around and go for walks the first 2-3 days after surgery you will have swelling and bruising especially in the neck which can take 2 weeks to resolve.  Many patients after 5-6 days will apply makeup to cover the bruising and be comfortable going back to a non-lifting or non-stressful job.

However I think its best plan a 2 week recovery.  In addition for you to look normal and feel comfortable for an important social event such as a wedding or photography session I would plan on waiting 6 weeks.

Healing After Your Facelift Surgery

I'm linking to a page on my site that addresses healing after your facial plastic surgery, in detail.
Healing times after a facelift vary from patient to patient. Things that effect healing include surgical technique, the type of surgery (i.e. Facelift ) that is performed, the patient’s medical history and overall health, how well patients follow the pre and postoperative instructions (i.e. Avoiding alcohol and medications/supplements that promote bruising), and the patient’s normal tendency to bruise easily. Unfortunately, there are no absolute rules when it comes to healing. What I try to do is give my patients averages based my own patients. I find that the majority of the signs of surgery (i.e. How patients look the day after my facelift techniques) have improved 70-80% in the first 7 days. It is very common that patients feel ready and comfortable to go out in public with concealer and make-up on at that time (sometimes sooner). By 2 weeks, 80-90% of the signs of surgery are usually improved. There is still some healing that goes on for another few months that is very often flattering but unrealistic when it comes to the judging the final results. I personally feel most comfortable critiquing the results I achieve for my patients at 3 months or later and believe that the after pictures at that time are most credible when appreciating how amazing things will look for the long term.

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

2-3 weeks

Most early recovery is done in 7-10 days in a routine lower facelift. Patients feel pretty good in 3 weeks.  However it takes about 6 months to achieve final result.  Lot of patince is required during this period of healing.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Facelift recovery

Thank you for your question. Assuming you are in good physical and medical condition, recovery from a lower facelift is generally very acceptable/tolerable for most patients. Such recovery is obviously dependent on the type of facelift you get and what other procedures you get in conjunction (i.e. laser skin resurfacing, autologous fat transfer etc.). Incisions are generally placed around or within hairlines and around the ear to help camouflage the scars. You may have an additional incision underneath the chin if additional neck contouring is necessary to achieve an optimal result. Sutures are removed in 1 week. Social recovery (i.e. when you will be comfortable being seen in public) is usually 7-10 days owing to bruising and swelling. Aerobic exercise can be resumed after 2 weeks and high impact activities (i.e. running, jumping) started after 3 weeks. The final aesthetic outcome is typically evident at the 3 month mark (this is when we take post-operative photographs). A consultation with an expert in facial plastic surgery who specializes in Rhytidectomy (Facelifting) will allow for a proper assessment of your individual needs and expected recovery.

Edward Buckingham, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

What is Recovery time on lower facelift?

Although recovery time varies between patients, most patients are able to be socially active at 10 days to 2 weeks.  The swelling after lower facelift surgery is greatest in the first few days after surgery and then rapidly diminishes. Most, if not all, sutures are removed by 7-10 days.  Incisions are usually healing well by two weeks and require little care.  Although there will be some minor areas of swelling for several weeks, this should not affect your ability to return to work and  most activities.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Recovery Time After Lower Facelift

Healing after a lower facelift depends on a number of different factors including technique, skin condition, health and smoking history.  On average, two weeks is a good estimate for most of the healing to occur and when one can resume non-strenuous activities. However, sensation changes, bruising, healing of the incision and minor swelling can sometimes take additional weeks to months longer.

Carlo P. Honrado, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Facelift Recovery Time Explained

Thank you for your question. Recovery encompasses several aspects. Most patients are most interested in pain, activity, and appearance.

Following a facelift, most patients use oral pain medication for early soreness for a just a few days.

Following a facelift, each surgeon has his or her own suggestions and recommendations, and your surgeon's advice should be followed. In general, most normal daily activities are resumed the day after surgery. One may shower after a few days. Most people resume driving after 5-7 days. Light exercise is resumed after approximately 2-3 weeks. Full exercise may be delayed for approximately 6 weeks.

Following a facelift, there is undeniably a period during which most patients prefer not to be seen in public due to the appearance of expected swelling and bruising. Most people are able to resume public appearances within 10-12 days with the use of makeup and hairstyling to help conceal any residual bruising or early scar discoloration.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

What is Recovery Time on Lower Facelift?

Recovery time can vary between patients and among various facelift procedures.  I do advise that my patients continue very light activity around the house after the first 72 hours but full activity or exercise should be avoided for approximately a month. 

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How long do I need to recover from my facelift?

Facelifts are an incredible procedure as it can turn back the hands of time.  One of the most common questions I get is how long the recovery is for a facelift. 

The easiest way to answer this question is to go through the process, as there are different levels of recovery and what a person can do after the surgery.  First, I typically do my facelifts under general anesthesia so patients will need to go home with someone that can care for them the first night.  All of the patients come back to the office the day after their surgery so that I can remove the face wrap that they left the surgery center with after their facelift. 

After the first day patient will have a simple band placed that will help support the neck and minimize the swelling.  This band can be removed for showering.  All patients can shower the day after their surgery after I have seen them in the office. 

The first week after surgery patients will need to relax and avoid any strenuous activity.  I want patients to walk several times per day, but they need to avoid heaving lifting and strenuous activity, as these activities will increase their risk of issue after their surgery.  The first week patients tend to be swollen and bruised through out the face and neck area. 

After the first week patients can use cover-up makeup if they still have some residual bruising.  They will also still have some sutures hidden the hair and behind the ear.  The sutures on the face itself are typically removed prior to the one-week mark. 

Typically by two weeks all of the bruising has resolved and the majority of the swelling has subsided.  Patients are still healing but are doing very well at this point. 

Patients need to be about six weeks out from surgery before they return to their normal work out routines or any strenuous activity.  However they still need to be careful with sun exposure.

I hope this give you a little outline about the typical recovery course for face and neck lift with fat transfer.  Please consult your board certified plastic surgeon to help guide you through the process.  

Johnny Franco, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 105 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.