When will I feel kinda normal after a facelift?

I has my facelift 11 days ago and still very swallen. Going to Walmart is an ordeal and my eyes are light sensitive. Am I the only one to have such a slow recovery?

Doctor Answers 10

It requires some patience!

We inform our patients before surgery that while over the first 2-3 weeks they should note vast improvement the discomfort and swelling, it will take 3-6 months (or more) for complete healing.  There will be periods where you don't think that there is any healing going on but you just need to hang in there, as swelling will subside over time. 

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

You will feel normal quite soon

Everybody recovers at a different pace, and not all facelifts are done in the same fashion. With that being said, most patients start to feel "normal" somewhere around 14-21 days. Even at that time, you will steel numb in some places and have areas with variable amount of swelling. But you should definitely feel more normal by then.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Facelift Recovery

Everyone recovers a little differently.  What kind of lift did you have?  Mini?  Full traditional facelift?  Modified SMAS?  11 days is still early.  Give it time, and call your primary surgeon to make sure you are getting your questions answered.  I recommend caution using chat rooms this early in the recovery process, there are too many things that will scare the heck out of you.  You need to talk with your primary surgeon to get the reassurance you need.  Best of luck!

Richard Castellano, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Facelift recovery

There are different types of facelift and different degrees of swelling.  I do a smas flap dual plane facelift, yet by controlling many factors (diet, medications, type of anesthesia) many of my patients experienced minimal swelling and bruising.  It is not infrequent that patients go back to work between 7 and 10 days (although I always suggest 14).

By the way, I agree with the salt restriction.  Also avoid grains and dairy - but it is likely too later for that modification now.

Adam Bryce Weinfeld, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Recovery after a facelift

At 11 days you are just beginning your 1 year recovery.  By one month you will look and feel much better and by 4 months you will be 75 % there.  Avoid sodium to less than 1500 mg a day and sleep with head elevated.   You are normal and will be fine.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Expectations 11 days post facelift

Eleven days postoperative is minimal time for swelling to resolve.  Most clients have approx. 70 percent edema at 11 days out although will decrease slightly each day. The majority of edema has resolved at 2-3 months.  Hang in there!  It will just take time.

Nana N. Mizuguchi, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Facelift recovery

I normally tell my patients it takes 1-2 weeks for the immediate recovery from a facelift and then it can take 6-12 months for all of the healing to occur.  It is not at all unusual that you would still have some swelling 11 days after a facelift but it should be improving at this point.  If you feel things are worsening, you should contact your surgeon to be evaluated.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Full recovery after facelift

Swelling after a facelift is normal and expected. On average, patients can be presentable (with makeup) in 14 days. I don't recommend video appearances for 21 days and flash photography for 3 months. These are averages and so there are patients on either sides of these numbers.

In the end, the lymphatics, or drainage system, of your face has been interrupted by the surgery and recreating all these small vessels takes time and, in general, most people feel they look they're best around 3 months. Having said that, you are presentable at 14 days as almost 60% of the swelling is improved by then and 70% will improve by 6 weeks and then 80% around 3 months, on average healing tissue takes a full year to mature in any part of the body so the last 20% will take 6-12 months depending on the person.  Things will continue to get better!  

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Too Soon to Worry

You recovery is not necessarily unusual. Some swelling typically persists for several weeks, although the majority of the swelling is usually resolved in 2 weeks. However, the swelling varies depending on technique and the individual patient. I also find that patients are much more aware of their swelling than others, which is natural. It is not uncommon to feel swollen and yet realize when encountering others that they do not notice. I would consult with your surgeon and give it time. Eleven days is still early. As long as it is improving, it does not sound concerning. The light sensitivity is another issue, and I would discuss that with your surgeon. That is a more common symptom after eyelid surgery.

Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

On the Road To Recovery

In general, most patients start feeling back to normal in 14 plus days.  Everyone heals at a different rate.  Follow up with your plastic surgeon so that he can guide you to recovery,

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.