This is one of the most common questions I get, so wanted to answer this here.
What is the recovery for a facelift?
In general I say 2-3 weeks, although this varies for everyone. This is the amount of time that I generally recommend avoiding social gatherings or special events.
I do not use any drains after the surgery, so my patients are actually able to wash their hair the next day.
Is there a lot of bruising after a facelift?
Bruising and swelling vary from person to person. Some people have very little to no bruising, believe it or not. The majority of people fall somewhere in the middle with some light red bruising around the lower cheeks and neck. If eyelid surgery is performed at the same time, there is usually bruising around the eyes as well. Covering bruises with makeup is possible when the incisions have began to heal.
Some patients take Arnica Montana or Bromelain after surgery to expedite resolution of bruises.
Is a facelift painful?
Facial surgery tends to be well tolerated and patients rate pain levels as significantly lower than body surgery. I have some patients that take only tylenol after facelifts! I prescribe pain medications to all my patients and recommend they take them for the first few days.
What are the activity restrictions after a facelift?
Driving – If a necklift is performed at the time of your facelift, I require 2 weeks of no driving. If you look at the strength of a wound that is healing, 80% of the strength returns at 8 weeks. Any limiting of stretching and pulling (especially head turning during driving) will help prevent scar widening and compromise of your best result.
Exercise – return to light workout (walking) early after surgery is encouraged. I tell patients to avoid heavy lifting or neck straining for 8 weeks. If it feels tight, listen to your body!
Hope that answers a few of your questions. Feel free to email me with any others. Don’t forget to check out my facelift page.