For a complete cosmetic surgery face lift procedure, recovery time ranges from about 7-14 days and slightly longer if additional procedures were performed. You will experience some swelling and bruising, which can spread to the eyes, making them look as if you have black eyes.
A bandage is used for 1-2 days and a neck strap can then be used also. This can be alleviated with painkillers and ice packs. Most patients return to full activity within three weeks.
You will return to the office within the first days of your first postoperative visit at which non-absorbable sutures will be removed and any drains or the packaging, depending on your rate of healing.
After rhytidectomy, Surgeons will involve incisions in bandages and drainage tubes can be placed in the area. The tubes will be removed to the next day, when the hair is washed with care. If surgical staples are used to keep incisions closed, they will be removed one week after the surgery, with surgery with stitches.
At first, you may experience swelling, numbness, bruising, and a feeling of tightness or tension in the face and neck. Your face may look uneven or distorted, and your facial muscles may feel stiff. These initial symptoms will resolve within 3-6 weeks, and the facial sensation typically returns to normal within a few months. Scars become less red, raised, lumpy or itchy in time. Many patients return to work by the third week.
Camouflage cosmetics can be used to minimize the appearance of bruising. You should be gentle with your skin and hair as you recover. Men may need to shave behind the neck and ears where areas of beard-growing skin have moved.
How painful is a facelift?
When patients arrive for their facelift consultation, many are concerned about how much pain will follow the operation and whether they will manage it.
While it may seem like a facelift surgery should be a more involved procedure, most patients report that they are surprised by how little discomfort they experience.
A facelift concentrates on sensitive areas of the body, but advanced surgical procedures and pain management techniques can help to reduce whatever amount of pain you might expect.
Facelift procedures are done when you are asleep under anesthesia, so you do not have to worry about feeling anything throughout the surgical procedure.
Facelift surgery takes between three and six hours depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, so that you will be given the drug sufficient to sleep straight through it all.
Even better, you'll have some time to adjust to a foreign sensation as anesthesia subsides and you wake up.
During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will carefully make an incision along the hairline, around the ears and extending down to the lower scalp. From here, he will manipulate the tissue, skin, fat, and muscles of the lower face to achieve a natural younger appearance. Excess skin and fat will be removed and will strengthen the underlying network supports. The specifics of your facelift procedure will be determined in consultation one-on-one with your face lift plastic surgeon, because each operation is specifically tailored to meet the needs of patients.
As you wake up, your anesthesia might make you feel disoriented, nauseous and groggy.
It is common to have blurred vision and tingling or numbness in the body processes gradual anesthesia. Other symptoms may include headache, chills, fatigue and dizziness, but most patients do not all at once. Finally, you feel a slight pain in the surgical area to which you can begin to take drugs against pain to manage your discomfort.
If you intend to take a look at your fresh face, hold for a while. Patients who get to the first mirror they see are often disappointed to find that their face is swollen, bruised, bandaged, and not what they had in mind. Your results will gradually emerge, but only after recovery. Be patient and give your body some time to recover before taking a look at what is under the bandages.
Abbas Khawaja, H. and Enrique, H.‐P. (2005), Transcutaneous Face‐Lift. Dermatologic Surgery, 31: 453-458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31113
Joseph Niamtu, Complications in Facelift Surgery and Their Prevention, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics of North America, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2009, Pages 59-80, ISSN 1042-3699, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coms.2008.10.001