Facts About Facelift Recovery
With facelift, your new look unfolds in three phases: It begins with the image you visualize, becomes reality in surgery, and is finally unveiled in recovery. That final phase is an afterthought for many patients, but it’s actually key to your ultimate satisfaction.
Below, experienced Albany plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Barach reviews the timeline for healing, and what you can do to ensure the final phase of your procedure will be optimal.
The First Days
When you awake from general anesthesia, you may feel tightness and tenderness near your incisions. The area will be covered with a bulky tight dressing to discourage bleeding and reduce swelling.
Swelling builds during the first three to four days after surgery. It is accompanied by bruising and some pain, which can be managed with medication prescribed by Dr. Barach. Swelling and bruising won’t entirely disappear for one to four months, but most will be gone withing 10-14 days.
During this phase you may feel some minor numbness and tightness of the skin, but these side effects will not last long. Pain should never be severe; in fact, you will probably only need pain medication for a few days. The development of anything more than moderate pain is a sign of a possible complication.
Take It Easy
Your body will heal at its own pace; it’s important not to rush your recovery. Plan to stay home for one to two weeks. You should be able to resume most normal activities in 2 weeks, although your face will continue to heal for up to a year. You will notice an immediate change from your facelift, but the final result won’t fully emerge for many months.
As soon as possible, you should begin walking around to boost circulation, support optimal healing and prevent blood clots. Straining, lifting and bending should be avoided, however. By the fifth day, you will be able to wash your hair, and you can use makeup again in about two weeks. Not surprisingly, you will need to sleep on your back with your head elevated during this delicate period.
Eat healthfully, drink plenty of water and avoid high-sodium foods that can aggravate swelling. As a general rule, you should avoid alcohol, niacin and aspirin products. Get plenty of rest, and follow the postoperative routine recommended by Dr. Barach. You will return to our office within the week for removal of sutures.
To learn more about facelift or to schedule an appointment, we invite you to contact Dr. Barach’s Albany practice today.