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How long does it take to recover from a facelift?

How long does it take to recover from a facelift?

Charlotte facelift surgeon

A surgical facelift is the most effective tool available for facial rejuvenation. The results can be dramatic, and are expected to last for ten years or even longer. To get the best possible results, postsurgical care is absolutely crucial. The actions that you take in the weeks following your surgery can have a dramatic impact on your final results.

It’s helpful for people to know what to expect ahead of time, so they’re prepared. Many people are wondering how much time off they’ll need after a facelift, and when they’ll be ready to go out in public again. What’s the recovery period like after a facelift?

The initial healing period takes about 4-6 weeks

As you would expect after any surgical procedure, there’s an initial period with a lot of swelling and bruising. Most people need about two to three weeks away from work and other obligations. You definitely won’t want to attend a major event (like a wedding) and have photos taken during this period.

During the first week after surgery, you’ll need to wear an elastic garment on your face. This applies pressure, which helps to reduce swelling and improve your comfort. After the first week, Dr. Miles often recommends a slightly different version of this facial garment, which is worn only at night for another few weeks.

You’ll also need to take excellent care of your incisions to avoid an infection, which could permanently affect the appearance of your scars. This means keeping the incisions dry until after they’re completely closed, and ensuring that you keep them clean at all times. Minimizing tension on the incisions will help to avoid widening of the scars. You’ll also need to protect them from the sun until after they’re fully healed, as UV light can cause permanent darkening of the scars.  Dr. Miles recommends using Silagen Scar treatment on the scars after your sutures are removed to help minimize the appearance of scars. 

After about two to three weeks, most people are ready to start back up with work, and with lighter physical activities like walking. However, strenuous exercise needs to wait for six to eight weeks. Exercising too soon raises your blood pressure and leads to swelling in your tissues, which can compromise your results. It’s very important that you give your body time to heal.

After that six to eight week period, you’ll be mostly healed. At this point, you likely won’t mind having photos taken anymore, and you’ll be able to see the payoff for your investment of time and energy.

Full recovery takes a few months or even longer

Almost everyone who has a facelift is excited to see the final results. While you’ll definitely notice the impact on your appearance after the initial healing period is over, it can take several months for the swelling to fully subside and your final results to appear. 

About four to six months after your surgery, the swelling should be gone, and you’ll have a good idea of what your final results will look like. Still, healing may continue for up to a year or even longer, so your results may continue to evolve over that time period.

Charlotte facelift surgeon

If you’re considering a facelift, it’s important to choose the right surgeon. Your surgeon’s technique during the procedure, as well as the aftercare they provide, will make a huge difference in your final results.

As a double-boarded plastic surgeon, Dr. Miles is extremely well-qualified to help get the results that you’re looking for. You can trust him to take great care of your face. To book an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Miles, please contact our friendly front desk staff.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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