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What Should I Expect During My Facelift Recovery?

Posted July 19, 2019 in Facelift

For decades, patients have turned to facelift surgery to reduce visible signs of aging and sun damage, such as nasolabial folds, sunken and droopy cheeks, and jowls, in the middle and lower regions of the face. A facelift also addresses aging of the neck.

This procedure restores vitality and brightness to an aged complexion in a single treatment. While many facelift patients end up discovering that their recovery period is much less intensive as they were expecting, it is important to know what you are getting into before you undergo surgery.


What Will it Be Like Returning Home From the Procedure?

Facelift surgery is an outpatient treatment, meaning that, in most cases, you will be able to return home after your anesthesia wears off. Dr. Ackerman operates an on-site, fully certified outpatient surgery center for patients’ safety and convenience. There is very little care required after a facelift. A friend or a family member can easily take care of the patient for the first 24 to 48 hours. After that, most patients can perform everyday activities, such as simple food preparation, walking around the house, and bathroom visits.

Nevertheless, facelift surgery requires certain precautions, and you have to accept that there will be some downtime and mild to moderate discomfort. Even though we do not require strict bed rest, we encourage the patients to rest the first day, then gradually get up and around. Having a calm and restful environment at home is important. It is not uncommon to feel somewhat tired for the first 48 hours. Most of our patients experience only mild swelling and bruising.

Oral pain medication, cold compresses, or over-the-counter pain medications can help remedy any discomfort. Keeping your head elevated when you are resting will help with your blood circulation, which in turn will reduce swelling. Our office will provide easy to follow written instructions.

How Should I Care for My Incisions?

Facelift incisions start at the hairline near the temples and curve around toward the back of the ear. It is through these incisions that the excess skin is trimmed and the underlying tissues are tightened. Dr. Ackerman has perfected the incision placement to avoid any tell-tale signs of a facelift. All of the scalp hair is meticulously preserved. Typically the incisions heal imperceptibly.

The incisions do not require any special care. Dr. Ackerman personally changes the bandages the next day and thoroughly inspects the incisions. Simple instructions will be given after the bandages are changed. Typically patients are allowed to wash their hair and get the incisions wet after about three days.

Healing incisions must be kept out of the sun. Most patients do not require any special incision treatments, but on occasion, some creams will be prescribed for optimum care. Do not treat your incisions on your own without specific instructions from your surgeon.

When Can I Return to Work?

While everyone recovers at different rates, most facelift patients are up to returning to work and their regular routines after 10 to 14 days. By this point, the majority of the bruising and swelling will have subsided, and any remaining marks can be covered with makeup.

Facelift patients should still be cautious about over-exerting themselves or placing any excess strain on the face or incisions. For the purposes of exercise and most social encounters, you can expect to be completely healed and back to normal after four to six weeks. However, all the final healing can take a few months.

How Do I Maintain My Results?

The effects of your facelift will remain visible for many years as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is important to remember that facelift surgery can only target the visible aging that is present at the time of the procedure. There is no treatment that will prevent future aging from occurring.

Sun damage is the quickest way to reverse the effects of your facelift. To avoid additional damage to your skin, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly, avoid being in the sun during peak hours, and always have sunglasses and a hat that will cover the face and neck.

For more information about what to expect after your facelift, contact Dr. Ackerman by calling (949) 536-9047 or by filling out our online contact form.

Our Location

Boris M. Ackerman, M.D.
360 San Miguel Drive, Suite 607
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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Phone: (949) 536-9047
Fax: 949-759-9613