Recovery after facelift surgery isn’t very long or stressing but one should be aware that results are not visible immediately. Normally the face looks a bit pale, swollen and bruised. One should not be shocked to see that face does not look better or may seem to look even worse straight after surgery. These features should disappear in a few weeks and great results will be noticeable.
Also, the skin of the face may feel numb and it is quite usual after the procedure. This feeling should fade away in a several weeks or months.
A patient may feel some pain or discomfort in the surgical area. It can be controlled with pain medications. One should inform a doctor immediately about severe pain, numbness or immediate swelling.
Bandages and dressings are usually removed in 24 or 48 hours after facelift . According to a doctor’s opinion it may take up to five days to remove dressings. Drains or drainage tubes are normally removed with the first change of the dressings and is usually one or two days after the procedure.
Stitches at the face area are taken out after five or six days. Stitches or metal clips at the scalp stay intact for several days longer. This is because the scalp takes a bit longer to heel compared to face.
One should stay in bed with one’s head elevated for one or two days post-operatively. This makes the swelling decrease a little bit. The surgeon will instruct a patient on how one should behave after surgery.
The patient should have somebody who could drive him/her home after facelift surgery. Normally patients are able to move around after several days post-operatively. But one should bear in mind that getting back to normal is a part of gradual healing process, which may to take up to six months.
As the skin is very sensitive and numb after surgery, its responses are strange in the beginning. Therefore, special care should be taken with face and hair.
Even though the patient can stay up at home and he/she does not have to stay in bed for the whole time, some restrictions to normal activities are necessary to help the healing process. Instructions will be given by the surgeon.
No alcohol should be used for a few months post-operatively. Steam baths and saunas should be also avoided for several months. In addition, one should avoid strenuous exercise, also sexual intercourse and heavy housework for at least two weeks. The patient is allowed to walk or perform mild stretching exercise after surgery. In addition, one should try to rest for as long as possible since the body needs additional energy in the healing process.
One should be aware that the face may feel and look differently at the beginning. Patients should avoid using a pillow for several weeks post-operatively since it may damage the skin, fixed during facelift procedure. Swelling and puffiness may critically change facial features. One may feel stiffness in facial movements and scars are both noticeable by the patient. Bruising of the face may prolong for about a month in some cases. The patient may get exhausted very easily after surgery. All these post-operative conditions lead many patients to disappointment or even depression at first.
Luckily, most of these patients start feeling better when the healing process progresses and surgery results start to get noticeable. This happens usually by the end of the third or fourth week, when the patient’s appearance and mood get better. Patients are able to continue with work about two or three weeks after facelift procedure. Remaining bruising may be masked with special makeup.
Patients should be very realistic about their expectations from the facelift surgery. They should also bear in mind that the results are not noticeable straight after the procedure. Such patients are usually more satisfied with final results, feel happier and not depressed. Patience is very important in the healing process.
Hair around the temples may be thinner and facial skin may be dry and rough for a few months. Since the bear-growing skin is moved up behind the ears and neck during facelift procedure, men may have to shave there – behind the ears and neck.
Scars are left unnoticeable. They are usually hidden by the hair or in the natural lines of the face and ears. Either way, scars usually become invisible with time, since they fade away. Therefore, one should not be worried or bothered with visible scars at the early times after the facelift surgery.
Facelift surgery is frequently a great success to people who chose it and met their goals. Their face starts to look younger with firmer, tighter facial skin. Facelift, however, does not stop the process of aging or stop the clock. Since one’s face does not stop to age, the patient might want to have a facelift performed one or several times after the first one. The need for another facelift procedure may be apparent after 10 or 20 years. But one should realize that he/she will look better years later than if one has never had the facelift procedure at all.