Albany, New York: (518) 438-0505

Your Facelift Recovery Guide

Older woman considers the details of facelift recovery

At our practice in Albany, we see facelift patients from as far as Syracuse who can’t just swing by the office if they have a question or concern during their recovery. Although we are always available by phone to answer any questions, it’s a good idea to educate yourself as much as possible about your procedure so you’ll be prepared prior to surgery.

Knowing what to expect during recovery is often a huge source of empowerment. The healing process can include some challenges, but following our recommendations for healthy, speedy recuperation is a great way to take an active role in your recovery and stay motivated during the post-op period.

In this blog post, we’d like to answer a few commonly asked questions about the facelift recovery process and provide some helpful tips for a smooth, comfortable, and effective healing journey.

What happens the day after a facelift?

The day after your facelift, you may feel groggy and experience some discomfort. We will prescribe pain medication to help you manage any soreness for the first few days. When you initially look at your results, you may notice drains, dressings, and bruising. Don’t be alarmed—this is normal and is all part of making your recovery as quick and efficient as possible. Focus on getting lots of rest, keeping your head elevated, and leaning on your support system for help during this time.

How long does it take to heal after a facelift?

Most people return to work 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, though they may need to cover up some remaining bruises or incision redness with makeup. After 3 weeks, your results will start to develop more significantly and you will be able to see the new you more clearly.

How long will the swelling last?

Swelling may last for 1 to 4 months before it completely clears up; bruising usually fades sooner. After the first 2 weeks, remaining issues are typically only noticeable to the patient and can be easily covered up with makeup—until they completely resolve. Learn more about long-term healing and results in our facelift FAQ.

Miscellaneous Facelift Recovery Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid brushing or combing your hair as this can tug on incisions along the hairline. Stock up on dry shampoo and ask your doctor about a specific timeline for hair washing.
  • Do not bend over, lift heavy objects, or do any other activities that may cause a rush of blood to your face.
  • Elevate your head with pillows as you rest to keep swelling down. This will better facilitate recovery in the short term and reduce further swelling in the long term.
  • Walk around at regular intervals to encourage blood circulation. You may even be able to do some light household tasks after about a week. However, make sure you do not overexert yourself.
  • Cover up your mirrors. One of the biggest sources of stress and disappointment after a facelift is looking at results too early on and being overwhelmed by the swelling, bruising, dressings, and drains. Avoid looking in the mirror for the first couple of days.
  • To stop worrying about your results during initial recovery, focus on getting excited about your soon-to-be new look. Start thinking about wardrobe changes, hair transformations, and other steps you may take to complement your rejuvenated look. Keep your eyes on the prize and envision the youthful, refreshed face waiting for you in the near future.

If you are interested in learning more about facelift surgery and recovery, please contact us to request a consultation, or call our Albany practice at (518) 438-0505.

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