If you are considering a facelift, it is vital to understand what is involved in the procedure and what to expect during recovery before making any major decisions.
In this blog, experienced Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Samuel Yang, has answered several questions he is asked about facelift recovery.
For more information about the procedure itself and the consultation process, click here.
Facelift Recovery: Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered
What is Facelift Recovery like?
- The first week:
Following a facelift, it is normal to expect a significant amount of bruising and swelling for the first week or so.
To help control the swelling and bruising, patients are required to stay in a supportive facial garment during that first week. They are only allowed to remove the garment to shower.
- The first six weeks:
Patients usually remain puffy and swollen during the first six weeks after surgery. This means close friends and family members will still be able to tell they have had a surgical procedure.
However, towards the end of the six-week mark most strangers would not notice that someone has had an operation.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from A Facelift?
Usually, it takes some 4-6 months for the final result of the facelift to be evident.
By this time most of the swelling will have eased and the tightness of the lift has subsided to a more long-lasting level of tension.
How Painful Is Facelift Recovery?
The surgery itself is not particularly painful, however, analgesia will be required and prescribed after surgery.
If drains are placed, they are usually removed within the first 24 hours. Typically, patients can shower the day after surgery.
How Much Time Is Needed Off Work After a Facelift?
The amount of time needed off work after a facelift procedure will be dependent on the nature of work.
For any occupation that requires significant physical exertion, care needs to be taken for at least the first four weeks after surgery. Usually, this would mean only potentially carrying out light duties during this period.
Six weeks after surgery all physical restrictions are relaxed, and generally returning to exercise and normal physical activity is okay.
Someone who has a very sedentary job, may be able to return to work at the end of the first week. If someone with a sedentary job is also working from home, then this can essentially occur whenever the patient is comfortable.
Important Note: Patients should be cautious about increasing blood pressure to the face for the first two weeks after surgery. This means heavy lifting and straining or bending over should kept to a minimum.
How long until you can drive again?
Patients will need help getting home from their procedure, as they will not be able to drive a vehicle straight away.
In fact, it would not be typical to be driving after this sort of surgery for at least the first 3-5 days.
Facelift Scarring: What to Expect
The scars that result from a facelift usually start from the temple region, where there is hair, and travel in front of the ear, under the lobe, behind the posterior groove of the ear, and then back into the hairy scalp at the back of the head.
While this is indeed a long scar, most of it is hidden either in hair-bearing scalp or in the grooves on the face that mark the junction between the ear and the cheek (it is usual for humans to expect to see a shadow in this region).
Scars that are placed perfectly in this area are usually very difficult to detect even on close inspection, because they are essentially camouflaged into the normal lines and contours of the human face.
Furthermore, it is possible for a scar that is in the scalp to have alopecia or hair loss. However, staples are normally used in the hairy scalp to try to minimise any damage to hair follicles. If a hairstyle is made to be very short or if the hair is wet then it can be possible to see scars that are contained within the hair line. At all other times, however, it is hidden by the hair itself.
Find out more about Facelifts: Book a Consultation with our Brisbane Plastic Surgeon
Would you like to find out more about facelifts and recovery?
Please call (07) 3257 7950 or enquire online here to schedule an in-person consultation with Dr Samuel Yang.
Dr Samuel Yang is an experienced plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon based in Brisbane.
A fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and a member of both the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Australian Medical Association, Dr Yang has been practising in both the private and public systems since 2013.
Dr Yang aims to help his patients pick the best surgical option based on the desired result, and ensures they are comfortable and informed before making any commitment.