Recovering from a facelift
The description below about the time following a facelift surgery is based on the general facelift method. The course of events for a middle facelift is much like the one below but milder.
Pain and discomfort after a face lift surgery
The discomfort and pain after surgery is generally not too bad and the symptoms can be treated with medications.
Loss of feeling in the skin is normal and subsides within one to three months.
You should hold and sleep with your head high during the first days after surgery in order to reduce swelling.
Bandage and drainage
If you have had a drainage tube inserted it will, along with the bandages, be removed a couple of days after surgery. Do not be surprised if when looking in the mirror you appear pale, bruised and swollen. Within a few weeks your appearance will be more normal.
The sutures and any staples are removed after 5-14 days.
Generally you are up and moving after the first night but count on taking it easy for the whole first week post surgery. Take extra caution with your face and hair since you may be both numb and hypersensitive in these areas.
Returning to work and normal activity
To begin with your face may feel and look strange. Your features can become distorted by the swelling and your face may feel stiff. In general the face reaches its maximum swelling within 2-4 days but bruising can remain for several weeks after surgery. It is not unusual that patients feel anxious and sometimes displeased during this period.
After the third week you will however both feel and look better. Although many patients return to work within 10 days after surgery. Any wounds can be hidden with makeup.
Restrictions after a face lift surgery
Your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how you gradually return to normal activity. These rules will probably involve avoiding strenuous activities (even sex and housework) for at least two weeks.
Alcohol, smoking and saunas are to be avoided for a longer period. Most importantly, you need to get enough rest so that your body can recover.