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Face Lift

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Last modified: 
22/03/2012 - 14:30

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Immediately after surgery:

  • Dressings are placed along the incision lines and the head is wrapped in a bandage, which helps reduce swelling. These bandages are removed a day or two later.
  • Your head will be elevated to reduce swelling.
  • Most patients experience little discomfort after a face lift, but will still appear bruised and swollen for a few days. If you feel discomfort, you will be given medication for pain.

Sutures are removed about five to 10 days after surgery. Incisions and bandages must be kept dry. The surgeon will give you specific instructions about how to bathe and wash your hair. Once the sutures are taken out, you can use make-up. But you may not be allowed to use hair tints and hair dryers for some time.

Complete Recovery

Most people recover in two to three weeks. During this time, bruises heal and swelling goes down. Take it easy and avoid vigorous activity.

It's normal to feel some numbness and muscle stiffness for some time, and complete return of sensation may take several months. Earrings should not be worn until sensation has returned to the earlobes.

Scars can take nearly a year to fade and soften. The hair should hide most of the scars. Make-up and jewelry can camouflage other scarring.

Need To Know:

Follow your doctor's instructions carefully after surgery regarding bathing, your activities, use of make-up and more. Doing so will speed the healing process and allow for the best possible result from your face lift. If you develop a fever or other complications, call your doctor right away.

 

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.