Patients heal at different rates and these guidelines should only be used for general information. Your facelift recovery will be unique depending on the extent of your surgery, your general health and how well you are able to comply with Dr. Brenner’s post operative instructions. As a double board certified plastic surgeon, he has a vast knowledge base to draw from. He feels his facelift recovery instructions are crucial to achieving among the most natural facelift Beverly Hills can provide
Planning to be camera ready
Generally, patients can go out in public places such as a restaurant or to run errands 10 days after surgery. To be ready for a major event, plan on at least 3 weeks or more if you will have a prominent role in the event. Most of Dr. Brenner’s patients are camera ready after 4 weeks.
While your results will be evident after the first few weeks, the final healing could take anywhere from 6 months to a year depending on the amount of work done and your body’s ability to heal.
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Most patients find that they are very comfortable using milder forms of over-the-counter pain medication. Along with avoiding side effects associated with stronger forms of pain medication, patients can get back to activities such as driving once they are off opiate based pain medications.
Patients should not take any medication that thins the blood for several weeks before and after a facelift. Dr. Brenner will provide you with a list of recommended medications that do not contain blood thinning components. If you are on prescribed blood thinners for a medical condition, ensure you have coordinated with both your primary care physician and Dr. Brenner. This will ensure you have no postoperative healing complications.
Some patients require more pain medication, so discuss your concerns before your surgery. Whatever your needs, the need for pain medication usually does not go past the first week.
The first 2 weeks
After your surgery, you may have drains placed behind your ears to ensure fluid does not build up under your tissues. You will also have dressings on the incisions.
During this initial period, swelling will increase up to the 4th day and then begin to resolve. At your first postoperative visit, Dr. Brenner will remove your drains and dressings and any non-dissolvable sutures or staples. He will check that your incisions are beginning to heal well. You may be given a facial compression garment to wear, which will help diminish swelling.
Your neck will probably be stiff and because of this it is recommended that driving be avoided for the first week. Swelling may be more pronounced on one side of your face, which is normal and will resolve in a few weeks. Bruising and swelling will be markedly improved at the end of the first 10 days to 2 weeks.
During this period you should rest but not stay in bed. It is important to keep your circulation active by walking around or doing light household tasks as tolerated.
Sleeping should be done in a slightly elevated position. Do not lie flat. You can shower and wash your hair according to the instructions Dr. Brenner provides.
The next few months
After the first 2 weeks you will be feeling much better and able to return to work and most of your normal activities. If your job is physically demanding you may need to arrange a bit more time to ensure you do not have any healing complications. Moderate exercise can be resumed after 3 weeks, keeping in mind that your face needs to be protected from impact. If you are in doubt about your chosen exercise method, contact the office.
After the first 2 to 3 weeks, patients will notice a definite improvement in swelling and bruising, although the incision sites may appear red and uneven for several more months. These aspects are not visible to anyone but your closest friends and family and maybe not even them. The incision sites were specifically chosen to ensure discretion. While they are healing, the incisions can be well hidden by hairstyle or makeup.
Other factors in facelift recovery
During this period after the first 2 to 3 weeks, it is normal to experience tingling and numbness in various locations. It takes several months for internal healing to fully resolve, and eventually these sensations will disappear.
It is important to protect your skin from direct sunlight. Use a good quality sun screen and a hat when out in full afternoon sun.
Patients will be seen at regular intervals during recovery, unless they have flown in for their facelift, to ensure the best facelift results possible. In these cases, you can contact our office if there are any questions or concerns.
Learn more about facelift surgery