What Is The Recovery For a Facelift – What To Expect Week by Week

People choose to get cosmetic surgery for all sorts of reasons. Maybe you look in the mirror one day and realize that you don’t look like yourself anymore. It could also be for functional reasons; if your eyelids or eyebrows droop too much and obscure your vision, it may be necessary to get a blepharoplasty or a brow lift to restore your vision.

Many celebrities have been open about why they got a facelift. Kris Jenner explained in 2011 that “I needed a little freshening up for the wedding. Just doing what a girl’s gotta do!” Similarly, Kris’s younger sister, Karen Houghton, opened up about her 2016 facelift, saying that she wanted to look more like Kris and that “certain angles of my face were just not what I wanted.” Gene Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, even got his-and-hers facelifts back in 2007 in order to look younger and slimmer. 

Facelifts are one of the most effective and long-lasting ways to improve your appearance. The procedure is designed to treat a variety of cosmetic concerns, including: 

  • Sagging skin 
  • Jowls
  • Folds of loose skin near the jawline
  • Loss of facial definition 
  • Marionette Lines
  • Wrinkles on the cheeks and chin

Additionally, it is very common to combine a facelift with other surgical procedures, such as a brow lift, a neck lift, a nose job, or an upper and lower blepharoplasty. If you also have a double chin, sagging skin on the neck, bags under your eyes, sagging eyelids, forehead wrinkles, or a crooked nose, then you may want to consider undergoing multiple procedures at once in order to make a complete transformation. 

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    Is a Facelift Right For Me?

    The first question that patients normally ask during their consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic is “am I the right age for a facelift?” Because everyone ages differently, there is not exactly a hard-and-fast age when you should get a facelift. Some people look trim and youthful into their 60s, while others notice wrinkles forming as young as 35. In general, Dr. Qazi recommends that, if you don’t like your appearance, you should get a facelift in your 50s or early 60s. Since facelifts last around 10 years, you will need a refresher facelift in your late 60s or early 70s. 

    Regardless of age, the ideal candidate for a facelift is someone who:

    • Wants to improve their overall appearance.
    • Has the flexibility to take time off work to recover.
    • Is in good overall health to handle the rigors of surgery.
    • Has realistic expectations for the procedure.
    • Does not smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or use recreational drugs.
    • Is prepared to follow all pre-op and post-op instructions.

    If you have questions about whether a facelift is right for you, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. Dr. Nadir Qazi will be able to determine if a facelift is right for you. This is also your time to ask questions, discuss your concerns, and get expert advice on how to achieve your aesthetic goals. If you are too young for a facelift, Dr. Qazi may recommend an alternative anti-aging treatment, such as Botox, or a PDO Thread Lift.

    facelift procedure

    What is The Recovery For a Facelift? – What You Can Expect For Your Recovery Timeline

    If you are considering getting a facelift, the next thing that you should be asking is “what is the recovery for a facelift?” Before any cosmetic procedure, the most information you have about what to expect, the better. Knowing how your recovery should look allows you to make an informed choice about the procedure and to best care for yourself as you heal.

    This is roughly what the recovery for a facelift is like: 

    Immediately After The Procedure

    A facelift is done under general anesthesia, so when you wake up, you will be in a recovery room. A team of medical professionals will monitor you and ensure that you are okay to leave. Since it is unsafe to operate machinery – including driving a car – after surgery, you will need a designated support person to drive you home and take care of you. 

    The treatment area will be bandaged up. This is done to protect the incisions from infection, as well as to provide gentle pressure in order to minimize bruising and swelling. A small tube will be under the skin or behind an ear to drain excess blood and fluids. When you are discharged, you and your support person will receive instructions for how to clean the incisions, care for the treatment area, and change the bandages. 

    Facelift

    The First 1-3 Days 

    For the first 48 hours, you should expect some mild pain, numbness, swelling and bruising, drainage from incisions, and lingering discomfort. Depending on your unique needs, your doctor will either recommend that you take an over-the-counter medication or prescribe you a medication for pain management. 

    It is recommended that you rest with your head elevated, take medication as recommended, and apply a cold compress to the treatment area. Over the course of your recovery, you will have several follow-up appointments. Your first follow-up will take place the day after your surgery. The surgeon will remove the drainage tube, help apply an antibiotic cream to the incisions, and re-bandage your face. 

    On the second or third day after the surgery, you will be cleared to switch from wearing bandages to using a facial sling or facial compression garment. The purpose of this is to apply gentle pressure to the treatment area and to provide protection as you heal. 

    What is The Recovery For a Facelift Like For Week 1?

    You will likely experience the most bruising and swelling on the third or fourth day. After this, it is normal for the levels of bruising and swelling to gradually decrease over the next few days. At the end of week 1, you will need to come in for a follow-up visit; during this visit, the stitches will be removed and your incisions will be assessed to ensure that you are healing properly. Most patients are able to safely drive themselves for this visit. By the end of week 1, you are safe to resume light activities, such as going for walks (with sun protection), cooking and cleaning for yourself, running errands that do not involve heavy lifting, and returning to work virtually. 

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      Week 2 of Recovery

      On average, patients report that they are comfortable in public again after 7 to 14 days. Of course, this means that patients are comfortable going shopping, running to the grocery store, and walking in public places. By the 2nd week, the bruising and swelling should be significantly improved, although some lingering swelling may be present. It is normal for the surgical area to feel a little numb. This numbness normally takes several months to go away. 

      By the end of week 2, you should be able to return to more strenuous daily activities. However, Dr. Qazi does not recommend that you return to heavy cardio or lighting until he gives you the go-ahead. You will still need to use caution when shaving your face or doing your hair. If you use a hairdryer, be sure to only use it on the cold setting because exposure to too much direct heat can negatively impact healing. 

      What To Expect 2 to 4 Weeks After Surgery

      By the 4th week, you will be almost completely healed. The bruising and swelling should be gone. At this point, you will be able to see and enjoy your results. However, the incisions will still be visible for the next few months. By week 4, they should be a pinkish-red color, which you can cover with makeup or accessories until they heal completely. 

      At this time, you are safe to return to all your daily activities, including heavy lifting, your normal workouts, and travel. Of course, it will still be necessary to take care of your results even after you return to daily activities. For the best results, you should be sure to avoid smoking, limit sun exposure, use gentle cleansers and moisturizers on your skin, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and stay hydrated. By taking great care of your skin, you will be able to maintain your results and look more youthful for longer. 

      Full Recovery At 6 To 12 Months

      Total healing takes between 6 and 12 months. When people ask “what is the recovery for a facelift?” the number that they get is this 6 to 12 months number. However, please note that healing times vary by person. Factors like age, overall health, the state of your skin, and your lifestyle can affect how long it takes you to completely heal. 

      Don’t worry! There is no need to be scared off by the prospect of a 6 to 12 month recovery. You will be healed enough to return to normal after 4 weeks. It can take 6 to 12 months for the incision scars to fade to the point where they are no longer visible. Even before they are completely healed, you will be able to easily hide them with makeup or your hairstyle. 

      Most patients are able to attend special events such as weddings, media events, and graduations by the third month after the surgery. By 3 months, you will be adequately healed to reveal your new face and celebrate exciting life events with ease. 

      The results of your facelift can last 10 to 15 years if you take good care of your skin. After that time, if you want to refresh your appearance, Dr. Qazi’s surgical team can perform a refresher facelift. If you do not want to go under the knife again, Dr. Qazi recommends non-invasive procedures to help you maintain your youthful glow. Laser treatment, facials, and Botox are highly effective for improving your overall appearance without the recovery time of surgery. 

      Facelift recovery

      What Are The Risks Associated With a Facelift?

      All surgical procedures involve some risks. The best way to mitigate side effects is by following all pre-op and post-op instructions from your doctor. If you experience any of these conditions, contact Qazi Cosmetic Clinic right away to get medical help: 

      • A Hematoma (blood collects under the skin, which causes swelling) most commonly occurs in the first 24 hours after surgery.
      • Scarring. While some scarring is normal, if you notice that your incisions turned into raised, red scars then further treatment may be required to reduce the redness of these scars.
      • Temporary paralysis of a muscle, an uneven appearance of the face, and loss of sensation may indicate nerve damage
      • Since facelifts can disrupt your skin’s blood supply, it is possible to experience skin loss. This can be easily treated with wound care and medication is caught early enough.
      • Incisions are normally placed near the hairline in order to hide them; however, this can cause hair loss. It may be permanent or temporary. If it is permanent, a hair restoration procedure may be necessary to restore your hairline. 

      Contact Qazi Cosmetic Clinic in Orange County, CA To Learn More

      If you still have questions regarding what is the recovery for a facelift or if a facelift is right for you, contact Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to learn more! During your consultation, Dr. Qazi can answer all your burning questions. If a facelift is not right for you, then Dr. Qazi may recommend a non-surgical facelift to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. 

      Meet Dr. Nadir Qazi

      While growing up in Chicago, I struggled for years with severe acne and scarring. Dealing with constant comments about my skin, especially from friends and family, wasn’t easy. That feeling of isolation and defeat hit me hard. Many around me were in the same position, yet there were very limited solutions available. This led me to determine my mission: to tirelessly build a unique medical practice where compassion meets science, providing proper care for every overlooked skin type and tone. At my Center, my team and I offer only clinically proven treatments that I have personally researched. My goal is to help others achieve their dreams, breaking free from the constraints of their physical appearance, and to be the support I needed the most.

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