What to expect after a facelift?

Consider this your go-to guide to help you prepare for your facelift recovery! Do you have a date set for your facelift? Or are you still researching facelift surgeons? Regardless of the stage, you are in, whether you’re having a facelift in a couple of weeks or scheduling your first free consultation with Dr. Quiroz, we want to help you be better prepared as to what you can expect after the surgery.

Recovering after facelift surgery involves taking some time off from work and other activities in order to allow your body to rest and the postoperative symptoms to subside.


For most patients, taking two weeks off is best. Even though the majority of the uncomfortable post-op symptoms you will experience such as bruising, swelling, and mild pain will subside after the first week, most patients feel that the two-week mark is when they feel comfortable to be out and about again.

Dr. Quiroz | Facelift Specialist 


Facelift Recovery Time:  what happens after surgery

 The first couple of days after facial rejuvenation surgery are the most uncomfortable, it’s important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions and take your pain medication rigorously. There will be bruising, numbness, and swelling and for most patients, things will not look pretty. (We are all about honesty!). Nevertheless, after the first 48 hours, the swelling, redness, and even pain start to improve. If you follow the surgeon’s instructions, keep your head elevated to help with swelling, take your pain medication, and rest, you will see that you will start feeling better in no time.

About a week after facelift surgery, patients report feeling little to no pain, and swelling and bruising are also much better at this time. At this point, you will likely have to go back to the surgeon’s office for a follow-up appointment to have your stitches removed if necessary.

The most exciting time in a facelift patient recovery starts 14 days after surgery. At this time, most patients start feeling comfortable going out in public, the inflammation and bruising are so minimal that they can actually appreciate the full results of the surgery, and the pain is also gone. Some patients report feeling tightness and mild numbing of the skin some months after facelift surgery, however, these are barely noticeable and eventually disappear. 

 All facelift surgery patients need to be mindful of exercise and high impact activities for 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery, however, once your surgeon clears you to go back to all activities without restrictions, you don’t have to worry about a thing and your facelift results will last a very long time.


Post-op Facelift:  will I need drains?

Having performed facelifts in thousands of patients, one of the questions we get the most is about drainage. A lot of our patients worry about going home with clunky drains around their heads that can make eating, sleeping, and bathing uncomfortable. There are no hard and fast rules regarding drains because they can aid in decreasing swelling and bruising for some post-operative patients. However, most of our facelift patients go home without drains and instead are kept comfortable with a special compression garment; a head wrap, that will not get in their way when sleeping or feel uncomfortable. In case you do need drains, the surgeon will go over the necessary care you need to take. You will see that modern drainage for plastic surgery is small and not as ominous as TV or movies make it seem.  Ultimately, if your surgeon decides to use drains after your surgery, you will soon realize that the benefits outweigh the discomfort and you will only need to wear them for a short period of time.


What about scarring? How big are the incisions after Facial Rejuvenation Surgery? 

Let’s talk about one of the aspects of facelift surgery most people worry about: incisions and scars. If you only remember one thing from this guide, let it be this: facelift scars are teeny tiny and for most patients, invisible. This he’s achieved thanks to a talented plastic surgeon that carefully planned the procedure. With VIDA’s Dr. Quiroz you will be a part of this planning process, and during a consultation, he will explain where the incisions are placed, usually inside the ear canal, behind the ear, or carefully “camouflaged” with your hairline. Additionally, in most cases the surgeon is able to use surgical staples or self-dissolving sutures, decreasing, even more, the likelihood of developing noticeable scars.


Postoperative Facelift Instructions: basics for a successful recovery 

  • Buy all your post-op “gear” before the surgery. Your doctor will provide a comprehensive list of medications, bandages, and even a special pillow that you can use for your facial rejuvenation recovery. Buy them a couple of weeks before the procedure so they are ready for when you need them. 
  • Do not scratch your incisions. Yes, incisions can feel itchy at times. But in order to prevent unnecessary scar tissue from forming, DO-NOT-SCRATCH them. If the discomfort is too much, call your surgeon and he can give you a prescription or a recommendation for an OTC ointment that can help. 
  • Stay hydrated, eat healthy food, and don’t smoke. You want to be your healthiest when undergoing any surgery. By doing this, you will help your body recover faster. 
  • Follow the surgeon’s instructions without exceptions. You did your research, met with different doctors, and finally had surgery with a doctor you liked and trust, now, follow their after-surgery instructions. Everything is designed to keep you comfortable and ensure that the results are worthy long-term! 

“My life after facelift surgery: everyone comments on how great I look but no one can tell I’ve had something done.”

A facelift is supposed to make you look younger, better, more attractive and to help you feel more comfortable with your appearance. It is true, most of our patients feel amazing and younger after a facelift. We specialize in highly advanced surgical techniques for facial rejuvenation, all of which are individually planned to your physique and aesthetic goals. Call us today, toll-free, at +1(619) 738-2144 to schedule a free consultation with a plastic surgery expert.