What happens on the day of a facelift?
On the day of your facelift, you will be checked in at our facility. You will be taken to our private operating room, where your face will be cleaned and sterilized. You will be placed under general anesthesia while your chosen operation(s) are performed. The exact length of your operation(s) will depend on how many procedures are performed.
Common procedures involve a lifting of the skin from the underlying facial structure, filling, removal or repositioning of facial fat, a tightening of the facial skin and insertion of sutures to promote proper healing. The goals of your chosen treatment will be to obtain a more youthful appearance by a tightening of your facial features, without getting an unnatural appearance or appearing like you have had work performed.
When you are brought out of anesthesia, you can expect to feel slightly disoriented as the effects of anesthesia wear off. Your face will be bandaged and you may find you have drainage tubes inserted to promote the drainage of fluid buildup. Be sure you have a close friend or family member nearby for the first few days to look after you.
How long is recovery time for a facelift?
Facelifts are surgical procedures and, as with any surgery, you can expect some downtime after your facelift. Throughout the course of your recovery, be sure to strictly follow your Seattle plastic surgeon’s recovery instructions. Schedule follow-up appointments if you believe anything may need to be looked at or discussed. While healing, be especially gentle with your face, hair and any incision areas. Incision marks will continue to fade over time and can be easily hidden beneath most hairstyles.
After the first day, you should plan on having a follow up appointment to have your procedures inspected and to ensure there are no complications that need to be addressed. Your Seattle plastic surgeon will replace your bandages with fresh ones and send you on your way after ensuring there are no complications.
For the remainder of your first week post-operation, you can expect some swelling. Some, but not all, patients may bruise, depending on their bodies’ individual healing methods. Most patients have reported the most significant swelling and bruising on days three and four. As your swelling goes down and the bruising begins to disappear, you will begin to notice the positive changes from your Seattle facelift. Continue to take any medications as prescribed for discomfort.
During the second week post-operation, you should see your swelling and bruising decrease even further. Many patients report some numbness, tingling and tightness during this time period. These are common side effects and should not be cause for concern. After the second week, most patients are beginning to feel like themselves again, ready to return to light work duties and may begin to resume light physical activities.
Depending on the extent of your Seattle facelift, the remainder of your first month post-surgery may be marked by a lessening of any swelling and bruising. You may have a follow-up appointment scheduled to have any sutures removed. During this time, you should begin to see a marked improvement in your facial contours and fading of marks at incision sites.
After the first month post-surgery, you should be able to return to all your normal activities. Though you may notice minor swelling, tingling and numbness for up to a year, these side effects should be unnoticeable to anybody but yourself.
Keep in mind, these are just general timeframes and what hypothetical patients may expect. Your recovery depends on the particulars of your body.