In general, our facelift patients can expect to need two weeks of recovery time before returning to work or physical activities more strenuous than walking. Before your procedure, Dr. Benjamin Boudreaux and Dr. Jeffrey Claiborne in New Orleans, LA, will provide you with a detailed list of instructions to follow during facelift recovery. Dr. Boudreaux and Dr. Claiborne invite you to learn more about what to expect following facelift surgery.
The First 24 Hours
Immediately following your procedure, your face and head will be wrapped with bandages to help alleviate bruising and swelling. You may also have a drainage tube placed behind the ear to prevent fluid from collecting around the surgical site. We recommend having a friend or family member stay with you for the first 24 hours. As with any surgical procedure, you will probably experience some degree of discomfort. This can be managed with prescription medications and anti-inflammatories. As the tenderness begins to subside, it is normal to experience sensations of tightness or numbness. These effects will continue to fade over the next few weeks. Until your surgeon instructs you otherwise, you should rest with your head elevated and keep your incisions dry.
Typically, bruising and swelling will peak on the third or fourth day. This is part of the natural healing process and is not a cause for concern. However, if you notice that prominent bulges develop after the initial swelling has subsided, call our office right away for further instruction, as it could indicate infection.
Aside from experiencing some fatigue, most patients find that they can comfortably get up and move around the house beginning on the second or third day. Low-key movement can aid in healthy circulation and help the healing process. Dr. Boudreaux and Dr. Claiborne will determine when it is safe to resume more strenuous exercise.
As your incisions begin to heal, you may experience an itchy sensation. However, it is important to avoid rubbing or scratching them. Our team can show you how to care for your incisions to minimize discomfort. At your one-week follow-up appointment, your sutures and staples will be removed.
If you are considering a facelift, knowing what to expect during the recovery phase can help you experience the best possible outcome.
By the second week of recovery, most discomfort will have subsided. Tenderness will often be replaced with numbness, tightness, tingling, or a slight burning sensation. Bruising and swelling will still be present, but you will begin to see dramatic improvements at this stage. Most facelift patients continue to take time off of work during this phase of recovery. However, you will not be bedridden. In fact, we encourage you to engage in light activity such as walking to increase your energy. As your skin continues to heal, you may be slightly self-conscious about the bruising on your face. If this is a concern for you, we can demonstrate how to apply makeup safely and effectively, keeping it away from the incision sites.
Weeks Three and Four
During the third and fourth week of recovery, bruising and swelling may linger, and your skin may still feel a bit tight. However, the incision sites will have improved significantly. Most patients feel comfortable enough to return to work and daily activities at this point. Therefore, as you begin to venture out more often, it is increasingly important to wear sunscreen and adopt a proper skincare regimen. Scars from the incisions will continue to fade for about a year. In the meantime, you can conceal the scars with cosmetics, or allow your hair to cover them.
After the First Month
The 30th day following a facelift procedure is considered a milestone. By this time, the majority of swelling will have subsided. However, keep in mind it can take up to one year for the results to become fully apparent. You can expect to notice small changes for the next several months.
Learn More about Facelift Recovery
If you are considering a facelift, knowing what to expect during the recovery phase can help you experience the best possible outcome. To learn more about the healing process following treatment, contact us online anytime or call us at (985) 237-6050.