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Facelift Recovery

Medically Reviewed by:

Robert Applebaum M.D.

Facelift Recovery: Everything You Need To Know

Facelift recovery is a common concern for most patients. When you know what to expect, it makes the recovery process easier on everyone, so we want you to feel fully informed from day one. 

Dr. Applebaum has many years of surgical experience using sophisticated techniques to perform facial cosmetic surgery that delivers the most natural, long-lasting results.    

What Should I Expect During Facelift Recovery?

It’s normal to worry about the healing process and post-operative pain after a facelift, but you can rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to ensure you feel prepared for the procedure. 

Facelift procedures are usually outpatient surgery, so you’ll be placed in an observation room while you wake up from sedation or general anesthesia. Once you’re stable after a few hours, you’ll be able to go home with a support person who should ideally stay with you for the first 24 hours. 

Bandages will be placed around your face to help minimize swelling and bruising. In some cases, small tubes may be present to draw off excess blood or fluid, if there is any. You will be directed not to remove any bandages or drainage tubes from the surgical area until you return for a post-operative appointment. 

The first day after surgery should be focused on rest and healing so you should take it easy and have a comfortable place ready when you arrive. We will send you home with pain medication to manage any discomfort you may experience. 

At your follow-up appointment, Dr. Appbebaum will change the surgical dressings and evaluate the incisions for any swelling or bruising. He will give you specific post-operative instructions and explain how to apply antibiotic ointment and the medications you can take. 

How Long Is the Typical Facelift Recovery Time?

The recovery process is unique for everyone and can depend on the type of facelift, but most patients can return to work and light activities such as walking after two weeks. During weeks three and four, you can expect to feel comfortable getting back to your exercise routine and other normal activities.

The first week is all about rest and letting the body heal in the incision sites. In most cases, bruising and swelling tend to peak around day three or four, but they will continue to subside over the next couple of weeks.

Most patients no longer need prescription pain medication after the first four days and opt for over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary. At this point, you should start feeling ready to move about and do light housework if you need to. 

It’s normal to experience a small amount of numbness, tingling, or tightness in the facial tissues within the first two weeks. Dr. Applebaum will go over the guidelines you should follow and what side effects you should keep an eye out for

How Should I Prepare for Facelift Recovery?

Before your facelift surgery, Dr. Applebaum will review your medical history and likely request a blood test to ensure you’re in good health. It may be necessary to stop taking or adjust any medications and herbal supplements for a short time. 

It’s highly recommended to plan for the first two weeks of downtime and any support you may need from family or friends. Someone will need to drive you home and keep a close eye during the first hours. If you can prepare meals that are easy to digest ahead of time, that will make things easier.

Make sure your pain prescriptions are filled before surgery and that you have clothing that is easy to get in and out of. It’s smart to arrange the area where you’ll be resting with plenty of blankets and pillows to keep your head elevated during recovery.

Hydration is key to healing quickly, so drink plenty of water beforehand. If you’re a smoker, you must stop for at least two weeks before the surgical procedure. 

What Is a Beverly Hills Facelift?

The Beverly Hills Facelift is a modern facelift technique designed to remove excess skin from the face and neck, smooth creases, and tighten facial skin. This surgical procedure is most appropriate for patients who want to address the signs of aging in the face and jawline, such as loose skin or loss of elasticity.  

What Is a Beverly Hills Mini Lift?

A Beverly Hills Mini Lift is a good fit for patients that want to lift areas of the face, tighten wrinkles, and sagging skin on the lower face but don’t need to address excess fat or underlying tissues of the neck.  

Are There Less Invasive Cosmetic Procedures?

Dr. Applebaum offers a wide variety of cosmetic procedures to help combat aging and create a more youthful appearance. 

It’s important to discuss your treatment options during a consultation so you have realistic expectations, as less invasive options may not be the same as facelift results.

If you’re not quite ready for a mini-facelift, you might want to consider other facial rejuvenation treatment options such as botox, dermal fillers, brow lift, skin resurfacing, or eyelid surgery. 


Facial plastic surgery is a good option for anyone struggling with aging or loose skin in the face and neck area. 

However, a facelift may not be a good fit for everyone. Schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the right cosmetic procedure for you and the results you can expect. 


Your facelift recovery explained from Day 1 to Day 30 | ASPS

Facelift (Rhytidectomy): What Is It, Recovery & What to Expect | Cleveland Clinic

Face-lift | Mayo Clinic

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