One way to combat the adverse effects of aging is by opting for a face lift. This surgical procedure is extremely common and highly effective. Although you may have a general idea about facelifts, it is best to fully understand the procedure, and what the recovery period entails. Let’s discuss these matters here.
What is a Facelift?
A facelift is a surgery that tightens the skin of the face and neck, leading to a more youthful appearance. This procedure is essentially designed to counter many signs of aging, such as wrinkles. In addition to removing wrinkles, a facelift can help with excess skin, sagging skin, and jowls.
What to Expect During a Facelift Procedure?
Facelift can be performed with light sedation or under general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia varies from patient to patient, and your surgeon will recommend the best option for you.
Incisions may be made in the following areas, depending on the type of facelift you choose:
- In your hairline at your temples
- At the junction of your ear and face,
- Around your earlobes
- In your posterior hairline (behind your ear)
The length of the incisions is also based on your specific needs. These factors will all be discussed prior to full facelift surgery.
The Procedure Itself
During a facelift, your facial skin will be tightened and your deep facial structures will be repositioned in a more youthful location. There are various techniques depending on the severity of your presentation. The details of your particular approach will be discussed prior to surgery.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After a facelift, you may have sutures that require removal within the first week.
A dressing will cover the incision and a compression garment may also be placed around your face and neck.
You may have a drain to remove excess blood and fluid from your face and neck. If so, it is vital to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding care for the drain.
Your face and neck may be bruised and swollen for a few weeks after the procedure.
Detailed Recovery Timetable
Here is a detailed recovery timetable so that you can anticipate what to experience after a facelift procedure. Please take into account that these timetables are general, and that every patient will have a unique experience and recovery.
For the remaining hours of the day following surgery, you may feel groggy and unsteady. Ensure that you have support from a family member or friend to drive you home after the procedure. Pain medication are taken regularly for the first 2 days after surgery, and then as needed depending on your level of pain.
Your surgeon will schedule a follow-up the day after surgery. They will remove your dressings, and evaluate your incisions and swelling. If everything is fine, your face and/or neck will be re-dressed.
On the third day, you will start to feel better, however, it is important that you continue to rest. You will notice more bruising around this time, which is normal. This bruising will last for several weeks. If you continue to experience discomfort, treat it with your prescribed medication.
Despite significant improvement, you will still have some swelling and bruising of the face and neck during this period.
Weeks 3 and 4
Some residual swelling may still be present during these weeks, but you will look and feel much better. Real improvements in facial contour are typically seen during this time period. You may be able to enjoy normal activities without any obvious signs of your procedure. Scars will still be visible, but will eventually fade.
Strenuous physical activity can be resumed 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Most patients can start to fully appreciate their enhanced appearance at this stage. Although minor swelling, bruising, and numbness may remain for up to a year after surgery, it is unlikely to be visibly noticeable.
Getting a facelift is a great way to appear more youthful and boost your confidence. Before proceeding with a facelift, however, it is helpful to know exactly what to expect after surgery.
In this article, we have presented a general post-operative timetable so that you can be better prepared. If you would like to benefit from other plastic surgery, such as eyelid surgery, and mini facelifts for younger patients, contact our Montreal office today.
Get more information on whether you are an ideal candidate for a mini facelift here.