What to expect after surgery
Most patients who have undergone facelift surgery experience very little post-operative pain, but any discomfort should be immediately reported to the plastic surgeon. The surgeon should also prescribe pain medication for any patient who needs it. Hospitalization after surgery is not necessary, although some patients request an overnight stay. Some patients may enlist a nurse to be on hand at home for 12 to 24 hours after surgery. Most patients, however, leave the hospital shortly after surgery and manage well at home with the help of a spouse, family member or friend.
Some degree of swelling and bruising is unavoidable, and your surgeon may instruct you to use cold compresses to minimize it. Dressings are removed one to two days after surgery. To protect the face and help ensure proper healing, patients should significantly restrict vigorous physical activity and sleep or nap with the head elevated. In general, all sutures are removed five to ten days after surgery.
With the passage of time, most scarring becomes imperceptible. Scars that linger are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or with makeup. The completion of the healing process, however, virtually erases most signs of surgery. Bear in mind that, despite surgery, the aging process continues, which means that some relaxation of tissues will occur during the first few weeks after the procedure.
Physical recovery can last up to three weeks, although most patients return to normal activities, including work, two weeks after surgery. Patients should enlist family and friends to be on hand during the first several days after surgery.