What should I expect during recovery from a facelift (rhytidectomy)?

You will experience bruising and swelling that will last for about two to three weeks. Some people heal more quickly and others will heal more slowly. Even though you may not wish to go out in public during the early recovery period, you should begin to feel fine in the first several days after surgery.

In most cases, your surgeon will remove your bandages just a few days after facelift surgery. Your doctor will want to see you several times during the two- to three-week period after surgery in order to assess your bruising and swelling and to remove your sutures. Most people can return to work in two to three weeks, so it is very important that you schedule time off from work accordingly.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/24/2018.


  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Facelift Surgery: Rhytidectomy. Accessed 9/24/2018.
  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Facelift Surgery: Understanding Rhytidectomy. Accessed 9/24/2018.
  • Zoumalan R, Leventhal D, White W. Zoumalan R, Leventhal D, White W Zoumalan, Richard, et al.Chapter 73. The Aging Face: Rhytidectomy, Browlift, Midface Lift. In: Lalwani AK. Lalwani A.K. Ed. Anil K. Lalwani.eds. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, 3e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.

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