Recovery from a facelift occurs in stages, and everyone experiences it at a different rate. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. In most cases, you will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients stay overnight for one or two days. If you experience any discomfort after surgery, your surgeon can prescribe pain medications to keep you comfortable during the first few days of recovery.
Bruising and swelling is unavoidable and must be anticipated. Sometimes a bandage is wrapped around a patient’s face to minimize swelling, and small drainage tubes are placed beneath the skin to avoid the accumulation of fluids. Try to keep your head elevated during the first few days following surgery to minimize swelling. Most of the bruising will reach its peak within the first week and then begin to subside.
Also within the first week, your bandages and stitches will be removed or will dissolve. You will be able to shower, resume light activity and begin to wear makeup to conceal any discoloration. After several weeks, swelling, puffiness and numbness in your face will begin to subside, although some numbness may continue for several months.