What to Expect After Your Facelift Procedure
Going into a facelift procedure can make many Houston patients nervous and apprehensive. Thankfully, by taking the right steps, planning ahead and learning about the healing the process, you can enter the day of your procedure with excitement about your results rather than fear about your recovery. At Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center, triple board-certified Houston Facelift Surgeon Dr. Michael Eisemann is proud to offer both traditional facelift and mini-facelift procedures to his patients. If you are interested in undergoing a facelift to rejuvenate your appearance with long-lasting results, schedule a consultation with Dr. Eisemann today to learn more.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Facelifts are highly customizable and can be tailored to fit your exact needs. Because every facelift procedure is different, the length of every patients’ procedure will vary. On average, most facelift procedures last three to six hours. Your plastic surgeon can estimate how long your facelift will take after an in-person consultation. Your surgeon will be able to determine exactly what steps are necessary to address your concerns and create your desired results.
More extensive procedures that are combined with other surgeries, like brow lifts, neck lifts and eyelid surgery, will take longer, while more minor procedures, including mini-facelifts, may take only a few hours. In general, most patients can expect their facelifts to be in the three- to four-hour range.
What Are the Potential Side Effects?
As cosmetic surgery, a facelift is an invasive procedure that will leave you with some expected side effects. Common side effects include bruising, swelling, soreness, tightness and numbness. You can expect to look a bit bruised and swollen immediately after your procedure. You can manage any discomfort with pain medication, and getting plenty of rest will ensure your body has the time it needs to heal.
Most side effects will heal quickly, although some may take longer than others to subside completely. Bruising, for instance, may heal within a week or two while some degree of tightness or numbness may take a few months to go away. Swelling is usually most patients’ biggest concern, as excess fluids around your lower face will affect your appearance and your results. You can expect the majority of your swelling to go down within a few weeks, allowing you to enjoy your new and improved look within a matter of weeks. Some residual swelling will linger for up to six months, at which point your final results should be apparent.
How Much Downtime Will There Be?
The amount of downtime you experience will be based on the extent of your procedure, as well as personal factors like your age, your body’s ability to heal and how well you prioritize your recovery. In general, most patients return to work and resume normal activities in two weeks. You can expect to be back to your normal schedule after three to four weeks, although you will need to hold off on exercise and strenuous activities for about six to eight weeks.
Dr. Eisemann can talk to you about your recovery during your pre-op appointments. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the more you rest and lie low, making sure to follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions, the better your recovery will be. Be sure to plan ahead before your surgery to ensure your schedule is wide open in the weeks following your procedure. Doing so will allow you to get the healing time you need while eliminating any potential stress or anxiety that might make your recovery more difficult.
What Will My Facelift Recovery Look Like?
Most patients return home from their facelift the same day as their procedure and can immediately start resting. Following your procedure, you can expect your face to be bandaged. Your surgeon may use non-dissolvable sutures which will need to be removed in-office, usually about a week following your surgery. Otherwise, you are free to return home and relax while your body heals.
Upon leaving your appointment, you’ll likely still be experiencing the residual effects of your anesthesia. Your face should still feel numb and any discomfort should be kept to a minimum, although pain medication can be used as needed. Once you return home, plan on resting for the first two or three days. Be sure to talk to a friend or family member in advance about assisting you with meals and other necessities during the initial 72 hours so you can rest up.
After a few days of healing and taking things slow, you can begin moving around a bit more and resuming some normal activities. Take care not to push yourself too hard, however, as your face will still very much be in the crucial stages of the healing process. After about a week, you should start looking and feeling more like yourself again. At two weeks, you can gradually resume normal activities like work. Just be sure to be careful in the first few weeks of your recovery and reach out to your surgeon if you have any concerns.
Can I Do Anything to Speed Up My Recovery?
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your body after your surgery is to give it plenty of rest. There is no substitute for rest and no shortcut for speeding up your recovery dramatically. As far as minimizing side effects, you can avoid talking and moving your face too much to prevent any added stress to your facial tissue. Some steps you can take to minimize swelling include:
- Sleep with your head upright
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat a healthy diet low in sodium
- Avoid blood thinners
- Stop smoking
- Limit your activity
- Ice your face regularly
If you make sure to follow those guidelines, you may experience a slightly quicker and overall more comfortable recovery. Also be sure to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully, as they’ll have valuable and specific information about your recovery.
Your Facelift Consultation with Houston Plastic Surgeon Dr. Eisemann
If you are bothered by wrinkles and loose skin in your lower face, schedule a consultation at Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center to learn what Dr. Eisemann can do for you. During an in-person consultation, he will listen to your concerns, evaluate your facial anatomy and determine how he can best give you your desired results. By offering both traditional facelifts and mini-facelifts, in addition to many other facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Eisemann is capable of creating a personalized procedure that is right for your needs.
To schedule your facelift consultation with Dr. Eisemann, call the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center today at 713-790-1771.