Facelift Recovery: Day 1 to 30

Back to Blog

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, helps reverse the effects of aging on the face and neck. People who struggle with wrinkles, jowls, and sagging skin frequently choose to have this operation to help them achieve a more youthful, natural appearance.

If you’re considering getting a facelift, it’s crucial to understand the surgical process and postoperative regimen. The success of your facelift will greatly depend on your preparation and adherence to your surgeon’s aftercare guidelines. To help you prepare for your recovery, we’ve provided a 30-day facelift recovery guide for your procedure.

Week 1: Recovery From Facelift

The most important part is following surgical incision care instructions and keeping them clean during this time to avoid infection.

  • Day 1: Following surgery, you will still feel the effects of anesthesia and may feel groggy and tired. You will need to have arranged for help from relatives or friends to transport you home and take care of you on your first night.
  • Day 2: You will be seen by your surgeon in the office for your first follow-up visit. Your surgical dressings will be changed or removed, and if you have a drain it will be removed. Your plastic surgeon will redress the region, go over postoperative care, and review any questions you may have.
  • Day 3: You should start to feel better and have more energy to move around a little bit. It is important to take daily walks, but avoid too much activity as it can raise your blood pressure and increase bleeding after surgery. It is important to listen to you body and take rests as needed. Both swelling and bruising reach their peak around days 3 and 4, and will continue to improve over the next few weeks.
  • Days 4-6: By this time, most patients no longer require prescription painkillers. Swelling and bruising will have started to decrease. You should also begin to feel more at ease moving around.

Week 2 Recovery After a Facelift

At this time, you can begin to return to your normal schedule but with some restrictions still in place. You will begin to see your results emerge starting now.

  • Days 7-14: You’ll most likely still have some swelling and bruising in the vicinity of the surgical areas throughout this week. Numbness and tingling around the incisions is also normal, and will improve with time. Many patients are ready to go back to work, however we recommend you modify your activities at work to not over-exert yourself.

Weeks 3 and 4 of Facelift Healing

You should be back to your normal schedule including work and social activities. Your facial appearance will be more normal at this point and you may feel comfortable being out in public now.

  • Days 15-30: Your specific treatment and healing progress will determine when your sutures are removed, which might be anywhere from the end of the first week to week three. You could still feel tight and swollen around weeks 3 and 4, but overall, you should start to look and feel much better. Here is where patients frequently start to see noticeable changes in the shape of their faces.

After Day 30

At around 6 weeks, you will be allowed to resume light exercise. Your surgeon will determine when you are ready to exercise without weight restrictions. Some mild swelling and tightness at your incisions may persist and will continue to improve with time. Scars will be pink at this time point, and will continue to fade as well. Know that it takes one year for scars to fully mature. Your surgeon will review scar care with you to help minimize them and improve healing.

Schedule a Consultation

The best way to learn more about facelift surgery is by meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. If you are in Tucson, AZ, fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation appointment at Tucson Plastic Surgery. Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic have extensive experience in performing facelift surgery, and are eager to help you meet your facial aesthetic goals.


Contact us today

Let’s Get Started