What is the Typical Recovery Time for a Facelift?

Facelift Recovery

Men and women who want to look younger and more vibrant turn to many different procedures these days. Some prefer Botox, some like facial fillers, and others go for the full package with a complete facelift. There are four stages to recovering from a facelift, and this recovery goes faster for some than it does for others.


Stage 1 – Rest

One of the worst things you can do for your body after a facelift is stay in bed. Although you will not feel like doing much for the first few days, and the painkillers may make it difficult to do much at all, you should feel good enough by the third or fourth day to move around a little. Chances are good that you will feel some fatigue and maybe a little nausea for the first few days, but these will quickly subside. Remember that movement lends to circulation, and when you can circulate the blood through your body, this helps speed your recovery. This first stage lasts about a week.

Stage 2 – Progression

By the end of the first week after your facelift, you should start to feel better. Although you will still have swelling and bruising well into the second week after surgery, overall, you should be feeling more energetic. If you have stapled incisions, the doctor will usually remove these between days seven and 10. At this point in your recovery, it is all about light duty. You can start doing housework again, and your doctor will likely encourage some walking, but avoid any heavy lifting for now. Do not apply makeup over your incisions, but do apply it just up to the edge if it helps you feel more confident.

Stage 3 – Getting Back to Normal

Between the beginning of the third week and the end of the first month after your facelift, you will really start to improve. Your incisions should be healing quite nicely at this point, and although most of the bruising will fade by this time, you may still notice some swelling in areas. Remember that this is normal as everyone recovers at different paces. At the beginning of the fourth week of recovery, you can return to your normal work and exercise routine as long as you avoid any activity that may put you at risk for injuries.

Stage 4 – The Home Stretch

Many people consider themselves “recovered” after the first month. For others, it may take anywhere between six and eight weeks before they feel like themselves again. One of the oddest parts about a facelift is the fact that it may take up to a year before all of the sensations in your face return to normal. Until then, you may notice some tenderness to the touch, tingling, and in some cases, even a numb feeling.

In short, you will start to feel better just a couple of days after your surgery, though the redness, bruising, and swelling may last up to four weeks. Within six weeks, you should be ready to return to your normal lifestyle. Make sure to report anything that seems odd or worrisome after your facelift to your doctor.