A facelift is a restorative surgery that will restore your appearance to a more youthful and energetic one. A facelift is a cosmetic surgical procedure that reverses the effects of gravity and aging, but it also necessitates a healing and recovery period, just like any other surgical procedure.
Learn more about the facelift recovery process by reading this post.
What is a facelift?
Any surgical operation that relieves signs of aging in the face or neck by removing or repositioning skin, fat, or muscle is called a facelift (also known as a rhytidectomy ). Aging signs that can be restored with a facelift include:
- The skin on the face is relaxed and sagging.
- Lines of deep folds or creases between the nose and the corners of the mouth.
- Facial fat that is lacking or fallen.
- Drooping skin around the cheeks or jaw (jowls).
- Your neck appears to have a “double chin” due to loose skin and excess fat.
Facelifts are recognized as rejuvenating cosmetic interventions, yet it’s essential to acknowledge their limitations. They do not possess the capability to reverse the aging process or bring about substantial alterations in one’s appearance. Additionally, facelifts do not target issues such as UV damage, uneven skin tones, or surface-level wrinkles. These procedures are meticulously tailored to address individual patient goals and the unique characteristics of their face.
What are the different types of facelifts?
Numerous facelift operations exist depending on the targeted parts of the neck and face. Facelift surgery types include:
- Traditional facelift: During a traditional facelift procedure, incisions are made below the chin, below the hairline, and around the ears. A surgeon tightens the muscles and other supporting parts of your face and neck while separating the skin from the underlying tissues. The surgeon will remove extra fat from your neck and jowls if necessary. Next, the surgeon naturally repositions the skin across the face, eliminating excess skin. People who desire the best possible improvement from moderate to considerable face aging are typically advised to have this procedure.
- SMAS facelift: The lower two-thirds of your face is the focus of a SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system, or the muscular layer of your face) facelift. During this surgical operation, your lower face and cheeks will have extra skin and/or fat removed, and your muscles will be tightened. Another option for a traditional facelift is a SMAS facelift.
- Deep plane facelift: A deep plane facelift involves lifting the skin, fat, and SMAS (your face’s muscle layer) all at once. Deep plane lifts typically treat several facial areas simultaneously.
- Mid-facelift: Your face’s cheek area is treated with a mid-facelift procedure. A Newport Beach surgeon tightens the skin around your cheeks and realigns the fat there.
- Mini-facelift: Min-facelift surgery aims to elevate the neck and lower face. The procedure is less invasive and takes less time than other facelift procedures. Surgeons typically advise mini-facelifts for younger patients who only exhibit mild facial sagging.
- Cutaneous (skin) facelift: Cutaneous facelifts often target the neck and lower face, involving only your skin.
Many times, patients who have a facelift also have other treatments done concurrently with the surgery, such as:
- Rhinoplasty (nose job).
- Brow lift.
- Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift).
- Facial Implants.
- Jawline rejuvenation.
- Laser skin resurfacing.
- Chemical peel.
- Liquid facelift with injected dermal fillers.
What can I expect on the day of my facelift surgery?
Most facelift surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures. You will be given general anesthesia or sedatives before the surgery, which typically lasts two to five hours. After surgery, a patient having a facelift typically returns home the same day. You will receive detailed instructions on how to take care of the surgery site, what medications to take, and when to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Following a facelift, there are typically four phases of the recovery process.
Stage 1: Post-Op Days 1 – 6
After a facelift, you should anticipate waking up with a wide bandage around the head to reduce bruising and swelling. Additionally, little drains may be visible briefly to collect any fluid drainage. It is crucial to have someone with you for the first 24 hours after surgery, as you will be somewhat disoriented and groggy. After your facelift surgery, you will need someone to drive you back to your home.
You might require the most painkillers on the first day after your procedure. You will often have a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon on the second day after your procedure, during which they will examine your incisions and assess your swelling. You’ll also have your surgical dressings replaced and your drains taken out. You should feel well enough to get up and move around your home one to two days after surgery, though you must take it easy throughout the first seven days of recovery.
Any bruising and/or swelling peaks will occur three to four days after the surgery. Sleeping with two pillows is advised for the initial two weeks after surgery to help reduce swelling. Never undervalue the importance of maintaining a raised head. As was already said, your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help you manage any discomfort you may experience following your rhytidectomy. When taken as directed, you can manage any pain and soreness that you might have.
Usually, by day 4, swelling will decrease, and you no longer require pain medication. During this period, moving your body and improving circulation by performing simple household tasks is crucial, as this will aid your recovery. To guarantee a full recovery, it’s also critical that you adhere to the incision-care instructions provided by your physician. It is normal to notice that one side of the face may be more swollen. However, call your doctor immediately if you experience unusual swelling or fever.
Stage 2: Post-Op Days 7-14
You may still experience bruising and swelling in the vicinity of the inflicted areas during your second week following the surgery. Certain patients report strange feelings of tingling, numbness, or stiffness. These feelings are typical after a facelift and should not be taken too seriously. It will take an additional week or two for the swelling and bruising to disappear, even though they start to fade. Most people start to feel better by the end of week two and are prepared to return to work, though you must still refrain from engaging in physically demanding or heavy activities.
Stage 3: Post-Op Days 15-30
We will remove your sutures during weeks three and four following surgery. The operation you undergo and the healing process will influence when the sutures are removed. Your incision sites will look bunchy and puckered while the sutures are still in, but they will start to smooth out when the sutures are taken out. In weeks 3 and 4, you might still experience some residual swelling (which is normal and will go away), but for the most part, patients begin to notice real improvement in their faces at this point.
After a facelift, you will appear and feel much better in three weeks. Even so, you should avoid physically demanding activities or risk of harm. The incision areas may turn slightly pink as they heal, but this will pass. To protect your skin during this time, it’s crucial to avoid exposure to the sun, wear sunscreen, and either cover the incisions with makeup or let your hair do the talking.
Stage 4: Day 30 & Up After Surgery
Everyone won’t be able to tell you’ve had cosmetic surgery after a month, and you should be able to resume your regular activities thanks to your new appearance. Remember that minimal swelling, numbness, and tightness will only become evident to you and may take up to a year to go away. Recall that over the following 12 months, the results of your facelift become apparent. It is how long it usually takes for a facelift to heal completely and for you to notice the minor changes that occur when your appearance is revitalized.
Remember that those who do their research, use the appropriate safety measures, and adhere to their doctor’s advice tend to have the most straightforward lives and the best outcomes. Everyone gets a unique experience, and the mentioned times are only estimates.
Related article: How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Facelift?
Tips for a Fast Facelift Recovery
- Attend all post-operative appointments and follow your surgeon’s care advice.
- Wear any bandages, wraps, or compression garments your surgeon has prescribed.
- During the first week, you can reduce swelling by applying ice packs. Avoid using warm or hot compresses until your surgeon gives their approval.
- Avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin or ibuprofen) until your surgeon gives the all-clear.
- Sleep with your head elevated.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep. Give your body time to heal from recent major surgery.
- Plan no work at all for two weeks, not even from home.
- Eat foods that are light, healthy, and easy to chew.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid scratching your face, especially if it itches. Benadryl and Allegra are examples of oral antihistamines that can be used to relieve most itches and scars.
- Avoid strenuous activities until you have recovered completely.
- Apply scar creams to the incisions only after receiving approval from the surgeon. Ensure that your post-surgery routine includes adhering to any restrictions, maintaining a balanced diet, adequate hydration, prioritizing relaxation, and seeking emotional support for overall well-being.
- Use sunscreen to shield the surgical site and any incisions. If you’re outside, reapply every few hours.
A facelift will make you look younger and more rejuvenated, but it won’t change your basic appearance or reverse the effects of aging. A facelift often has five to ten years of lasting results. Even though you will still age after a facelift, you will still appear five to ten years younger than before the procedure.
Considering A Newport Beach Facelift Surgery?
Transform your appearance and rejuvenate your confidence with Dr. George Brennan – Cosmetic Surgeon Newport Beach. If you’re considering a facelift, trust our expert team to enhance your natural beauty and provide personalized care. Schedule a consultation today to explore the possibilities of a Newport Beach facelift surgery tailored to your unique needs.
For more information and questions, call us at (949) 644-1641.