Facelifts: What to Expect after Surgery

Knowing what to expect after facelift surgery is key to the overall success of the operation. Your surgeon will guide you through the various stages of recovery to help you manage expectations so you can heal properly and quickly.


The degree of swelling will vary from patient to patient, and may actually get bigger during the first three or four days before they begin to subside. To minimize swelling, keep your head elevated as often as you can for the first two to three weeks.


Like swelling, discoloration will vary from person to person. Most discoloration and bruising will disappear over the first two weeks. You can use make up to cover the bruises, just make sure to ask your surgeon which ones are advisable to use.


A large portion of your face will be numb after surgery. This is normal, so don’t worry. Numbness will subside within the first couple of weeks or months. You may feel unusual sensations—such as pins and needles or mild itching—as the nerves on your face regenerate over time.

The healing period for a successful facelift surgery is generally less than expected. While swelling may persist for up to four weeks, follow up care will likely continue for a year.


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