This page is designed to give you general information about the recovery process, but obviously can't answer all your questions about face lifts. If you have other questions, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons today to get all the answers you desire. If you are a current patient of The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery, please call 703-893-6168 if you have questions about your recovery.The Day of Your Face Lift Surgery
Your surgery may take 2-3 hours depending on the complexity of the procedure and could be longer if additional procedures are performed, for example, eyelid surgery. After your surgery is complete, we will monitor you to ensure you are sufficiently recovered from the anesthesia. Even when recovered, though, you will not be able to support person, so you will have to have a responsible drive who can take you home. This support person must stay with you for at least the first twenty-four hours after surgery to make sure you are doing well.
This first day you can eat, though you will probably prefer soft foods. You are encouraged to drink to make sure you keep hydrated. Mostly, you will want to rest. Remember to sleep with your head and torso elevated during the early part of recovery. Before you leave our office, we will go over detailed instructions orally and in writing with you and your support person.The First Week of Recovery
During the first week of recovery, you need to be home from work. You should focus your efforts on rest and recovery. You should gradually increase your activity level, but you should avoid high-impact exercises and anything that is likely to elevate your heart rate too much, since this can put stress on the healing blood vessels and increase bruising and your risk of hematoma.
During this first week, you will likely be bruised and swollen. Don't worry, it will pass relatively quickly. During the first week, you will also experience some discomfort. The level of your discomfort is very personal, but most of our patients report it was less than they expected, and that it was easily controlled with prescription medication.Your First and Second Follow-Up and Beyond
Your first follow-up will be the day after surgery, to remove bandages and assess your immediate condition. By the time you come for your next follow-up appointment at one week after surgery, you will already be over the worst of the recovery. Swelling and bruising will have diminished considerably, and your level of discomfort should be minor. At this second follow-up we will remove some stiches and re-evaluate the progress of your healing.
If all looks well, you will be cleared to return to nonstrenuous work. You will also be able to wear concealing make-up. However, it's important to remember that your healing is not yet complete. You are more likely to feel like you are ready to work at this time than look like you are ready to work. You should avoid all activities until we clear you. The time will be based on your personal recovery rate, but most people will be back to full activities by six weeks after the surgery.
To learn more about your recovery from a face lift and whether it is the right procedure for you, please call or email us today to schedule your consultation at The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery, helping patients from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery
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