The signs of aging come for all of us at some time in our life, striking some sooner than others. The facial region especially is one of the first places we see the signs of aging forming lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. This is where surgical procedures such as a lift come in to help turn back the clock on aging.
A lift is a popular style of elective cosmetic surgery that helps undo the signs of aging and reduce lines and wrinkles on your face. A lift can be performed on the face, neck, and brow regions.
If you’re considering undergoing a lift, be it for the brow, face, neck, or all of the above, one question you may have is what the recovery timeline from the experience is like.
Though your procedure and recovery timeline will vary depending on the extent of your surgery and your clinic itself, Here is a step-by-step recovery timeline of what you will be likely to expect when recovering from a lift.
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Day One Recovery
The first day of your recovery will be your most intense when it comes to pain levels, and the most likely time you will be on medication to help reduce pain and inflammation in the face and neck. On your first night of recovery, it is recommended to sleep at an elevated position, ideally around the 45-degree angle, to allow for better blood flow away from the face. This can help prevent the collection of fluids and blood in the face, reducing pain, swelling, and bruising.
Though the pain may have subsided slightly over the last few days, your swelling and bruising will likely be at their peak around now. This is normal and will persist for a few more days. Keeping to bed rest is recommended at this point still.
By this point, you should hopefully notice your pain has mostly subsided, and swelling is likely now beginning to go down. Your mobility and comfort will likely have improved enough by this point for moving and light activity, but rest is still recommended.
Over the next week, your condition should only continue to improve, though it is still possible to experience numbness, tightness, and tingling sensations. Returning to work should be possible by the end of the second week.
Depending on your healing progress, your surgeon will likely remove any sutures between the end of weeks 1 and 3. During this period, you’ll begin to see the results of your surgery, including an improved facial contour. Incision sites and healing areas will still potentially be swollen and tight but should be most improved.
One Month and Onward
By the one month, your life should be almost entirely back to normal. Your results should be settling in nicely by this point, and surgical incisions should be almost, if not entirely, healed.
Following this point, your recovery should only look better and better as the days and weeks go by. It can take up to a year before your look is fully realized, as minor swelling, tightness, and bruising may still be evident during this period. Usually, though, these concerns are so minor that they will not be visible and only noticeable by you.
Other Tips for Speedy Recovery
- When approved by the surgeon, applying a cool pack to the face can help reduce swelling in the face.
- When given the okay, shower frequently with disinfecting soap and water. Wash daily at home to help provide a clean area around the head.
- Wear loose and baggy clothing that can be removed without lighting your arms, such as a button-up shirt or robe. Avoid clothing that is tight on the throat, such as turtlenecks or scarves.
- Limit sun exposure, makeup, and cosmetics for at least two weeks as your skin will be very sensitive following surgery.
- Avoid anything that strains the neck, such as craning it for TV or computers or lifting anything heavy.
- Avoid extreme facial movements such as large smiles, laughs, or exaggerated yawns, as these expressions may be painful.
- Be wary of, or avoid, possibly harmful appliances around your face and neck, such as brushes, hairdryers, curlers, or straighteners.