What to Expect during Your Facelift Recovery 

Woman with smooth, youthful skin smiling and holding hand to cheekPatients can trust in respected surgeon Dr. Craig Foster for a facelift that rejuvenates their appearance along with a safe, expedited recovery. Backed by decades of experience, Dr. Foster has the surgical skills needed to minimize side effects and complications associated with the procedure, while ensuring your facelift recovery is optimally comfortable. To learn more, contact his Manhattan, NYC, practice today and schedule your consultation.

The First Week of Recovery

During the first week after a facelift, patients should focus on recovery and following their post-operative instructions to the letter. This includes taking all prescribed medication, including antibiotics to prevent infection. You may also be prescribed pain management medication to help alleviate any discomfort. Patients should expect to experience moderate bruising, swelling, and discoloration during the first week after their procedure.

To minimize pain and promote healing, patients should keep their head elevated and as still as possible, even while sleeping. Although patients will primarily be resting, they should avoid being too sedentary. Taking a walk around the room every few hours stimulates blood flow and prevents blood clots. Typically, patients will return to their surgeon’s office five to seven days after their procedure to have their stitches removed. Other ways to reduce discomfort and ensure a smooth recovery include:

  • Wearing and changing bandages regularly
  • Cleaning and caring for drainage tubes, as instructed
  • Using a cool compress on the eyes
  • Avoiding getting the face wet
  • Applying ointments or creams as directed by your surgeon
  • Returning for all post-surgical follow-up appointments

The Following Weeks

Most patients will return to work and light activities either one or two weeks after their procedure. Swelling and bruising may persist for several weeks, but as recovery progresses, the positive results of a facelift will become more noticeable. Although patients will be feeling and looking better, it is important to continue to follow activity restrictions and protocols until otherwise cleared by your doctor. Patients should be sure to:

  • Keep their head elevated for the first two weeks after surgery, including while sleeping
  • Stay away from saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, hot tubs, and swimming pools
  • Keep the surgical site and their faces clean
  • Avoid alcohol, aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Refrain from lifting, exercise, and other strenuous activity

When To Contact Your Doctor

When facelift surgery is performed by a reputable surgeon like Dr. Foster, side effects can be mitigated and the risk of complications can be significantly reduced. Patients should reach out to their surgeon if they are concerned that recovery is not proceeding as it should, especially if they experience:

  • Abnormal discharge, including pus, from the surgical wounds
  • A fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Extreme tenderness, swelling, pain, or reddening at the treatment areas

You should also make sure to contact our practice if your stitches begin to come out before they are scheduled to be removed.

Learn More During a Consultation

With his widely respected surgical skill, Dr. Foster can perform a facelift that delivers the youthful results you want, with a quick and comfortable healing process. Find out how a facelift or other facial cosmetic procedures can help you look years younger. Contact our practice today and schedule your consultation.

Craig A. Foster, MD, FACS

Dr. Craig A. Foster is double board-certified in plastic surgery and otolaryngology. He brings surgical expertise to each patient he sees. His private boutique surgical center on the Upper East Side is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).

Dr. Foster has served as the Director of the Facial Plastic Clinic of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), and is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital.

To learn more about the facial plastic surgery and cosmetic skin care services we offer, request a consultation online or call our office at (212) 744-5746.

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