Facelift Recovery Timeline By Stuart Baker on February 20, 2014

Decatur Facelift Recovery TimelinePatients who are troubled by loose, sagging skin along the lower two-thirds of the face are likely ideal candidates for a facelift procedure. During a facelift, plastic surgeon Stuart Baker can remove excess skin and fat tissue in order to redrape the skin so that it lies smoother and tighter. This gives a more youthful and refreshed appearance to the patient’s facial features.

Following a facelift procedure, patients should be prepared for several weeks of recovery, during which time the body will gradually heal and the full results of surgery will become more apparent. Prior to surgery, Dr. Baker informs his Decatur patients of what to expect during facelift recovery so that they are well prepared for this healing period.

Week One of Recovery

Rest is an important part of the first week of recovery from facelift surgery. During the first 24 hours of recovery, a loved one should be around to monitor and help care for the patient. Beyond this 24-hour period, most patients feel well enough to get out of bed and move around the house, but extra rest will still be required and physical activities should be limited to light walking and other non-strenuous activities.

Bruising, swelling, and moderate discomfort are the most common side effects during this first week of recovery. Dr. Baker will provide medication that should be used as prescribed to control pain. Keeping the body well hydrated and using cold packs on the face can help control swelling, although it is completely normal for swelling to persist. In fact, many patients notice that swelling increases and peaks around day three or four of recovery.

Week Two of Recovery

Bruising and swelling will likely still be present during the second week of recovery. While bruising varies by patient, it is completely normal to have bruising around the eyes, neck, cheeks, and ears. Swelling is likely to improve somewhat in the second week but not significantly. Some patients also report feeling a tingling or numbing sensation on the face between weeks one and two of recovery. This is a normal and temporary side effect of facelift surgery.

Patients are likely to feel better during this second week and are encouraged to continue with low-stress physical activities, such as walking. Most patients are not ready to return to work at this point because the physical side effects of surgery are still so obvious.

Week Three and Four of Recovery

During weeks three and four of recovery the side effects of surgery will begin to subside drastically. While some swelling or numbness may persist for several more weeks, it will be to such a degree that it should not be noticeable to outsiders. Most patients return to work and other routine activities during this time period.

The incision sites of the facelift procedure should also look better at this time. There will likely be light pink scars at the incision sites, which will have been discreetly placed so that they are easily hidden. The facial skin may appear a bit tight at this stage but the overall results of surgery should be more noticeable at this point and the body will continue to heal, creating a softer and more natural appearance over time.

Contact Us

At our plastic surgery practice, Dr. Stuart Baker and his staff offer compassionate and personalized care that is superior in quality and backed by years of experience. If you are looking for a talented and caring staff to care for your cosmetic needs, contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about the many services we have available. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Dr. Stuart Baker

The Center for Cosmetic Medicine

Dr. Stuart Baker is a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience. He has been recognized as a "master injector" by Allergan, the maker of BOTOX® Cosmetic and JUVÉDERM® products, for excellent patient outcomes. In addition to being a skilled plastic surgeon, he is also an orthopedic hand surgery specialist. His prestigious affiliations include:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons — ASPS 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery — ASAPS 
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery — AACS 
  • American Medical Association — AMA 

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(217) 877-9000

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