A facelift is a surgery that produces profound change and requires substantial recovery. Understanding what to expect during this time is essential before deciding on the procedure. Swelling and bruising will peak two weeks after your surgery, and some patients may feel tingling or tightness in the affected areas. However, this is normal and nothing to worry about.
After a facelift in San Francisco, it is essential to remember that recovery goes through stages. While every patient is different, the typical experience follows a similar pattern. The first week of recovery is typically when patients feel the most sore, with aches and pains that prescription pain medication typically manages. During this time, many people also experience a slight increase in body temperature, which is expected as the body works to heal the surgery site. As the healing process continues, swelling and bruising begin to subside. To help reduce these symptoms, patients may find it helpful to apply cold compresses on the face and neck for 10 minutes several times a day. This will encourage vasoconstriction, which can help prevent blood pooling and reduce the appearance of bruising and swelling. Most patients can return to work and other social activities at this stage. Depending on the severity of the surgery, some patients will continue to have mild swelling and bruising in some areas that will resolve over time. Some patients may experience feelings of pins and needles in the areas where the feeling is returning, which is also expected. These sensations will fade over time, and regular feelings should return to these areas after a few months. It should be hard for anyone to tell that you have undergone a facelift. Although minor swelling, tightness, and numbness can still be present, these side effects are usually only visible to the patient.
Swelling and Bruising
After a facelift, it is common for the neck and mouth area to feel tight and restricted. In many cases, this feeling can also lead to discomfort and fatigue. Your body’s natural inflammatory response is activated to speed up healing. The swelling and bruising should start to subside as the first-week ends. This is a good time to resume light activities, such as walking to the grocery store or running errands. However, it would be best to refrain from exercising or lifting heavy. Excessive exertion can impede the healing process, which could prolong your recovery and impact the results of your facelift. If your swelling is persistent, you should talk with a member of our team. You may develop a hematoma, a blood clot underneath the skin. Hematomas often look like very dark bruises and are often mistaken for them. Hematomas can develop due to the disruption of small blood vessels during a facelift. It is also possible to develop hyperpigmentation, a skin discoloration that occurs as the blood breaks down and is metabolized. Hyperpigmentation can occur due to excessive sun exposure, genetics, and certain medications, including those used to treat high blood pressure or heart conditions.
A facelift involves removing excess skin and tightening the underlying muscles. The incision sites will need time to heal correctly. For this reason, you should not touch the incision areas or use a facial moisturizer until they are fully healed. During the first week, you will likely experience some swelling and bruising. However, you can usually conceal the bruising with makeup, and many patients can go out in public at this stage. At the end of the second week, bruising should be minimal, and you will begin to see tangible improvements in your appearance. Most people can return to work by now, provided their job is manageable. Bruising worsens around day three or four, but you can ease the pain using cold compresses. The cold can cause your blood vessels to constrict, and this helps to reduce the bruising. It is also essential to eat well and stay hydrated during this time. This will help your body to heal faster, and it will make the incisions less noticeable. Avoid drinking alcohol and consuming foods with high-fat content, as these can slow down the healing process. Instead, drink plenty of water and eat protein-rich foods to keep your energy levels up. It is also a good idea to wear loose clothing and a scarf to hide your face as much as possible while recovering.
A facelift recovery period can last up to a month or more. However, the first few weeks are often the most intense. During this time, patients will still have some swelling and bruising. They must take pain medication as directed and follow their surgeon’s postoperative instructions. After the first week, most bruising and swelling should have subsided. Depending on the amount of bruising, some patients may want to cover it up with makeup before they go out in public. During this time, many people can resume work as long as their job is not physically strenuous. During the first two weeks, patients should sleep on several pillows to help alleviate swelling. It is also helpful to drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods. This will encourage healing and minimize side effects. Some parts of the neck and ear can feel weak or numb after a facelift. This is because the nerves in these areas are cut during the procedure. This sensation usually passes with time and is not a sign of something wrong. After the second week, patients should be able to stop taking their prescription pain medications. They should also be able to resume light exercise, such as walking. It is best to wait to resume weightlifting until after a few weeks or a month, as this could affect the results of your facelift.