No matter what you do to keep your facial skin smooth and supple, aging does have its effects. Over time, your skin will lose some elasticity, facial muscles will become looser, and environmental factors will take their toll. As a result, patients are likely to develop wrinkles and deep creases. Sagging skin may also become an issue, which can affect facial definition.
Fortunately, there is a solution that addresses all of these problems. A facelift smooths out wrinkles, lifts sagging skin, and enhances the facial structure to restore a more youthful appearance for Dr. Stephen P. Hardy’s patients. Before deciding to undergo facelift surgery, patients should have a clear understanding of the procedure, including the recovery that will follow treatment. Dr. Hardy is happy to discuss the facelift recovery timeline with our Missoula, MT patients so they are well prepared for the healing process.
Week One of Recovery
Week one of facelift recovery will be the most difficult. During this first phase of recovery, patients should plan to get plenty of rest. However, light walking is important to recovery and should begin as soon as the patient feels up to it (though not during the first 24 hours after surgery). We encourage short, frequent walks throughout the day, even if it just means walking to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Aside from fatigue, patients will be dealing with various side effects during the first week after surgery. Patients experience discomfort and the face will appear bruised and swollen. Dr. Hardy will prescribe pain medication to improve your comfort. Bruising and swelling will gradually subside, but ice packs can be used as necessary to lessen the severity of these side effects.
Week Two of Recovery
Most patients begin to feel like they are really making progress during their second week of facelift recovery. Most fatigue should wear off by this point and patients should feel well enough to resume many of their normal tasks around the house.
Although bruising and swelling may be less severe during the second week of recovery, they will still be noticeable. As the facelift incisions heal, it is also normal for the skin to feel tight and itchy. Some patients report a numbing or tingling sensation around the surgical site. All surgical side effects will continue to diminish as recovery progresses.
Weeks Three and Four of Recovery
Within three to four weeks after facelift surgery, there should be noticeable improvement in the incision site and the facial skin. Bruising should be completely healed by this time. While some swelling will remain, it should be pretty minor.
Most patients feel physically well enough to return to work at this point and are confident enough in their appearance to go out in public again. Although most regular activities can be resumed at this point, it is important to refrain from exercise and other strenuous activities until at least six weeks post-surgery.
Patients should also understand that the face will continue to change in the weeks and months ahead. It can take up to a full year for the face to heal and settle completely and for the final results of treatment to be achieved.
Facelift surgery addresses some of the most common signs of aging to tighten and smooth the skin of the mid- and lower-face. Dr. Stephen P. Hardy is happy to answer any questions you may have about the facelift procedure or the recovery that follows. To learn more, contact us at your earliest convenience.