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How Long Should Swelling Last After Facelift Surgery?

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When considering facelift surgery, it is essential to have a good understanding of what to expect during facelift recovery — including how long swelling and bruising may last — so that you can plan for time away from work, help around the house, travel, and other logistics accordingly. While each person's experience with swelling after facelift surgery will vary, there are some general guidelines on what to expect with facelift swelling. Here, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe and the team at Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX provide a helpful facelift recovery timeline that may be useful in preparing for your facelift surgery and recovery.

What happens during facelift surgery?

The details of facelift surgery and recovery will vary greatly from patient to patient, as each procedure is customized based on uniquely individual factors — like the patient's facial anatomy, specific concerns, skin elasticity, and even ethnicity in some cases. Not only that, but there are multiple types of facelift surgeries and facial rejuvenation procedures that may be performed depending on the patient's needs and goals, including:

  • Full facelift
  • Mid-facelift
  • Neck lift
  • Facial fat grafting
  • Brow lift
  • Eyelid lift

In traditional facelift surgery, Dr. Dauwe typically places an incision along or behind the ears, following the hairline. Excess skin is trimmed away, and the deeper structures and tissues of the face are repositioned and reinforced for a more youthful new contour. With the multiple layers of skin, tissue, and muscle that are addressed during facelift surgery, some swelling after a facelift is expected.

How long does facelift swelling last?

Again, swelling after facial surgery will vary based on the type of facelift performed and other individual case factors. It is important to follow your surgeon's facelift recovery instructions closely, as each patient's needs and recovery journey will be different. A general guideline for facelift recovery, including how long your facelift swelling may last, is as follows:

  • Day 1 – 2: Patients should plan to devote the first 1 – 2 days after facelift surgery to rest and sleep. Immediate swelling may not be obvious until 1 – 2 days after surgery.
  • Week 1 – 2: Patients often experience peak facelift swelling around this time. Gently applying cold packs as directed, taking medications as prescribed, limiting sodium intake, and keeping the head elevated can help to keep swelling to a minimum during this time.
  • Week 3 – 4: After about 3 – 4 weeks, many patients report that the bulk of their swelling has resolved, allowing them to begin enjoying their newly enhanced look.

While it can take up to 3 – 6 months for the full results of facelift surgery to become visible as residual swelling subsides, the swelling is typically very minor and often is not noticeable to anyone other than the patient. Once patients have recovered from facelift surgery, the tissues have healed and settled, and the remaining swelling has resolved, it will be time to finally enjoy a new look — up to ten years younger in many cases.

Dallas, TX facelift results are considered well worth the recovery time

If you have been thinking about facelift surgery but have concerns about a lengthy recovery period, you may be surprised to find that many facelift procedures require fairly minimal downtime and allow patients to return to work sooner than they may think. To learn more about what you can expect with your personalized facelift in Dallas, TX, call Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery to schedule your private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.