Cosmetic anti-aging procedures have gained mainstream acceptance over the last several years. While many women start with less invasive treatments, such as Botox injections and dermal fillers, at a certain point facial rejuvenation surgery, or a facelift, is the best option for longer-lasting and more dramatic results.

Often celebrity facelifts seem to occur overnight. Suddenly you see before-and-after photos, and it is easy to forget that the celebrity likely spent months out of the limelight before showing off their younger look in public. Facelift results are glamorous, but the recovery process is often hidden from view, leaving many people wondering what to expect as they heal. Swelling, healing sutures, and odd sensations may seem impossible to navigate on your own. Fortunately, recovering from a facelift is more straightforward than you might think. There are just a few simple things to remember during your recovery.

Swelling is Normal

Facial swelling will take the most amount of time to fully disappear. There are few tips to help keep swelling down such as keeping your head elevated, taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or an antihistamine such as Zyrtec, and using cold compresses can relieve some of the puffiness. If you are particularly concerned about appearing swollen in public, you may want to take extra time away from work or talk to your surgeon about your concerns during your consultation or a follow-up appointment.

Swelling after a facelift will be different for everyone, but typically:

  • Over half of your swelling, up to 60 percent, will disappear in the first couple of weeks after surgery.
  • After three months, 80 percent of the swelling will be gone.
  • After six months, 90 percent of the swelling will be gone.
  • The last 10 percent can take almost a full year to fully disappear.

Numbness and Tingling Will Fade

A loss of sensation around your neck or ears (near your sutures) is also normal during a facelift recovery but can seem very worrisome because it is not something that you typically experience in day-to-day life. These symptoms can persist for quite some time; the average time frame for them to fade is between two and six months, but it is also considered normal for them to last up to a year.

Scars Take Time to Heal

Dr. Lohner will take great care to place your scars so that they are hidden by your hairline and the natural folds of skin such as behind your neck and ears. It can take nearly two years for your scars to form and flatten. It’s important to take good care of them, particularly in the early stages of healing, so you can improve their appearance in both the short and long run. Keeping them moisturized, protecting them from infection and direct sunlight and using scar treatments will go a long way towards ensuring that they heal as invisibly as possible.

The most important thing to know about your facelift recovery is that your surgeon is always available to assist with questions or concerns. If you feel like your healing symptoms are not normal or are lasting longer than they should, contact Lohner Plastic Surgery right away to make sure you aren’t experiencing complications. If you would like more information on facelift surgery or the recovery process, call us at (610) 519-0600.