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How Long Will I Have Swelling After Facelift Surgery?

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


You may not be looking forward to the recovery period after facelift surgery, but it will certainly be worth the results! With proper facelift aftercare, patients can achieve a stunning, youthful new look that can last for years to come. Use this helpful information from the expert team at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, led by acclaimed board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi, to better understand what to expect during facelift recovery, including how long your post-facelift swelling may last.

How does a facelift work?

The details of your procedure will depend on which type of facelift is being performed. In most cases, however, facelift surgery is performed using general anesthesia and takes about 2 – 3 hours to complete. During the procedure, Dr. Khorsandi will make precise incisions, through which he is able to lift and tighten the underlying muscle and tissue structures to create a more youthful contour. The skin is then delicately re-draped over the face, and excess skin is trimmed before the incisions are closed with tiny sutures.

The majority of patients should plan to stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility after facelift surgery for close monitoring. Once released into the care of a partner or trusted friend, patients will continue their recovery at home. The first several days after facelift surgery should be devoted to rest, though it is important to take short, brief walks to and from the bathroom or around the house in order to promote proper blood circulation. Most men and women are able to return to light desk work about 10 – 14 days after facelift surgery, but strenuous physical activity will remain off-limits for up to 4 – 6 weeks or longer.

How long does a facelift take to heal?

Patients can generally expect to start looking and feeling more like themselves about 1 – 2 weeks after facelift surgery, depending on the extent of their procedure. Postoperative swelling, bruising, and tightness may last for several more weeks, though these side effects of a facelift should be mild and will continue to improve over time. The majority of patients feel comfortable, confident, and fully healed about 3 – 4 weeks after facelift surgery, with the final results taking shape over the course of about 6 – 9 months as the tissues settle completely.

When does facelift swelling go down?

The bulk of facelift swelling should resolve about 3 – 4 weeks after facelift surgery. After this time, patients may have a mild amount of residual swelling, but it is usually subtle and only noticeable to the patient and his or her closest friends and family. In some cases, it may take up to six months or longer for facelift swelling to resolve completely.

How to reduce swelling after facelift

With proper care and preparation, patients can reduce postoperative facelift swelling and greatly improve their comfort during facelift recovery. Important guidelines for recovery after facelift surgery include:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Stay hydrated
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Avoid excess sodium/salt intake
  • Sleep on your back with your head elevated
  • Use cold compresses as directed
  • Avoid direct pressure to the face
  • Do not bend over
  • Refrain from strenuous physical activity and exercise
  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Keep the skin moisturized
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Attend all follow-up appointments

Take years off the clock and start enjoying your stunning new look in just a few weeks with Las Vegas facelift surgery

There’s no doubt that facelift recovery is worth the wait! To learn more about the life-changing benefits of facial rejuvenation surgery, call the expert team at VIP Plastic Surgery to schedule your private in-office or virtual consultation with internationally renowned board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi today. We look forward to helping you restore the youthful beauty and confidence you deserve with facelift surgery in Las Vegas, NV!

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