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When is It Safe to Exercise After Facelift Surgery?

By: Dr. Christopher Khorsandi


No one likes to think about putting their life on pause to recover after surgery, but this is a necessary step to encourage proper, complete healing and an optimal outcome. For patients looking toward facelift surgery specifically, it is important to have a good understanding of how long you may need to avoid strenuous physical activity — and why. Keep reading to find more information on appropriate post-facelift exercise routines from board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi, chief plastic surgeon at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV.

How long is recovery after facelift surgery?

The length of facelift recovery can differ from patient to patient based on the type of facelift they had performed, whether any additional procedures were performed in conjunction with the facelift, and other variables. For patients who undergo less extensive facial rejuvenation procedures, like the mini facelift, it may be possible to return to work and other activities just days or weeks after surgery. More involved surgeries, like the full facelift, typically require a longer period away from work, exercise, and other routines. On average, patients can expect a full recovery after facelift surgery to take about six weeks, though it is usually possible to return to work and light physical activity sooner than this.

What should I avoid after a facelift?

During your facelift recovery, it is essential that you follow Dr. Khorsandi’s aftercare guidelines to prevent complications (including delayed healing) and set yourself up for a smooth and successful experience. Some things to avoid during facelift recovery include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Strenuous physical exercise
  • Heavy lifting (over ten pounds)
  • Submerging your healing incisions
  • Swimming, bathtubs, hot tubs, lakes, etc.
  • Direct sun exposure
  • Sleeping on your stomach or side

There are also some things you should do to encourage efficient and complete healing after a facelift, like:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Minimize sodium intake
  • Sleep on your back with your head elevated
  • Keep the skin moisturized
  • Wear sunscreen

When can I work out again after facelift surgery?

For the first 1 – 2 days after facelift surgery, patients should plan to focus their efforts exclusively on rest and relaxation. Short walks to and from the bathroom are safe and encouraged for proper circulation and to avoid postsurgical complications, like deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.

After about one week, it is usually safe and appropriate to begin taking light walks around the house or block, but strenuous activity, exercise, lifting, and straining will still be off-limits.

In most cases, patients will be cleared to resume their normal level of activity and previous exercise routines after about six weeks, at which time the majority of facelift swelling will have resolved, and patients can begin to see their results taking shape.

Remember, it is important to obtain your surgeon’s clearance during your postoperative follow-up appointments before resuming, starting, or adjusting your physical activity level after surgery.

Take control of the aging process with facelift surgery in Las Vegas, NV

Don’t let the recovery period deter you from getting the youthful, enhanced appearance you desire. With proper facelift aftercare and healthy habits, you may be back to your normal daily routines sooner than you think. To learn more about what to expect after facelift surgery — and whether you may be a good candidate for a facelift in Las Vegas, NV — call VIP Plastic Surgery to schedule your private consultation with internationally recognized board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi today.

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