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What to Expect from a Facelift Procedure

Dr. Ryan Austin

Happy Friday, dear readers! We’re continuing our series on facelift surgery with a question and answer from Dr. Austin. How will I feel when I wake up from surgery? Will my scars be visible? Will my new look be immediately apparent? Dr. Ryan Austin explains what you can expect after facelift surgery, including scars, results, and time off work.

How will I feel when I wakeup from facelift surgery?

Everyone is different, however you can expect to feel slightly groggy from the general anesthetic. We inject local anesthetic at the start of the procedure to minimize post-operative pain, so we don’t typically see many complaints of discomfort immediately upon waking. There is usually some swelling and mild bruising following surgery so your face will feel slightly swollen. By the time you go home following surgery, you will be up and walking and you will be able to drink water and have something light to eat.

Will I have to wear a special garment? If so, for how long?

Following surgery you will be wearing a post-operative dressing for between 1-5 days. You cannot take off this dressing, we will remove it for you. Following the initial dressing’s removal, we will switch you over to a compressive one that you’ll wear for approximately 1 more week. The compressive dressing can be removed allowing you to shower and care for your incision.

Will my new look be apparent immediately?

Yes and no. You will absolutely notice a positive difference in your appearance, immediately after your surgery. However, you’ll also experience some swelling and bruising. Much of this swelling and bruising will disappear within 2 weeks, however it can take several months for all of the swelling to completely resolve. So you should expect your look to improve and improve over the course of a few months.

Will my scars be visible?

As plastic surgeons we take great care and pride in placing incisions so that they are hidden and as invisible as possible. A well done facelift scar is almost invisible to the naked eye. Despite the fact that the scars are permanent, once the incisions have healed they are typically thin, fine lines that would only be visible if you pointed them out.

How long do I have to take off work?

Two weeks. It takes this long for most of the bruising and swelling to resolve to the point that patients are comfortable going to work and being out in public. After approximately 2 weeks, any residual final bruising can typically be covered up with some light make-up.

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