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Daniel Careaga, MD
Paul Durand, MD
Karl William Schwarz, MD

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Facelift Recovery and Aftercare Tips

Posted September 25, 2018 in Facelift

The aging process can be especially harsh on the skin of the face and neck, causing the appearance of numerous signs of aging. Facelift surgery offers a way to turn back the clock and rejuvenate the face and neck.

brunette smiling sweater

Facelift surgery is ideal for patients who are struggling with visible signs of aging such as deep nasolabial folds (lines between the sides of the nose and the mouth), sagging face and neck skin, downturned lips, and jowls.

The Recovery Process

Swelling, Bruising, and Discomfort

It is best to have an understanding of the recovery process before you decide to undergo any cosmetic surgery. You should expect some temporary bruising and swelling throughout your face following your surgery. The bruising and swelling after your facelift procedure will peak during the first 36 to 48 hours of recovery and should dissipate significantly within 10 to 14 days. Any pain or discomfort should start to decrease within 48 hours. You will be prescribed medication to help alleviate these side effects. If the pain persists or worsens, do not hesitate to call Dr. Careaga or his medical team.

Dressings and Compression Garments

To help keep facial bruising and swelling as minimal as possible, you will be advised to wear special compression bandages and other dressings to cover the treated areas after the surgery. At your first follow-up appointment, the bulky dressings will be removed and replaced with an elastic support garment to support your healing further.


Any scars from your procedure may be slightly red, firm, and raised for four to six weeks, but they will likely fade with time. Remember that it will take at least six months for you to heal completely and can take up to a year to see your final results.

Tips to Make Your Recovery Easier

woman relaxing breakfast bed

While the healing process can sometimes be uncomfortable, there are some things you can do to help make it a little easier. Make sure to follow all of the aftercare directions you are given and take the recommended pain meds or antibiotics you have been prescribed.

You can also do the following to have a smoother and faster recovery:

  • Sleep in a reclined position (not lying down) for the first two weeks to help reduce swelling.
  • Use cool (not cold) compresses at 20 minutes intervals to help minimize swelling and discomfort. Avoid warm or hot compresses.
  • Understand that a feeling of tightness in the neck for the first few days is normal.
  • Avoid lifting, bending, or straining for at least one week to reduce swelling and prevent bleeding from the incisions.
  • You may feel some numbness around your ears, face, and neck (where your incisions are) for several weeks. This is normal and will gradually dissipate as you heal.
  • Do not wear makeup until you have been cleared to do so by Dr. Careaga.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for at least six weeks, and always wear sunscreen or protective accessories.

Don’t try to rush your facelift recovery. The rejuvenating effects of a facelift procedure can last for as long as 10 years if you take care of yourself and attend all of the required follow-up appointments. Feel free to contact Dr. Careaga if you have any questions or concerns about the way you are healing.

Contact us today

Dr. Daniel Careaga has been performing facelift surgeries for many years. He will provide instructions regarding your facelift recovery process during your consultation. Contact us today at (305) 960-7511 to schedule an appointment.


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