What to Expect Before and After a Face Lift

What to Expect Before and After a Face Lift

Photo by huweijie07170, CC0 1.0

Deciding to get a face lift is a big, medical decision. It is an operation thousands undergo each year. Before going under the knife, make sure you find the right doctor. The surgeon you select must be board certified. Check all the reviews you can online. Also, look for programs where they invite plastic surgeons to speak. This will give you an idea about who is the best in your area.

     1. Prior Consultation

Before your surgery, you will have a consultation to discuss the plans and ask any questions to may have. Don’t be afraid to ask anything that may be on your mind. An important thing to ask about is the stitch sites. You want the scars to be as hidden as possible.

If possible, ask the doctor for before and after photos of his work. This will give you an idea of what to expect as actions speak louder than words. Remember, your face isn’t perfect, and, after surgery, your face will have flaws as well. This is natural.

     2. Make Your Post-Surgery Kit

After your facelift procedure, there are going to be some items you will want to have on hand to make life easier. You are going to have some discomfort and swelling. Here are some suggestions for your kit.

  • Button-up pajamas: You don’t want to have to pull a shirt over the incision.
  • Hairpins: to keep the hair away from the incision
  • Peroxide and q-tips for the site to keep away infection
  • Food that requires minimal chewing such as soup and high-calorie liquid replacement meals.

     3. Post-Op

Immediately after your face lift, you will groggy and sleep a good portion of the day. This is due to the anesthesia you will be under. After a few hours, your face will likely swell up and you will experience some pain.

The good thing is that your doctor will prescribe you pain medicine. Don’t be afraid to take the pain medicine as prescribed. Staying on top of your pain is essential. Also, your face is going to be bruised; expect this and don’t spend time focusing on it. You have to give yourself time to heal.

Once You Are Home

Make sure you have someone willing to stay with you for a day or two. Ideally, you would have someone stay with you for the first week, but if not, you will need some for the immediate days.

As with most surgeries, you don’t want to be too active for the first few days. It is best to relax and let yourself heal. Having someone take care of you is ideal.

     1. Swelling

A major part of the pain is going to be due to the swelling of the incision area. You need to control the swelling to help manage your pain. Keep cold compresses on the site as often as you can. If you are given a chinstrap, use it; it will reduce swelling. Stay home and relax as much as possible. It takes time to reduce the swelling.

     2. It Takes Time

The process of healing takes time, and there isn’t much you can do to make it go faster. Failure to listen to your doctor will result in a longer healing time though, so it is important to do the best you can.


It can take a few weeks to feel normal and even longer to heal completely. This is normal; placing unreasonable expectations onto yourself will just upset you. After the first week, you will begin to feel better and make progress. You may notice some tingling or numbness; this is normal. However, at this time, you should be doing light activity and starting to resume your life again.

Following the doctor’s orders will help encourage your healing process. Expect the first week to be difficult and to be spent resting as you recover. However, after the first week, you will begin making progress and starting to live your life normally again.

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