Full Face Lift Recovery

Dr. Roger Oldham takes every measure to prepare patients for face lift recovery before undergoing surgery at his Bethesda, MD, practice. Knowing how to prepare and what you can expect during your recovery can help you feel confident going into surgery, and ensure the best possible results. While the duration of your recovery will depend on the extent of your surgery, your natural capacity to heal, and other factors, you should generally plan to spend at least two weeks avoiding any strenuous activity. 

caucasian woman touching her temple

Patient education is the key to a successful face lift recovery.

Preparing for Your Full Face Lift Recovery

We typically recommend that patients take several measures before the day of their face lift surgery to ensure that recovery is comfortable and uncomplicated:

  • Do your grocery shopping ahead of time so that you have enough food for the first week or so of your recovery period. You will want to make sure you have plenty of liquids on hand and healthy meal options to help aid in your healing process. You will also want to make sure you have stocked up on any household or personal hygiene items.
  • Make arrangements to have another adult drive you home after your surgery, and to stay with you over the first 24 hours following your surgery.
  • Ensure your bed, couch, or any other area you may choose to rest will offer you adequate comfort and support, especially during the first couple days while your activity is limited.
  • Patients usually need to stop taking any medications that have a blood-thinning effect, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or herbal supplements. Your doctor will also need to review your blood pressure. 
  • Bathe the night before your procedure. 

Immediately after Surgery

Drains may be placed at your incision sites to remove excess fluids. You will be given detailed instructions on how to clean these drains. You will also receive instructions on how to clean and care for your incisions, in addition to guidelines for how soon you can shower after your surgery. Dr. Oldham will provide you with a prescription for pain medication, which may cause drowsiness or nausea and should be taken as directed. 

You will likely experience swelling and bruising in the face, around the ears, and on the neck. The bruising and swelling will peak about three to four days after your procedure and then subside. Within a few days you will probably be advised to begin light activities such as walking.

By the second week, your bruising and swelling will have decreased, though your neck may feel stiff. Your sutures and any staples will be removed during this time, and you should continue light activity.

Long-term Healing

Within three to four weeks, the bruising and swelling should subside and you may slowly begin to resume your normal activities and exercise routine. Your incisions will begin to turn pink as they heal, and you should avoid unprotected or prolonged sun exposure to prevent prominent scarring.

Dr. Oldham is a skilled and credentialed surgeon who can minimize the appearance of your scars by placing your incisions in discreet locations. Adhering to your post-operative care instructions for your incisions will help immensely in reducing the visibility of your scars. It can take a month or more for you to begin to see the results of your face lift, and your ultimate results may take up to a year to become apparent.

Learn More about Face Lift Recovery

Recovery periods are unique to each person. Some patients may heal faster than others, and some may experience more bruising and swelling than others. By reviewing your medical history and evaluating your health, Dr. Oldham can give you an accurate estimate of what your specific recovery timeline will look like. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

To: Roger J. Oldham, M.D

Dear Dr. Oldham,
interested in scheduling an appointment with you
and would like to receive information about
. Please
at your earliest convenience.

Expand to Personalize Your Message

Roger J. Oldham, M.D

Phone: (301) 530-6100
Fax: (301) 530-6104