After a face-lift surgical procedure, patients may feel a minor amount of pain and experience swelling and bruising near surgical incisions, as stated by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Each patient has a unique experience, but most patients are able to recover without adverse complications.
The majority of patients who undergo a face lift experience very little pain after they wake up from their surgical procedure, according to the AAFPRS. During post-surgery recovery, patients may need to take pain medication. Patients may also notice swelling in the face and bruising once facial dressings and bandages have been removed. Typically, plastic surgeons remove bandages two days after the surgical procedure.
While recovering from a face lift, patients are typically instructed to keep the head elevated to reduce swelling, pain and discomfort, as noted by the AAFPRS. Patients may also be instructed to relax and avoid engaging in any rigorous activities, such as exercising. In total, a typical face-lift procedure takes approximately two to three weeks to heal. Patients who undergo a face lift procedure are often able to return to work two weeks after their surgery. Scarring is typically very minimal after a face lift and lightens over time.