Facelift Recovery Time: Social vs. Physical Downtime

Facelift: Social Downtime vs. Physical Downtime

Weddings. Class reunions. Milestone birthdays. These are just a few of the social functions for which people want to look their absolute best. If looking your best involves a facelift, it’s important to schedule it early enough to ensure you’re completely healed in time for the big event.

In this blog post, I’ll provide a timeline showing what you can expect after a facelift and how much time to allow to make sure you won’t be stressed in the days leading up to the special day (or night).

The Difference Between Social & Physical Downtime

Even though most recovery timelines you may see online suggest you’ll be ready to return to work in just a couple of weeks, there may be some residual swelling or bruising that you won’t want people to notice at a function. I call this the difference between physical downtime and social downtime, which is unique to facial plastic surgery recovery.

Facelift Recovery Timeline

Use this guide to help you plan ahead:

The First 10 Days After Surgery

Most people want to avoid seeing friends or co-workers during this time. Physically, I instruct my patients to limit their activities to short walks. Walking helps the healing process and minimizes the risk of complications.

10 Days to 2 Weeks After Surgery

By the second week after facelift surgery, most women and men feel pretty good. Frankly, many patients are surprised that the recovery after a facelift is not that uncomfortable. At this point, you may still have a small amount of bruising and swelling around the incision sites. Still, many patients will return to work and go out in public, depending on their comfort level. Makeup and wearing your hair differently can minimize any signs of surgery.

2 to 12 Weeks After Surgery

You’ll continue to see improved results as the weeks pass and residual swelling gradually resolves. The point at which someone feels comfortable at a class reunion or wedding varies from person to person, but the facelift results will generally look very good after a month—they’ll look even better after 3 months.

Your facelift results will be well worth the wait, as you can see in my patient’s before and after pictures below.

Before & After Facelift Surgery
Before & After Facelift Surgery
Before & After Facelift Surgery

When To Schedule Your Facelift Surgery

The best case is to schedule a facelift about 3 months before the event date. Even then, however, you’ll need to plan for scheduling consultations with plastic surgeons and think about the time between choosing a surgeon and when you’ll actually be able to have the surgery. No one should ever feel pressured to choose a plastic surgeon because of a deadline.

What if There’s Not Enough Time Before Your Event?

People put off making decisions for a variety of reasons. If you find that there’s not enough recovery time to get a facelift, a “liquid facelift” provides excellent results with much less downtime. This procedure combines injectables, such as fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic, to rejuvenate your facial appearance. The results are a bit more subtle than those produced by facelift surgery (and are temporary) but may be the ideal solution before the big day.

Your Next Step

Before-and-after photos in our photo gallery demonstrate the transformative, natural-looking results enjoyed by some of my past patients. If you’re searching in the Boston area for a facelift specialist, contact us using the online form to request a consultation. Or give our office a call at (781) 237-7700 to schedule an appointment.

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