A facelift is a surgical procedure that firms and tightens skin to create a more youthful appearance. Modern facelifts have come a long way and do more than tighten the skin as the procedure repositions muscle, fat, and skin for the best results. Before you get a facelift, you should learn more about the procedure. Continue reading for more on how long it takes to recover after a facelift. 

Planning for a Facelift

When you decide to get a facelift, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. You can discuss your goals during the consultation and inform the surgeon about your desired results. You will also discuss your medical history, current health, and any supplements or prescriptions you take. 

The surgeon will examine your face, talk about your options, and may suggest some changes. Computer imaging can help show what you can expect. You will learn more about the facelift procedure.

During a Facelift Procedure

The surgeon will make incisions along the temple and hairline during the procedure. The cuts go around and behind the ear, allowing the surgeon to access the tissue and muscle beneath the skin. A facelift can take between two to six hours, depending on various circumstances. 

The surgeon will close the incisions before bandaging the face. You will receive post-op instructions on how to care for your face. Following the recovery instructions exactly is vital for long-term results. 

The Recovery Process

You will have stitches after the surgery to help the incisions heal correctly, and the surgeon will take them out the first week after the surgery. A drain may be placed to remove excess fluid and blood from the face and neck. Ensure that you follow instructions on caring for the drain and record the amount of fluid that comes out. 

Your face will be swollen and bruised for up to two weeks, worsening before it improves. You will likely experience pain for the first two to four days after surgery. The skin will be numb around the incisions, which may take months to go away. 

How Long it Takes to Recover


Recovery from a facelift usually takes four to six weeks for most patients. However, it can take three to four months to see the full results. Everyone is unique, and recovery happens at different paces. 

The recovery timeline will also depend on the extent or type of facelift that you get. You will receive a care sheet that will let you know what to expect and how long it could take. To recover as quickly as possible, ensure that you follow instructions carefully. 

Potential Facelift Complications

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with facelifts. They include:

  • Risk of infection or high fever

  • Extreme pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness in the treatment area

  • Abnormal discharge from the surgical wound

  • Stitches coming out prematurely

If you experience any complications, contact the doctor immediately.

Your actions when you get home will determine how well and fast you heal. Be careful about your activities, diet, medications, and incision care. Follow the instructions and ensure that you keep all your follow-up appointments. You need emergency care if you experience severe pain, difficulty breathing, or sudden chest pain. 

For more on how long it takes to recover after a facelift, visit Handal Plastic Surgery at our Boca Raton, Florida office. Call 561-220-6360 to schedule an appointment today.