Facelift surgery can be a highly advantageous procedure for the adult who is ready to refresh in a big way. The techniques that are used during the modern-day facelift are more precise and also more conservative than what was done in the past. A board-certified plastic surgeon, especially one who is familiar with fat transfer, can typically achieve facelift results that completely sidestep that whole windblown look that used to be so common after this procedure.
In our St. Louis practice, what patients tend to want to know is what it’s really like to recover from a facelift. We can understand that this goes beyond curiosity; that knowing what to expect after a facelift can set a patient’s mind at ease. Here, we offer details that will give you even more to smile about than the refreshed appearance you have to look forward to.
What to Expect after a Facelift
Facelift surgery addresses only the lower two-thirds of the face. Incisions are made around the ears. Depending on the extent of the procedure (mini lift or full lift), incisions may begin at the front of each ear and travel around the ear crease through the hairline. Small instruments are inserted through these incisions to reposition and secure tissue across the cheekbones. All that manipulation must result in pain, right? Not so much.
A facelift is performed under anesthesia that blunts pain receptors. It can take several hours for the effects of anesthesia to wear off. By the time patients regain sensation that could feel uncomfortable, they may have already taken their first dose of prescription pain medication. The proper usage of medication enables facelift patients to feel very comfortable. Most notice tightness and mild soreness for a few days. Numbness is also likely due to the disruption of nerve endings in the mid-face. This, too, should decrease over several days.
What is most noticeable after a facelift may be the swelling that results from surgery. Bruising may not even be very significant. To reduce swelling, patients are advised to sleep with their head elevated and to apply cold compresses for a few minutes at a time.
If you have questions about facelift surgery or recovering from this procedure, turn to your board-certified plastic surgeon for answers. We’d be happy to schedule a consultation for you in our St. Louis office at 314.475.3700.