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Facelift Recovery Do’s and Don’ts

If you are considering facelift surgery, or if you already have a facelift scheduled, then you may be wondering what you should be expecting during your recovery. To help answer those questions, we have compiled a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts that will help speed up a healthy recovery.

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What Should I Expect During My Facelift Recovery?

Upon waking up from your procedure, you may feel sleepy and restricted. Bandaging may be wrapped around your face to help keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.

Drainage tubes are sometimes applied to the incision areas to collect excess fluids from accumulating. You may experience swelling, bruising, numbness, tingling, itching, and tightness around your face and neck for the first few days.

Prescription medications are provided to ease pain and discomfort during your recovery. You should start feeling a little better every day.

Tips for Your Recuperation

Here is a list of facelift recovery do’s and don’ts that can help you significantly reduce your recovery time and provide satisfying, long-lasting results.


  • Get plenty of rest
  • Have a loved one handle strenuous responsibilities and babysitting for the first few days
  • Ensure that your recovery area is fully stocked with necessities
  • Prepare a comfortable space for your recovery with plenty of pillows and entertainment
  • Fill and pick up prescriptions ahead of time
  • Avoid social events until you have fully recovered
  • Stay hydrated
  • Follow all aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon
  • Incorporate slow, gentle walking around your home
  • Apply cool compresses to help with swelling and bruising
  • Remain patient with your healing process
  • Keep your head elevated at all times
  • Eat light, healthy meals that are easy to chew
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing
  • Monitor your progress and watch for signs of infection (redness that worsens, excessive pain, increasing warmth, or a fever)


  • Use tobacco products
  • Consume alcoholic beverages
  • Engage in moderate or vigorous activities
  • Wear cosmetics within the first week of your surgery
  • Apply heat to your neck or face
  • Sunbathe or go outside without plenty of protection, such as sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and light-colored clothing
  • Drive or resume work until you are ready (usually within two weeks)
  • Scratch your face, even if it is incredibly itchy

When Do Symptoms Go Away?

The most noticeable symptoms should reduce within the first two weeks. Many patients resume work after two weeks when residual bruising can be concealed with makeup. As a rule of thumb, it may take about a month to see your final facelift results.


To schedule a consultation with Dr. Calabria, call our office at (760) 836-0077 or fill out our online consultation form today.