How Long Should Swelling and Numbness Last After a Facelift?

shutterstock_163960466There is always some downtime following surgery, and a facelift is no different. While healing rates vary from person to person, most individuals will go through similar stages of recovery. Dr. Mark Richards, our experienced plastic surgeon, will go into detail about what to expect during your initial consultation. Some patience during this process will be necessary, but the beautiful, youthful-looking result should be worth the wait.

Many patients are primarily concerned with how long swelling and numbness will last after the procedure. Of course they are also concerned with comfortably returning to their normal routine. In most cases, individuals should be able to go back to work and social engagements after about two weeks. Swelling following the procedure may initially increase for a day or two and then quickly decrease within the first fourteen days. Full recovery from the inflammation of surgery takes about one year, long after most patients feel they are fully recovered. As regards numbness, the nerves need time to reattach to the skin and tissues that have been lifted. This can also take up to six months or more but occurs continually over time starting shortly after surgery. It’s important to note that you will experience gradual improvement over time rather than a sudden change in a day.

The healing process is progressive. Many patients do not notice any residual swelling after a few months, even though it surely is present to some degree. “Normal” sensation may return fairly quickly or may take more time to come back. Fortunately, normal facial movements usually return within a week or so. Every patient’s recovery is unique. We want you to feel comfortable and confident in our care, and we welcome any questions you may have.

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