A female patient being marked by surgeon before her facial plastic surgery

Facelift Recovery: How Long Does It Take?

After decades of hard work, and thanks in no small part to his innovative technical developments in the field of aesthetic medicine, Dr. Jacono has been recognized as one of the premier facial plastic surgeons in the world. Here is an overview of what you should expect after a facelift with Dr. Jacono, along with some simple steps for speedier facelift recovery time.

Facelift Recovery Time and Facelift Recovery Tips

How does the deep plane facelift enhance healing?

A rhytidectomy—more commonly known as a facelift—is a surgical procedure that eliminates classic signs of aging in the face and neck. The vast majority of facelift procedures remove and reposition skin, fat pockets, and sometimes even musculature.

While there are a variety of good facelifting techniques, the “Deep-Plane Facelift” is the gold standard, as it dives deeper into facial anatomy than any other technique. It also happens to be the most difficult facelift to master. Dr. Jacono has pioneered and perfected the Deep-Plane Facelift and is proud to specialize in it.

A facelift can fix:

  • Droopy, saggy skin on the face and neck
  • Deep folds, wrinkles, and creases around the mouth, the nose, the eyes, and the forehead
  • Fat buildups on the neck that cause a “double chin”

The deep plane facelift approach allows for a quicker recovery after a facelift because of the way it is performed compared to traditional SMAS facelift approaches.  Many surgeons claim that deep plane facelift surgery creates more swelling, but this is not the case in Dr. Jacono’s experience.  He performed approximately 1000 SMAS facelifts before he started performing deep plane surgery, and he sees that with the deep plane approach healing is more rapid.

He believes the reason is that in a SMAS facelift the skin is separated from the underlying muscle disrupting the blood supply to the skin.  Less blood supply to the tissues means that the healing process will be delayed.  In deep plane facelift surgery, the skin and underlying musculature are elevated as a composite unit preserving perforating blood vessels to the skin and thus the blood supply is preserved allowing for more rapid healing.

Pre- and Post-Surgery Treatments to Expedite Facelift Recovery Time

Doctor Jacono has all of his patients start his homeopathic healing supplement system called the JPak a week before surgery and continue it for 2 weeks after the facelift was performed.  It has a combination of Arnica Montana for bruising, Bromelain for swelling, vitamin C or ascorbic acid which is a cofactor in collagen production and healing as well as glutathione, hyaluronic acid, and proto collagen.  Incisions heal better and bruising and swelling resolves more quickly with his J Pak.  He has used this regimen on thousands of patients.

He also is a huge proponent of hyperbaric oxygen treatments to expedite healing.  Hyperbaric treatments increase the oxygen in the blood supply again increasing the speed of healing. The treatments last for an hour and a half at 2.5 atmospheres of pressure. 

Doctor Jacono published a study in 2010 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery that demonstrated that hyperbaric treatments expedite the resolution of bruising and swelling by 50%.

To further expedite the healing process Doctor Jacono will prescribe corticosteroids like methylprednisolone and prednisone as well as diuretics such as furosemide.  These help to reduce swelling.

Lastly, Doctor Jacono will perform pulse dye laser treatments with a V-Beam laser to help break up bruises so the body can reabsorb.

What to Expect During the Facelift Recovery Period

Right after your surgery, Doctor Jacono will observe you. Once you are stable, you may leave the recovery center, though this can take a few hours.

Expect to wear bandages on your head for some time. These minimize bruising and swelling.  Before your departure, Dr. Jacono will once again explain the recovery process and let you know when to return for a follow-up appointment. He may also write you prescriptions for certain medications

Following your facelift, it is common to experience bruising and swelling under the chin after the facelift, but these normally resolve in two to three weeks. This time will vary, of course, as everyone heals differently.   The above measures noted will help expedite this process so that the days after surgery will be easier.

Facelift recovery times will depend on the different types of facelifts you get. Mini facelift recovery time, for example, is shorter than traditional facelift recovery. But when it comes to how long to recover from a facelift, you need to know that facelift healing will be different for every patient and you must follow the doctor’s instructions. Facelift post-op instructions are crucial to both recoveries and to the overall effectiveness of the facelift procedure.

During the first few days of your recovery, you should be able to leave the house and engage in normal activities. He allows patients to go on long walks 48 hours after surgery.  You should refrain from strenuous exercise for 2 weeks.

How Long Should I Expect to Recover from a Facelift?

Once again, with cosmetic surgery, every patient heals differently, and your physical health can impact the process. Generally speaking, you should begin to feel fine within a few days, but it can take two to three months before your face feels like it did prior to the procedure.

Dr. Jacono’s 11 Tips for a Speedy Recovery

  • Listen to your surgeon before and after surgery
  • Avoid hot baths and showers
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat before going out, or avoid the sun altogether
  • Don’t smoke, and avoid smokers
  • Don’t overexert yourself
  • Remain positive
  • Remain patient
  • Do not self-diagnose (if you have a concern, reach out to your doctor)
  • Follow care instructions to the letter
  • Take pain medication as prescribed–and only as prescribed

How Soon Can I Return to Work and Other Activities?

The majority of facelift patients are able to return to work in two or three weeks. Patients who have undergone a less invasive procedure, like a mini facelift, can go back to work in five days.

Learn More About Facelifts and Recovery

If you would like to learn more about the facelift and what to expect during recovery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacono, please contact our office at 212-570-2500, or fill out our online contact form for further assistance.

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