Imagine this scenario… Your jowls have been driving you crazy for a decade and you finally decide to rejuvenate your look with a facelift. But you’re an avid runner, love to get facials, and have family Christmas photos in three weeks.
So you get a hold of your surgeon and ask the question everybody wants to know, “Okay doc, what’s my downtime going to be?”.
Downtime after surgery is one of the most common questions we get asked in our practice and the short answer is that, it varies. Here are a few specifics that may help you pick a surgery date and decide if a facelift is right for you:
- A “mini-lift” or “weekend-lift” may have less downtime than a full lower face/neck lift, but your desire for a shorter recovery period should not dictate your choice in procedure. Ultimately, your goals and your anatomy should be the central driving forces in making your decision.
- Anything that elevates your heart rate and blood pressure (exercise, annoying spouses, etc) has the potential to cause complications after surgery. It can increase your risk of bleeding, swelling, and impaired healing. After three weeks, you should be completely clear to resume any activity.
- If you can’t stand the idea of taking it easy for three weeks watching Bravo TV, you should be able to stretch your legs on a long walk by the one-week mark.
- For two weeks, you should avoid lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (~10lbs). Be ready to tell your significant other that it’s their turn to take out the trash and that it’s doctor’s orders.
- We typically advise waiting 3 to 4 weeks before getting a facial or getting your hair dyed after surgery. Be sure to plan ahead.
- Most people are ready to go out in public after a lower face/neck lift after two weeks. At that point, any residual bruising can be covered with makeup and most of the swelling should be gone. Although ultimately, your incisions will be hard to find, in the early stages, it helps to keep your hair down while they continue to heal.