Facelift: Social Downtime vs. Physical Downtime

A woman relaxes at home and looks happy with her facelift results.

Getting a facelift so you look your best for an upcoming high-profile social event involves more planning than you would think. Many patients consider only the physical downtime involved with having facial plastic surgery. I advise my facelift patients in Los Angeles to also think about “social downtime”—the time needed to ensure that their results are fully realized.

When patients ask about the recovery and downtime for an elective procedure, they’re typically curious about how much time they need to take off from work or when they can get back to the gym. Following a facelift, though, patients are also often concerned about whether co-workers and friends will ask questions about their appearance.

To help you plan for downtime after a facelift—especially if you have an important social event scheduled—I’ve included a recovery timeline that’s divided into sections. These times can vary if you’re a candidate for a less invasive facelift technique.

  • 0-10 days after facelift: Even though you’ll need to limit physical activity during this time, it’s important to move around on the day after surgery. Start with walks around your home and gradually increase the duration. Movement helps blood circulation and enhances healing. Patients typically avoid seeing friends or co-workers during the early stages of facelift recovery.
  • 10 days to 2 weeks after facelift: Most patients begin feeling like their normal selves by the second week after surgery. You should expect to have some bruising and swelling around the incision sites still. That being said, many patients return to work and feel comfortable being in public. You can use makeup to camouflage any signs of having surgery. A new hairstyle is another way to conceal residual bruising or redness.
  • 2 to 12 weeks after facelift: Results improve with each passing week as residual swelling continues to dissipate. Exactly when you’ll feel comfortable attending a class reunion or a wedding after facelift surgery is highly personal. Keep in mind that results that look fine after a month will appear even better at 2 months.

Anyone considering a facelift before a big event should also leave enough time before the surgery to schedule consultations with at least 2 or 3 plastic surgeons. Also, remember that after choosing a plastic surgeon, it likely will take a few weeks before the surgery is scheduled. No one should ever feel pressured to choose a plastic surgeon because of a looming deadline.

If you’re concerned that there’s not enough time to undergo a facelift before an event, consider nonsurgical facial rejuvenation treatments. A “liquid facelift” combines fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic injections to create a more youthful appearance. The treatments require little downtime, and the results can be excellent when performed by an experienced, skilled injector.

Of course, as the gallery of before-and-after photos demonstrates, the results of a facelift can be dramatic. If you’re looking for a facelift specialist for plastic surgery in the Los Angeles area, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us directly at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.

You can also visit my Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more about our practice.

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