Recovery from a face lift involves several different aspects. There is wound healing. Where the incisions are made. Where we keep sutures for a period of approximately a week. There is swelling. There is a little bit of black and blue. Sometimes, surgeons will leave drains in order to make sure that no fluid has collected. In my patients, I see the patient the next day to make sure that everything looks good. I usually leave a drain which I take out the next morning. And, once I take that drain out, a dressing is placed and an antibiotic ointment is put on all the incisions.
The patient is then seen at approximately one week later. And, the majority of the sutures are removed. At that point, a lot of the swelling and a lot of the black and blue has resolved. By the next post-operative appointment, which is usually approximately two weeks after the date of the surgery the final support sutures are removed. And, by that time, a large amount of the swelling has resolved and almost all of the black and blue has gone. From there, the patient is still instructed to take it easy. To not perform any heavy lifting or exercising.
And, to slowly get back to their normal routine. In addition, patients are instructed to not go into the sun or to not have their incisions in the sun for a period of one year. The sun tends to make scars red. And, in order to prevent the scars from being red we recommend people keeping the scars out of the sun for a year. That's basically the recovery time for a case like this.