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Recovery: Facelifts vs. Botox®

What is recovery like for facelifts compared to Botox®? Are there any side effects?

Recovery time after facelift surgery is much, much faster than it used to be and most of it depends on the individual. Most of our clients have only one or two days of mild pain after surgery. There undoubtedly will be some swelling and bruising after the procedure but most of it begins to subside after about one week. Most clients tell us they are out and about in 5 or 6 days unless they are overly self-conscious about their bruises. A lot of clients need up to 2 weeks to feel comfortable enough to be seen in public. And returning to work usually takes place in about one to two weeks. We don’t recommend any exercise and heavy lifting typically for the first 3 weeks and when you do start, start up slowly. It’s not uncommon to experience temporary facial numbness for up to 9 months.

Possible side effects of facelift surgery can include allergic reactions to the anesthesia, swelling and scarring, hematoma (blood clot under the skin), and damage to the facial nerves (particularly true for patients who smoke).

Compared to facelift procedures, there is virtually no recovery time needed after Botox® injections. It’s not uncommon for our clients to get Botox® treatments done during their lunchtime and go right back to work! The only real important post-procedure precaution we give to our clients is to not to rub the injection sites for the first few days or take any kind of blood thinning medications (such as aspirin and NSAIDs) so as to avoid bruising.

Side effects of Botox® injections are rare but can include nausea, drooping of forehead and eyelid, and headache. Less common are symptoms that are associated with the injection, including redness, pain, swelling, numbness, bruising, muscle weakness and bleeding. Most people have no side effects at all with Botox® and if they do, the symptoms usually subside within a week after the Botox® injections.