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What to Expect after a Facelift

facelift is a pretty involved procedure and we’ve found that our Orange County plastic surgery clients heal a lot faster and have a lot less complications when they know what to expect post-facelift surgery.  So we’ve put together a little list of some things you can expect after having a facelift in Orange County or elsewhere.

Numbness – During a facelift the skin is separated from the underlying tissues during surgery and small sensory nerves are interrupted.  There is often a varying degree of numbness after facelift surgery but it will improve gradually as the nerves regenerate.  This can take from 2 to 6 months to completely resolve.

Tightness – Often our Orange County clients will report a tight feeling in the neck after a face lift.  During the facelift surgery the skins as well as the underlying muscles are tightened to create better and longer lasting results. Swelling from the procedure will move downward in the first week and the neck will feel even tighter.  This is perfectly normal and do not be alarmed, the discomfort will decrease in a week or two.

Healing of Sensory Nerves – Often as the nerves regrow, an itching, burning, tingling, and/or shooting sensation will occur – kind of like when sensation comes back in your hand after “falling asleep.” Gentle massage is helpful during this phase of the healing process.

Firmness under the Skin – Firmness or lumpiness under the skin is expected after surgery but will resolve with time.  Gentle massage can speed up the resolution of this issue.  Wait to perform any massage until we direct you when and how to massage after your facelift surgery.

Asymmetric Swelling – Often one side of your face will be slightly more swollen or numb than the other after facelift surgery.  This usually disappears along with all the other swelling and bruising. If you favor sleeping on one side more than the other, this can lead to the uneven swelling.

Eye Symptoms – Don’t be surprised if your eyelids feel tight even though they were not operated on. The swelling that occurs in the entire face easily spreads to your eye sockets because there is a lot of extra space there. If your vision is a little blurry after surgery, it is likely from the ointment that was placed over your eyelids to keep your eyes from drying out during surgery. However, it is best to have your surgeon evaluate the eyes if there are any visual symptoms.