Day By Day Recovery after Facelift Surgery


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What will your facelift recovery be like?

A facelift or Rhytidectomy is performed on patients concerned with the signs of ageing. Concerns like deep wrinkles and droopy, sagging jowls are addressed in this procedure leaving you with a younger, natural version of yourself. Facelift procedure results are not instantaneous, they occur over time.  Recovery times do vary depending on your age and general health as well as the extent of surgery required.

Learn about Facial Rejuvenation

Following your plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions will make a big difference in the results of your surgery.  Here’s what to expect.

face lift recovery

Facelift Recovery Week 1

During this time Dr Sackelariou advises no full-body showers.  In the first week showers or bathing needs to be from the neck down. In other words, no washing the face or hair.

Day 1

Your surgeon will perform your surgery in an accredited private hospital.  After surgery, you may feel unsteady and sleepy, this is normal.  You will be taken to a ward and hospital staff will look after you. Dr Sackelariou will come to see you at the end of the day.

Day 2.

Dr Sackelariou will see you on the ward before you are discharged from the hospital.  He will put you in a facial compression mask.  This is to be worn for 7 days unless advised otherwise and only removed on day 7. You will be advised to keep your head above heart level, so no bending over or tipping the head forward.

You will have previously organised support from family or friends to drive you home safely and care for you for the first 48 hours after surgery.  Your surgeon will give you antibiotics to take while you’re at home.

Day 3

You should start to feel a little better on day 3 and you may want to move around a bit. Bruising and swelling is a normal part of any surgery and can be noticeable for a while postoperatively, but will subside over time.  Continue to take medication if you experience discomfort.

Days 4-6.

By this time, some people no longer need pain medication. It is at this stage that you should start to see some of the swelling go down. You should also start feeling more comfortable moving around. You can cook and do light things about the house if needed.  Of course, if you have help around the house – take advantage!

Day 7

Today you will remove the face mask. Keep it in a drawer and have your first full body shower and enjoy it!  You will also come to the clinic in Hawthorn and see Dr Sackelariou and a nurse who will take out any stitches and/or staples that need to be removed and clean everything up for you.  For this appointment, we recommend having someone drive you.

Facelift Recovery Week 2

Days 8-14. This week you’ll more than likely still have some swelling and bruising.  There may also be some numbness, tingling and tightness in certain areas. These are all common occurrences and will fade over time. At the end of this week, most people begin to feel like themselves again and are often ready to return to work (depending on the job) and resume light activities like walking.  You are able to drive after your first postoperative appointment; this judgment is up to you.

Facelift Recovery Weeks 3 and 4

Days 15-30. The majority of patients will go back to work on week 3.  Removal of any remaining sutures and/or staples will occur in week 4 back in the clinic.  There may still be swelling and tightness but overall you will look and feel better.  This is where the results from the surgery start to show themselves. 

By the end of week 4, you can get back into exercising at the advice of Dr Sackelariou.  Swimming, running, martial arts and strenuous activity are still on the “not-to-do list”.

What To Expect After Day 30

After the one-month postoperative mark, you should be back to doing normal activities and enjoying life with your new look. It can take up to one year for very minor swelling, bruising, tightness and numbness to ease away, but you will be the only one to notice these small changes.

Please note that this information is based on general advice and every patient is treated individually and will be given specific advice to them. Patients who follow their surgeon’s instructions usually have the easiest recovery periods and the best outcomes. It’s important to communicate with your surgeon throughout the entire process. Ask questions and let them know if you are experiencing any symptoms that you feel are out of the ordinary.


About Dr Richard Sackelariou Plastic Surgeon

Dr Richard Sackelariou MBBS FRACS(Plas) is a Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive  Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, Australia.

Dr Sackelariou is a highly sought-after Plastic Surgeon for precision procedures like nose reshaping, tummy tucks, breast surgery including transaxillary incision methods, implant removal/replacement and Breast Lift procedures.

He is particularly known for his signature surgeries – neck lift, facelift and eyelid rejuvenation procedures. He also performs expert cosmetic injections for facial rejuvenation.

Patients love his caring manner, his dedication to excellence and his extensive expertise in surgical planning for a natural-looking, harmonious result.

What’s Next

Book a Consultation with Dr Sackelariou in Melbourne or Sydney. A caring discussion with a Plastic Surgeon about all your options can really help. The best thing is to start with a phone enquiry and consider having a Consultation with Dr Sackelariou. Try the Free Nose Simulation Tool.


If you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery then Dr Richard Sackelariou is the specialist plastic surgeon for you.

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Dr Sackelariou can assist you in achieving your desired body image, helping restore you to a more youthful and confident self.

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