What is the facelift recovery time I should expect?

Within the next 6 months I am planning on getting a facelift, however I need to try and schedule the right time to get the procedure done. I am allowed 2 weeks off a year from work so I could take a week and that would be 9 days off including the weekends.  What is the overall recovery time for a facelift and how much work should I expect to miss?  I work in a small office so I don't mind some co-workers seeing me towards the end of my recovery.




F, 61, Tennessee

 Hi, I have performed facelifts for over 30 years and have performed many minimally, invasive type facelifts.  Non smiling photos of your face from the front and side would help in the evaluation.  Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces. Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front. Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

 If the chin is weak, this creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin. Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face. I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

 If you have "jowls” these are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift. The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last). The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face, deep plane, cheek lift and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

* very small incisions and no incisions extend or are placed within the hair.
* minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery ( several days instead of weeks or months with the more invasive type facelifts mentioned)
* can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
* no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
* excess fat can be removed
* excess skin removed
* cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
* most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op
I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure. When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.

Hope this helps.

Francis R Palmer III MD FACS

Dr. Francis R Palmer has 1 Cheek implants, Facelift before & after:

Cheek implants, Facelift before image performed by Dr. Francis R PalmerCheek implants, Facelift after image performed by Dr. Francis R Palmer

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Dear Autumn,

Most of our facelift patients are nicely recovered and presentable to the public in 2 weeks of recovery.  Of course that depends on what degree of facial rejuvenation is performed, (facelift only, perioral dermabrasion, eyelids, etc.)  Some cosmetics may be used to cover the minor residual bruising that typically remains after this time.  I see that you are in Tennessee.  We perform operations on many out of state patients including Tenneseeans.  I would love the opportunity to see you in consultation.  Please call the office and ask to schedule on consultation on my clinic day.  (205)908-8507.


Christopher J. Schaffer, MD

American Board of Plastic Surgery, Certified 2003

Hedden Plastic Surgery Birmingham, AL


Dr. Christopher Schaffer has 1 Facelift before & after:

Facelift before image performed by Dr. Christopher SchafferFacelift after image performed by Dr. Christopher Schaffer

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Your thought process is right on!

Dr. Jonathan Berman has 1 Upper eyelid lift, Lower eyelid lift, Facelift before & after:

Upper eyelid lift, Lower eyelid lift, Facelift before image performed by Dr. Jonathan BermanUpper eyelid lift, Lower eyelid lift, Facelift after image performed by Dr. Jonathan Berman

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   The first two weeks are the worst portion of the recovery and you may still have some swelling and bruising for up to 3-4 weeks. Patients usually have very little pain with the operation. Congratulations and Good Luck!

Facelift recovery time is usually about 7-10 days before you are able to go out.  If eyelid surgery is done at the same time, it's closer to 10-14 days.  We give our patients steroids in surgery and postoperatively, and place our patients under LED lighting after surgery to minimize bruising and swelling.

Dr. Gary Breslow has 4 Facelift before & afters:

Facelift before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowFacelift after image performed by Dr. Gary D. Breslow

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Most of our patients are ready to be out of the house around 7-10 days and we allow sports and physical strain at 3 weeks. It does take three months however until things settle down to the point that swelling is gone and we take photographs to compare the before and after.