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A face-lift is surgery to firm and tighten the skin of the face and neck to give a more youthful appearance. It may remove many wrinkles, but it does not change the texture of your skin.
You may have stitches or staples in your cut (incision). Your doctor will take these out in the first week. A bandage will cover the incision. You may have gauze wrapped around your head and neck. You also may have an elastic bandage around your chin and the top of your head. The bandage probably will be removed on the day after surgery.
You may have a drain in place to remove excess blood and fluid from your face and neck. If so, follow your doctor's instructions on how to care for the drain and how to write down how much fluid comes out.
Your face likely will be bruised and swollen. The swelling may get worse before it gets better, but it will probably go away in 1 to 2 weeks. After a few days you may get some bruises on your neck and chest. This is caused by gravity, which pulls the excess blood and bruising downward.
You will feel some pain for 2 to 4 days after surgery. You may have some trouble opening your mouth for several days. The skin around the incision probably will be numb. You may have some itching or shooting pain as the feeling returns, though it may take several months for the numbness to go away.
Most people recover in 4 to 6 weeks. But it probably will take 3 to 4 months to see the final result from the surgery.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 1, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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