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After Facelift Surgery

The first few hours after surgery will be spent in the Recovery Room. When you are completely alert and oriented, you will be able to go home with someone to assist you. You are to apply cold packs around your face and neck area for 48 hours to reduce swelling and sleep with your back and head elevated at 45-60 degrees for approximately four to five days.

Some patients will spend the night in the Recovery Room at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, especially if a complete facelift is performed. If you are staying overnight, your care will be provided by a Registered Nurse with post-operative training, including ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification. An additional person will be assisting her overnight with your care.

Dr. Delgado will see you the next morning and inspect your incisions. If drains were placed, they will be removed. You will be discharged with a responsible adult to transport you to your home and settle you into your recovery environment. You may shower and wash your hair the following day.

Maintaining elevation of your back and head is very important to minimize swelling. You may experience minimal pain, but most patients report primarily a sensation of tightening from the swelling. Pain medication is prescribed, but usually it is needed for just a day or two.

Much of the swelling and mild bruising will resolve in seven to ten days, as long as proper care is taken. Makeup may be applied after one week. Most patients return to work or social activity after seven to ten days. Strenuous physical exercise is to be avoided for four to six weeks following a facelift.


As with any surgery, there are risks and complications. However, with a board certified plastic surgeon, a board certified anesthesiologist and a well-trained surgical team, complications are rare. A facelift carries the possibility of nerve injury, but this risk is minimal with a skilled, mature surgeon, such as Dr. Delgado. Occasionally, incisions need to be modified with scar improvement techniques. In general, facelift incisions blend and fade beautifully over time.


The results of a facelift procedure are to rejuvenate the face, neckline, jawline and their relationships. The angle of the neckline and facial area will be improved with more contour as a result of removal of fat and tightening of the musculature. The skin around the mouth and the prominent folds below the sides of the nose will be improved. You will look rejuvenated with a natural and elegant appearance. The improvements can be expected to last for many years. Although you will continue to age and gravity will continue to affect your face, the area will remain rejuvenated. A facelift can be done again in the future and combined with other procedures, as desired.

Frequently Asked Questions About Facelift Surgery

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