One of the most common questions I am asked during facelift consultations is about how painful the procedure is. With the incisions, liposuction and skin removal, many patients are concerned they will experience a great deal of discomfort during the recovery process. While a facelift is an invasive procedure, patients are often pleasantly surprised with the relatively mild discomfort that they experience after surgery.
What to Expect During Recovery
After a facelift procedure, the patient will be numb throughout the lower face and neck. This greatly reduces the pain. That is not to say there is no discomfort, however. Many patients complain about a sensation of tightness and pulling in their face and neck after the surgery, though this begins to subside after the first week. While many patients need little to no narcotic pain medicine, everyone is different. There is a small portion of patients that will complain of pain and require narcotics the first week- but this is definitely a minority.
With much of the swelling subsiding by the first week, patients are generally much more comfortable by week two. Numbness on the other hand can remain for weeks to months- and this often becomes the most common complaint. Fortunately, in almost all cases, the numbness will resolve. (I have only had one case in twenty years of performing facelifts where the numbness persisted long term. I still have no explanation for this one case).
In general, facial surgery is associated with much less discomfort than other cosmetic procedures and this is certainly true with the facelift. Patients should be prepared to have some discomfort but should be reassured that most patients rarely have anything more.
If you’re considering undergoing a facelift, you can trust double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Mark M. Hamilton to help you achieve the best possible results. To schedule your consultation or to learn more about facelifts, contact our office today.