Skip To Content

What to Expect Immediately After Your Facelift

Dr. Philip Miller

May 21, 2018

New York City Facial Procedure

From the moment you wake up from the general anesthesia and open your eyes after your facelift surgery, you may not know quite what to expect. Expect to still be the same “you,” but the way you used to look, years ago, before the onset of facial lines and wrinkles and maybe that sagging neckline.

From that very moment until the facial plastic surgeon in New York removes your bandages for the last time, anticipation over what to expect and how you will appear may get the better of you at times. However, patience not only is a virtue; it’s the one virtue that will get you through the first few hours, days, and weeks after surgery.

Waking Up From the Anesthesia

If you had a traditional facelift procedure done, odds are the doctor recommended general anesthesia to ensure the best outcome. It’s normal to experience chills and nausea immediately after waking up. The discomfort may persist for an hour or so. Be prepared to feel groggy and out of sorts until the anesthesia wears off. If you had outpatient surgery, be sure to have a safe ride home.

Heading Home

When you do get home, your face may be wrapped up in thick bandages. There may have been one or more drainage tubes attached to make sure the blood drains properly, and your face most likely will feel tight and sore from the procedure.

Now for the challenging part: expect to see varying degrees of swelling and bruising one to three days after surgery. Don’t be alarmed. It’s normal for swelling and bruising to occur in and around incision areas and, in most post-op circumstances, it doesn’t indicate a problem or concern. However, you should call your surgeon right away if the swelling and bruising worsen significantly. Keep in mind also that your surgeon will be keeping close tabs on your recovery and scheduling follow-up visits.

A measure of pain and/or discomfort is to be expected after any surgery, including facelift surgery. You may have been prescribed pain killers. Many patients, however, say their recovery was so problem-free that they didn’t need pain medication.

Taking Care

Avoid medicines or food that may cause blood thinning as this will increase your risk of post-surgery bleeding. These include aspirin and garlic. Most importantly, try to stay active during your in-home recovery to keep the blood circulating. This will help to minimize the risk of developing blood clots in the legs and it will make sure that your incision areas are receiving fresh, well-oxygenated blood to promote the healing process. Of course, you will still need to rest and avoid overdoing.

Now for the good part: at the end of your recovery period expect to be pleasantly amazed at how well your incisions have healed and how much younger you look – not to mention the positive comments and compliments you’re likely to receive from your family, friends and co-workers. Expectation is the mother of all questions about facelift surgery. Your plastic surgeon of choice is best qualified to answer them.

Dr. Philip Miller is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with offices located at 60 East 56th, Third Floor, New York, N.Y. Call (646) 791-3025for a personal consultation or read more about facelift surgery.

Next, learn about The Mini Facelift

Dr. Philip Miller

Focusing exclusively on the face for more than two decades, double-board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Miller blends art and science with innovation and skill to provide thousands of patients with impeccable results. He is known for pioneering the NatraLook methodology for rhinoplasty, facelifts, neck lifts, and other cosmetic procedures for the face.

Settle for Nothing But the Best Facial Plastic Surgery

Facial Plastic Surgery

Dr. Philip Miller and his team of New York's top rated facial plastic surgery experts provide custom cosmetic treatment plans that include a combination of minimally-invasive techniques and advanced procedures, to help each patient achieve the Aesthetic Confidence® they desire. Our unique NatraFace™ approach to facial rejuvenation includes the following effective procedures:

Eyelid Plastic Surgery

Dr. Miller provides patients with Manhattan's #1 customized care and treatment for smooth, supple skin that brightens the eyes and revitalizes the face. With our NatraFace™ approach, we utilize a combination of effective aesthetic techniques tailored to suit each patient’s needs. We offer:

Rhinoplasty (Nose Jobs)

Dr. Miller and his staff of NYC's best aesthetic specialists offer the NatraNose® process, which is a comprehensive range of minimally-invasive and advanced techniques to achieve natural-looking rhinoplasty results, improve nasal function, and meet the patient’s aesthetic goals. Dr. Miller specializes in nose jobs, nose reductions, non-surgical nose jobs, and more: Adjust the links in these sections as follows:

Skin Care Treatments

Widely acclaimed for our broad range of flawless skincare solutions, Philip J. Miller, MD, FACS and his team of aesthetic specialists offer customized skincare treatment plans to achieve healthy, natural-looking results. As part of our NatraLook™ process, the following procedures may be performed individually or in combination with more advanced surgical treatments for optimal rejuvenation.

Services >

Aesthetic Confidence®

Podcasts Cover

The Plastic Surgery Podcast with Dr. Philip Miller

Tune into The Plastic Surgery Podcast, hosted by facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Miller. Dr. Miller is here to answer your questions, de-mystify plastic surgery, and help you feel more knowledgeable and empowered about any procedure performed at our center.

The Plastic Surgery Podcast

  • Episode 44: My First Time

    8 min
  • Episode 43: Top 10 Reasons Not To Get A Rhinoplasty ( Plastic Surgery)

    20 min
  • Episode 42: Osteomas & Lipomas

    11 min
View all Episodes
Plastic Surgery w/ Dr. Miller

Plastic Surgery w/ Dr. Miller

If you're thinking about getting a lift, nip, or tuck, this app is for you. It's the most comprehensive pocket encyclopedia of plastic surgery terms, before and after photos, and visualization tools to help you really know what to expect from a procedure, including seeing potential results on your own photo. This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

View in App Store >